Arrived-ish

Hated to leave the little guy behind, but it is certain he would not fit underneath the seat in front of me.

Hated to leave the little guy behind, but it is certain he would not fit underneath the seat in front of me.

Currently enjoying/tolerating my layover at Athens airport before taking off for Crete. I have seen all of the duty-free sights including, but not limited to cartons of tobacco cigarettes, a fine selection of vodka, whisky and ouzo as well as all of God's Toblerone. Also cosmetics. Why are there always cosmetics? 

The flight was mostly uneventful. The couple sitting next to me was disappointed in their specialty/vegetarian meal. Not only was it not enough food, but the woman's cookies were lost somewhere along the way. "No cookies! And can I have a salad?" I held back many comments which included, "Have you flown before? You can't just order a salad." Additionally, "Listen, lady. Ain't nobody pleased with the food here." Sweet vindication was mine when she threw up through the duration of descent.

There was a baby sitting in front of me. But he was a pure delight. Hardly cried. What a trooper.

There was a baby behind me also. In the form of a 60-something year old Greek man. He spent the first hour of the flight tapping the touch-screen monitor located on the back of my headrest. I punched him and he knocked it off. 

So now I wait. My flight boards in an hour and a half and, would you believe it? There are no bars open in this airport yet. Believe me, I checked. 

Oh! What luck! As if from the Greek heavens above, a bartender just appeared out of nowhere! I shall befriend him soon as I expect his shift doesn't begin til noon. (I know, can you believe I have to wait until noon? What kind of country is this?) I think I'll open the conversation telling of my sincere adoration for Donald Trump.

Some girl just said something in Greek to me indicating she would like to use the stool next to me. Yes, I fit right in with the locals already, with my everything-blatantly-and-painfully-American. I look like I'm going camping. Rolled up track pants, tank top, men's sneakers. Not to mention my neon green water bottle and burnt orange North Face backpack. Yes, this screams, "I'm a local! Ask me for stools in your native tongue."

Where did that bartender go? Was he just checking things out?

Oh. My ankles are swollen to the size of hefty eggplants. I did my best to wander about on the flight and popped a bunch of ibuprofen along the way to keep the blood flowing, but I fear I have obtained cankles for the duration of the near future.

I am, as of yet, unsure what the hell my phone is trying to do.

I believe I have mistook said bartender for a common Greek sandwich maker.

I haven't been out of the country in so long, I didn't remember what the protocol was for leaving the country. Meaning, they just let everyone on the plane without checking for passports.  As if to say, good luck, suckers, hope someone else will take you in. Maybe everyone works this way. It just seems so relaxed. Like there should be a nagging mother waiting at each gate shouting, "Billy! Did you remember to grab your passport off the entry table before you left?!"

There was a bit of a scare in Newark after I boarded the connecting flight. Everyone was notified not two minutes prior to our scheduled departure that the flight would now be delayed for two hours due to "flight preparation." I'm not sure what that means, but within four minutes, we were back to leaving nearly on time. Salad Woman turned to me and said, "That was scary." Again, comments held.

It's a good thing that the flight was not delayed as I've had time to sit quietly pining for my first Greek vacation libation (vacation libation!) and write out this lengthy and uninteresting story of what it's like to be "on a plane" and obtain cankles.

A word on blood clots

I had two blood clots in 2015. One in my left leg. Then another about four months later in my right arm. Thus far, 2016 has brought me no new blood clots. Knock on wood, fingers crossed and all that shit. 

I have a layover in Newark on my way to Athens. The second leg is nearly a 10 hour flight. I'm somewhat nervous about the possibility of obtaining yet another clot. The doctors can't really explain why I had two. The first one was likely explained away by the hormonal birth control I was on. But the second one? They said, "Since you've already had one, you're likely susceptible to more." Which isn't the best news, but at least they couldn't find anything seriously wrong with me.

So I'll be doing what the flight attendants have been saying for years. Get up frequently, do weird seat exercises. And I'll be taking some ibuprofen in an effort to keep that good old blood flowing.

The only saving grace of all of this is that I now know and can identify what it feels like to have a blood clot in one of my extremities. 

This all sounded very severe.