Monday, November 26, 2012

Airplane hell in Amman

This is probably not the way to end an awesome trip to Jordan, but this was officially the Worst Flight Ever. It beat my three day ordeal in Paris when Charles de Gaulle airport shut down and I had to sleep on the marble floor like a bum, because I never actually made it on that flight. My Lufthansa flight was to leave from Amman to Frankfurt, where I would connect to Chicago, and then to LA. I got here around 12:30am when Taline dropped me off and we said goodbye, I offered to leave behind my prepaid sim card with her but she very wisely said, "keep it, what if you need to call me?" and I said, "my flight is on time, there's nothing to worry about! " WRONG! I kept the card and you'll see what happens next. Lesson: if you pay 8 dinars for a cheap prepaid sim card, for goodness sake bring it with you to the airport for emergencies. That's what it's for. More on sim cards later.

It turned out this is the flight from hell. We ended up sitting on the runway for SIX HOURS, with no food or water.

First, there is a baby on board about three rows behind me, and it happens that its unusually loud. Like really, usually when there's a baby crying I put on my trusty Shure in-ear headphones and zone out. Dude, this kid has got some LUNGS. Its cry got past my professional grade headphones AND he managed to cry NONSTOP for TWO AND A HALF HOURS. That's right people, there is a crying baby keeping everyone up on a confined plane from 2:30-6am. Lesson: if you're traveling for any amount of time, bring noise canceling headphones, or at least earplugs. And please don't bring your kid on a redeye.

Next, apparently a fog rolled into Amman that's keeping the aircraft from leaving, and will only lift if there is a. wind or b. sun as there is no visibility. Its kind of like an effed up modern plane version of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, set in the Middle East. On top of that, airplane crews are only contracted to work 10 hour shifts and after a certain amount of delay, it becomes an issue of replacing the crew as we are all trapped on the plane. So now, its unlikely for fog to clear in the middle of the night, but we can't even fly to Frankfurt anyway because of the time and distance.

On an unrelated note, I went up to the front of the plane to use the lavatory and there were several people talking with the pilot and head flight attendant by the jet bridge, and while I can't figure out why every flight attendant on this flight was a giant blond male ( I mean usually there is at least one woman!), the co-pilot up in the cockpit is one of the better looking men I've seen around lately, too bad it was 7am and I spent most of the night trying to sleep in an airplane chair, not exactly at my best here ;) just kidding :)

They dumped us back into the airport and we stand in line at the transfer counter for two hours until they rebook us onto the next days redeye, then cart a bunch of us over to the airport hotel. I've missed my connections by now and will have to take an extra day off work. At least i get to take a shower and a bit of a rest before trying this again. Lesson: you can't stop mother nature from screwing up an elaborate multi-leg flight. If you are a light packer like me, always carry on so your bag doesn't disappear when you need it. or at least carry on your toiletries and a change of clothes, you never know.

So first a nap, and then if I'm lucky my laptop will actually pick up the wifi and can actually post a blog of experiences in Jordan!

Sunday, November 25, 2012


Dear all,

After many years of abandoning my old blog on Xanga (remember Xanga, people?? Time flies), my friend Taline has convinced me to start a new blog of my travels around the world.
We are currently in Amman, Jordan, where she is working and we had an awesome time hanging out, traveling around Jordan and eating lots of food! We both have lots of pictures from this week, but unfortunately, some things don't change and I have the same ridiculous effect on technology as usual. We're sitting in Taline's apartment, and my flight back home leaves in 8 hours, and Taline is like, "start your blog dammit!".  I have no fewer than 6 technology products - phones, USB drives, cameras, laptops, kindle and an iPad - and I can't get my pictures from one to another. So  the post about Jordan and the sights and food and all will have to wait until I get back to the States and can properly upload everything.

A little about me - I am not a backpacker or a broke college student, a resort destinationer, or a family traveler, but I travel in a way that is a little of all rolled into one. I am a business consultant has traveled twice a week, every week, for pretty much the last 6-7 years. I stay in nice hotels, eat pretty good food, and drive a rental car when on the job. I love reading books and blow through them at a ridiculous speed.  On the weekends, I take trips to random places, which means I'm actually home about two weekends a month. Then, I usually take advantage of my vacation time to either explore a new place solo, or hang out with friends and have a good adventure, and these trips tend to be the polar opposite of my working travel - cheap hostels, street food eating, and encountering really interesting people who don't generally cross my path in the business hotels.  I live out of a carry on suitcase and refresh it twice a month, and at any given time it will be packed on one side with: a professional suit, pumps, and a Lenovo Thinkpad, and on the other side: a bikini, flip flops, and a digital camera :) What the consistent undercurrent of everything I do is really simple - I love to travel and I'm not picky about how I do it.

This blog will hopefully have stories of my travels, as well as tips for both business travel and backpacking, traveling as a female, and traveling solo, with a healthy dose of personal observations and opinions and random posts of what book I'm reading and this or that, which is why we are calling me a professional nomad :)  

Next post when I get my :$(-/@& computer up with my pictures - recap of Jordan!