It was a Wednesday morning, early morning. I was frantically packing for a trip
that was to last three months. I had, of course, waited until the last minute to pack and remove all perishables from my home before the early flight out. I hadn’t slept since the night before.
During this journey I was to be accompanied with two friends of mine, brothers in
fact, and one yellow lab. Bare in mind not one of them had flown before and seemed to
be clinging for security, since I was the only one who had flown before, and set this entire trip up from scratch. Therefore, any mishaps and I was getting the brunt of it.
Our flight went smooth other than a few bumps from turbulence, which I assured
my friends were quite normal. We landed in Italy for a flight change and a two-hour
delay. It was 7:30 a.m. in Milan at the time, but to us it was just about the time the bars would close back home. So we continued to drink and wonder if everything would be fine once we landed yet again. All the while desperately needing sleep.
So time went by again as always and suddenly my friends name came over the
intercom. Panicking as to why they would be paging him, we hurried to the gate immediately. So immediate, in fact, that we still had our drinks in our hand. When we reached the gate we found out that the dog would not be able to travel with us on the next flight due to the lack of cabin pressure below.
They then began to tell us that the luggage would have to continue on and someone would have to go ahead as scheduled to pick it up. They also continued to tell us the next available flight would be twelve hours from now, and someone would have to stay with the dog. We came to a decision that I would continue on to pick up the nine bags of luggage, the rent-a-car, check into the hotel, and then return to the airport to meet them later that night. The two brothers would stay and wait out the day with their dog and catch the next available flight out.
I went ahead as scheduled and caught the original flight out of Milan. But during
the four-hour flight to Amsterdam I couldn’t mange to get even a half hour of sleep.
Flying all alone over the Swiss Alps, along with a few countries I’ve never seen or been to, kept me wide awake. I landed safely and got all nine bags of luggage. The rent-a-car on the other hand did not go as planned and I was forced to take a taxi, which in my opinion was a lifesaver. I finally reached the hotel just before noon, Holland time. I got to the hotel and attempted to check in. When I reached the check-in counter I was informed that check-in time wasn’t for another two hours. The clerk had to have seen the dismay in my eyes as well as the black sleepless rings under them. He allowed me to leave the luggage and kindly said he would look after them until I returned for check in.
Now, I could’ve just sat in the lobby for a couple of hours and maybe even got some shut eye, but I decided to find the nearest pub and maybe get something to eat.
I found this little Irish pub around the way and made my way up to the bar. For
some reason lunch turned into a liquid feast and I found myself with a tall pint in front of me. One turned into two and two into four and before I knew it check in time had now come upon me. I paid my tab and made way for the door. I slowly opened the door and stepped outside.
I realize now, after living there for so long, where I exactly went after I walked
out of the hotel to get to this pub. It was just a simple right out of the hotel lobby followed by another right at the end of the canal. In the complete fog I was engulfed in, I just started to walk until I found something, anything. And anything happened to be an Irish pub.
As I was standing outside of the pub I looked around. I looked left and I looked
right. I remember the enormous church across the street from the pub. I remember the cobblestone streets and hundreds of bicycles whizzing around. I remember the
unfamiliar language in the background chirping nearby. But I did not know where I was. I did not know from where I came. I was lost in Amsterdam.