Posts Tagged ‘security’

Home Again

July 29, 2018

I got back from my travels last night.

I was in motion for 24 hours.

Although what with the time change it looked like I had just traveled 11 hours.

But no.

When I got in to my studio last night the clock said it was 6 a.m. Paris time and I had been up since 5:30 a.m. the previous morning.

It was a long day.

I am very, very, very grateful that I woke up before my alarm went off, it was too hot to sleep and I kept waking up and having difficulty falling back asleep, so when I woke up at 5 a.m. I never got fully back into sleep, just lay in bed sweating lightly and wondering if I should just get up and get going.

When the light began to grow bright enough I gave up the ghost, got up and started my getting ready to leave.

I gave myself time to have a light breakfast, which thank God I did, because there was no time at the airport to get food, I was super lucky to be able to snag a bottle of water for the flight, let alone have had anytime to forage for food.

I had done most of my packing the day before, even went a bought a cheap suitcase to haul back my goodies from my trip.

Notebooks, a stuffed hippo for one of my charges, a model car for another charge, stickers and rainbow unicorn rub on tattoos and a pretty notebook for the little girl.

Other gifts for folks.

And then the things that I had gotten for myself: a purse, a market basket from Aix-en-Provence, an art book from the Zao Wou-ki show I went to at the Musee Moderne, lots of notebooks, five or six I think, magnets from the Klimt show and one from Marseilles, some notecards, three dresses (three! I was so thrilled to have found a shop, with the help of my friend, that carried my size and had lovely clothes), a sweater coat, and a blouse.

I can’t believe I found such lovely clothes, it’s very rare for me to find clothing when I have gone to Paris before.

Partially because I just didn’t know really where to look, having a friend who lives in Paris show you the spots is a huge perk.

I also got a vintage candle holder/lantern from a shop on Ile St. Louis and some prints from the Klimt show.

I couldn’t have squeezed all of that into my little carry-on.

My carry on, which as it would turn out, was not so little anyway.

It got flagged at the airport.

I was not happy.

This was the first time that it’s been flagged.

I didn’t even get it through security.

A couple of times I have had to check it at the gate but never before did I have it flagged before even going through security.

I was not happy.

I was on the same airline I took to get to France, so I knew it would fit, in fact, it had slightly fewer items in it since I had bag checked the other suitcase and figured I would fill that one heavier and keep my carry on fairly light.

But nope.

It got flagged.

Ugh.

I had already had a bit of a rough start to my Charles de Gaulle experience.

I got to the airport with plenty of time, I splurged and took a cab.

Again, thank God, if I had done the train I would have likely missed my flight considering the amount of time it took to get to the gate.

When I arrived I did a check in on a kiosk, printed off my boarding pass and got a sticker for the checked bag.

Then I stood in line with my checked bag to get it to a counter to get loaded onto the plane.

I was in line about thirty minutes.

About twenty minutes into being online a little voice in my head said, “hey, did you get your card from the kiosk?”

I couldn’t remember.

I took a deep breath, got out my wallet, opened it up and looked.

No debit card.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

Oh fuck.

I had left it in the machine!

I flushed very hot then almost started to cry.

I took another deep breath.

What should I do?

Odds are it’s gone.

Somebody was right behind me to use the machine.

Either they took it and went wild at the Duty Free shop.

Or maybe they turned it in to lost and found.

I started to think about how to ask the next Air France agent I saw about where the lost and found was in French.

I resolved to stay in line and check my bag and then go look.

It was a long ten minutes.

I got my bag on the belt and dashed back to the machine.

Of course.

The card was gone.

I looked around, there was a desk next to the kiosk, but nothing on it.

I turned to go back to the line that had to Air France agents working it.

I should mention that there were three different areas to queue up to, each area having two agents, then agents roaming between and agents at the desk.

I don’t know how I decided to ask the woman I asked, but I made a snap decision and walked towards her.

I approached and asked if I could speak English with her, I really wasn’t sure I could get across in French what had happened, although I had been practicing it for the last ten minutes.

She said of course.

I told her what I did, I pointed to the machine, I was about to ask if there was a lost and found and she said, “you’re Carmen?”

I nodded, yes, yes, yes, as she pulled my debit card out of the front breast pocket of her jacket.

I nearly wept for joy and thanked her profusely.

What are the odds that the person I asked would have my card in her pocket?

I don’t know, but it felt like winning the lottery.

I was so happy about it that when I was told my carry on would cost me 80 Euro to process I didn’t give a fuck.

Who cares?

I had found my card.

And though the whole process set me back over an hour and a half of going to and fro, it was all worth while.

I made my plane with minutes to spare, enough to be able to dash to the nearest counter and buy a bottle of water and then get myself settled in for a very long flight.

There were a few other adventures.

Like the plane having to sit on the tamarack for another hour because a person had to be de-planed, which led to me literally sprinting through the Atlanta airport to make my connecting flight, but I did then too.

