I thought we’d start boarding at 11:35, like it said on the boarding pass. But we started after midnight. Everyone was tired already.
As I boarded the plane, I realized I had forgotten to check where in the cabin my seat was. Hmmm, 34G … uh oh, that’s near the back. I wasn’t looking forward to the engine noise for a long trans-Atlantic flight. I had missed something about international flights however: sleeping on not-quite-full flights works best if you’re in the back.
Turns out, I was in the aisle, and our flight was about 20 people shy of being full. The team got to spread out, and I got a full three seats in the middle row where I could lay down and relax. But I wasn’t tired yet. One of our teammates was in the seat in front of me – another tall guy, so I wasn’t sure if he’d be reclining far or not, but there was empty aisle behind me, so I wasn’t worried. I looked at the in-flight entertainment.
Holy Movies Batman. Over a hundred movies, and that was just the new releases. I shut it off quickly, not wanting to get engrossed in something, and unable to sleep later. Things quickly improved.
The food cart came around. I like food. All kinds of food. This includes airline food. They gave me a full tray. I was wondering if they charged it to my seat number or something. It’s free. Oh my. Free food? This is awesome. This would later come back in the middle of the night to rock some more, when another guy and I scored two free “breakfast” sandwiches – each. But for now, he was up making friends with foreigners on the same flight.
After I finished my meal, I procured two airline blankets, two airline pillows, one of those little kits they give you (earplugs for the win), and discovered that the little eye-covering devices actually work quite well. I did take one melatonin, just in case, but either that or the tiredness or the food or … well some combination of everything had me sleeping well.
I woke up a few times, got those sandwiches I mentioned earlier (Tomato, Mozarella, and something green), which were delicious. I completely neglected the book I’d brought – note to self: bring only soft-cover books or a kindle next time – and slept most of the way there.
The lights came on gently, and announcements were made, but most of the passengers woke up on their own. No jarring flight attendants to shake you awake and make sure that your seat belt is fastened. A smooth landing, and then …
Woah, I’m in Turkey.