I managed to stay up all the way until just before boarding the plane, when I passed out in the seats. Luckily one of the attendants after noticing I didn’t move when people were boarding shook me awake and asked if I was going to Chicago. It took me a minute to realize what he was saying but then my mind cleared enough to say yes, and get on the plane. If it weren’t for the internet and meeting this girl from Hong Kong named Angel who was waiting even longer than I was for a flight to Dubai on her way home, I doubt I would have stayed awake, and I would hate to have missed my flight because I fell asleep waiting haha.
The security is really tight at Istanbul International. To just get to the terminal you have to go through security. Checking in bags takes a lot more checks and questions. Once you’re ready to head to you’re gate you need to go through more security, there seemed to be 1 security person for every 5 people boarding the plane. I got checked with a medal detector and then search by hand. My luggage got a similar treatment, first being scanned by xray, then each compartment checked by hand, and I was even asked to turn on my electronic devices I suppose to prove that they were what they looked like and not dummy components. I appreciate it, especially flying out of a country that shares boarders with Iraq and Iran, but I had a chuckle to myself about whats next? Checking women with breast implants because they could be possible bombs?
Once I got on the plane I immediately fell asleep, only to be woken up by the stewards bringing me food or drinks. One time I don’t even remember getting a bottle of water, I just woke up with one in my hand haha. The service on Turkish Airlines is really quite good. The seats still are as bad as any other economy class seat, and my knees press hard into the seat in front of me, but we were served decent food, snacks, given bottled water, and a little bag with a comb, tooth brush, socks, and those eye cover things for sleeping.
I met a nice mother of two from Chicago who was traveling on a pilgrimage to Mecca, and was now on her way home. We talked on an off.
Landing in Istanbul, I had 1 hour and 20 minutes to make my connecting flight. We were delayed at the gate, and then I had to go through customs and immigration and what not, collect my bags, and head to the next one. Apparently I forgot my jacket on the airplane here… it wasn’t really a jacket either, it was the soft shell from my snow jacket… which is horrible to lose because now the snow jacket is pretty much useless… I didn’t notice until I was on my next plane to LA later though…
As it would turn out the flights that I were given we too close together to be made, and my luggage was slow to get off the plane, so I ended up having to rebook to an hour later… I wanted to get home and sleep already, but things like this happen, so I just rolled with it. It actually bothers me much worse that the watch I have cracked along the face..
The next flight I was seated next to a business consultant, and I couldn’t help but remember a few Dilbert comics. He was nice enough to buy me a beer, but he talked on and on and on. It just reaffirms that I have “beer me” written all over my face haha.
Getting off the plane everything went as normal, I got my luggage, and as I was walking out the door my mother pulled up in the car, perfect timing.
I’m now home in Riverside a day later recovering from the 43 hours of travel it took to get from the Naxos dock to LAX, and the only sleep I got was on the flight from Istanbul.