So even though it was a long trip getting back.

Get back I did.

And I am very grateful to be home, unpacked, all my laundry washed and put away and almost ready to get back to my regular routine.

Almost.

I have one more delicious day off.

Ah.

Summer vacation.

You did me good.

Advertisements

Boarding

May 12, 2017

Not that I will be boarding soon, I have about an hour and thirty minutes before my plane starts to board.

But.

I am in the boarding area to London.

Where I will have an hour layover and then.

Yes.

Paris.

I will arrive in Paris tomorrow at 5:15p.m.

About 24 hours from right now.

Of course, Paris is 12 hours ahead and the time traveling is not actually 24 hours.

There is some time travel happening.

In a manner of speaking.

My flight to London is 11 hours 45 minutes.

Yawn.

That’s a long time.

I hopefully will take a very big nap.

I am nervous about my ankle, it’s hard to travel with a sprain, the air pressure in the cabin, having it lower than it should be, I should have it elevated as much as I can, but that’s not going to happen.

I am also sitting in the boarding area early hoping to chat with the flight crew.

I want to see if I can switch seats.

I’m in the middle.

I have done a long flight in the middle before, but not with a bad ankle.

I am going to see if they have anything in first class, smile real big and bat my eyes.

Although, I’m not one to really use feminine wiles to get my way, a smile, and a please and a thank you generally go far.

I use my manners more than anything else.

I doubt it will happen, but I will ask.

Can’t hurt to ask.

And.

I will ask for getting on early so that I don’t have to hobble on with every one else.

I definitely needed extra time to get through security.

I kept my shoes on and my ankle brace on and the security did a pat down and a chemical swipe of my shoes.

It was rather funny, but I wasn’t in a hurry and I was glad that they let me keep my shoes on.

I have my ankle wrapped pretty well and my plain Jane sensible walking shoes on.

I do hope that I will be able to do the museums and to be able to get to some spots that I want to.

Fuck.

At this moment I have completely changed my thoughts and plans regarding my flight, I am sitting in the boarding area next to a very loud woman who is reciting a great deal of evangelical text at great volume.

Listen lady.

It’s too late to save me.

I’ve already saved myself.

Take your proselytizing and go elsewhere.

PS.

I can’t hear you anymore now that I put on my oversized Head Candy noise cancelling headphones.

All I can here is the playlist my French friend put together for me.

“Pour Carmen.”

Merci bein mon amie, je t’aime trop la musique.

I also have been doing the internet fall into a hole looking at all the fun stuff that is happening in Paris this upcoming weekend and week.

I almost got into to the pop up sauna that is at the Moulin Rouge, but it was fully booked.

Oh well.

There are plenty of things to do.

I have been popping around the Time Out Paris magazine.

It’s fun to pursue all the things.

I don’t actually have any agenda anymore.

I can’t do Paris the way that I have done in previous years, at a full tilt boogie.

Nope.

I will be going slow.

I will be soaking in the City of Lights.

I shall be walking slow.

Moving slow.

Seeing it all.

Taking it in.

I’ll still go to plenty of museums, how can I not, but I will be pretty strategic about it, I don’t think I will do the Louvre, I mean, I may, but only a few certain parts, I will have to pick maybe one wing and then one floor instead of trying to do two of the wings, it’s just miles of walking and I don’t have miles of walking in me.

I figure I will find my spot and sit and stare at some art and get my fill.

Fuck.

I don’t know what I am going to do.

I am just going.

I mean I really do have to toss out all the ideas I had about what I would be up to.

I have to scale way back.

But.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing for me.

A little restraint.

That can be a good thing.

I know I will have an amazing time and I know I will have adventures.

I will meet people, I will see old friends.

In fact, I have a date to go to Rue Madame with a friend on Sunday and catch up with him and some fellows and then off to stroll, hobble, around Les Jardins de Luxembourg.

That’s the Luxembourg Gardens, if you didn’t figure that out.

I will definitely be sitting still more than I have in the past and I am thinking I may use the buses a lot more than when I lived there, the stairs up and down the Metro are going to be hard.

I can’t dash.

So, maybe staying street level most the time.

And going places where I can really get a lot of bang for my buck, like the city center, the Marais, etc.

Ah.

It’s all good.

I’m ok.

I get to go, my ankle wasn’t so badly sprained that I can’t get out of bed.

I mean, had it been as severe as the one I sustained three years ago I would have been fucked.

I probably would have cancelled the trip.

So.

I am grateful, super grateful, for that and I will not bitch or complain.

I shall take the experience as it has been given to me with a great big smile and a very sincere Merci bien.

Trop merci.

Merci beaucoup.

Ooh.

The flight crew is coming in.

Got to jet.

Er.

Hobble off.

Into the sunset.

See you in Paris!

Trop bisoux pour toi.

xxxxxx


%d bloggers like this: