I felt like I was a contestant on the Amazing Race. The task was to get checked into an international flight with two dogs. First I had to find the right line to wait in. Then a little man kept making me fix things (2 bowls in each crate, screws are facing the wrong direction take them all out (they needed to go up, not down!! Really?!? Who knew?!?!)). Fill out this form. Yes, it’s the same information as the form you already filled out but we want it on this form instead. Take the dogs out; put the dogs back (Cheyenne was already a little loopy from the medication and was having trouble standing, poor thing). All while watching the minutes tick away until it was time for the flight to board and I was still at the check-in counter. If it weren’t for Nancy and Eman and Lisa I would still be there, curled in the fetal position rocking like Rain Man!
Once I managed to get checked in (leaving Nancy, Eman and Lisa to finish getting the dogs situated with the little man) I did a National-Lampoon-like mad dash through the airport. Of course, the security line was long and, of course, I ended up in the line with the stroller that’s so big it has to be taken apart to fit through the machine and, of course, they held up everyone while they took it apart. I continued my mad dash with my britches falling down because I didn’t want to take time to put my belt back on. I got to the gate right at departure time.
The gate attendant looked up at me and said (in a very pissed-off tone), “ You’re late!”
“I know!” I replied.
“And, you have kennels.” She barked.
“I KNOW!” was all I could manage.
“Get on the plane. Seat 29E.” She practically spit at me. “You’re Reath, right?” She finally remembered to ask (she didn’t bother checking ID).
The flight attendants were visibly annoyed as well as I looked for room in the overhead bin for my carry-on of dog food, bowls, leashes, etc. Seat 29E was the middle seat in the middle section. I had to pee before we got to the airport. By the time I got on the plane I REALLY had to pee. It would be another hour before I would get to do so. I was very grateful for my tro-tro-travel toughened bladder!
Upon arrival in Brussels I had to wrangle 3 luggage carts (one for luggage and 2 for dog crates). Thankfully, someone took pity on me and helped. None of the paperwork I spent an entire day and $122 to get was ever requested by anyone, anywhere. The dogs made it just fine and seem to be suffering no lingering effects of stress or drugs. They’re sleeping next to each other on the floor right now.
Two folks from the Belgium office picked us up and drove us to my new duty station. We dropped off the dogs and luggage at the hotel and they took me to the Garrison to check in. There was a whirlwind of information and several hours later they departed leaving me with the keys to a gov’t car and a GPS. I have to drive myself to work tomorrow. YIKES!! I have no idea how to drive here. That will be interesting.
I’ll try to post about the area soon; once I’ve actually seen it. My hotel is attached to the world’s largest indoor ski slope. Someone told me you get to ski for free when you stay here. I might just have to give it a try.
Tot ziens vor nu.