Two Weeks of Suck, Part 4: how i finally went catatonic

Part of the Two Weeks of Suck series, in which b recounts her spring break.

8. Friday. I find out through an e-mail that my Parisian host mother won’t be home when I get to her place. (Actually, I should’ve known this a long time ago, but it took me a while to decipher her French.) I finally call my mom to see if there’s any way I could reschedule my flight to Sunday.

And she freaks out on me! I don’t fucking know what to do. Since my flight is non-refundable, the fee to reschedule is like $600 altogether. A hotel near the airport is $125, so my mom doesn’t really give a shit whether I want to spend an extra day with my boyfriend, she’s booking the hotel.

9. Saturday. I’m at Heathrow Airport in line for my Air France flight. The first time around, I have to repack because the guy tells me that one of my suitcases is over 20 kilos.

The second time around, I’m told that the maximum limit altogether is 20 kilos.

I didn’t know this at the time, but that’s sort of a European standard. About 44 pounds or a medium-sized suitcase’s worth. We Americans are apparently spoiled rotten. I’m 18 kilos over, so the woman at the counter tells me (in heavily accented English) that it’s 8.40 GBP per kilo over the limit, or there’s a post nearby so I can mail the thing. When boyfriend asks if there’s any way to get it on the plane, she tells us that she is not a post office. She even rewrites the number “8.40” on my ticket, very slowly. She’s kind of a bitch.

No, make that a HUGE bitch. I wouldn’t have slammed my passport down on the counter so hard that it flung into her face if she hadn’t been a huge bitch. I wouldn’t have hopped on the conveyor belt and yanked my suitcase right off it if she hadn’t been a huge bitch.

Boyfriend tried creatively repacking so I could get everything on board in time (by this time I had about five minutes before the plane left), which involved me wearing about six layers of clothing, running through the airport with them on, and trying to convince airport security to let me have my second suitcase as a carry-on. It didn’t work because you can only have two pieces of luggage in Europe: your check-in and your carry-on. Keep this in mind.

All hope lost, we ran back to the check-in counter. I don’t know what my boyfriend was trying to pull at that point, but I’d just sprinted through the airport and back in six layers of clothing and hadn’t eaten all day. I was seeing stars, and not in a good way. Someone handed me a cup of water and I half coughed, half vomited it back up.

After that, I don’t remember much of what happened. Boyfriend was pretty much my proxy for everything, because I could barely think about anything but, “Holy fucking shit, my mom is gonna kill me”.

In the end, I missed my flight, and the hotel reservation my mom had made couldn’t be canceled, so mom ended up having to pay for both, plus the Eurostar that I ended up taking the next day. In a stressful and sort of roundabout way, I got what I wanted: another day with boyfriend and NOT a flight with Air France.

By the way, if you ever take the Eurostar, at least try to go for Leisure Select (especially if you’re under 26, so you qualify for a Youth fare). For just ten or so more bucks you get more comfy seating and a small meal, complete with dessert and a selection of apéritifs (which BTW should not be eaten with your meal outside the home).

The Two Weeks of Suck have been over for some time (about one week exactly), so I’ve been able to reflect a lot on everything that went wrong– and a few more things went wrong than the nine presented here, but they were more dorm-related and not very useful for me to recount here.

Anyway, at the time, each brick wall I ran into was enough to hurtle me into another whirlwind of stress. I really owe it to my boyfriend for calming me down and being a source of comfort through it all. I have absolutely no idea what I’m gonna do without him.


1 Response to “Two Weeks of Suck, Part 4: how i finally went catatonic”

  1. 1 sending heavy things to various places « transitory residence Trackback on October 13, 2007 at 6:04 pm

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This is a blog of things place-related, by a cash-strapped Stanford grad who's lived in various places and writes about life. She's currently looking for a job in Manhattan or the Bay Area.

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