Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Crossing of the Atlantic - Part II

There was I in the Departures waiting lounge, doing exactly that... waiting, so I decided to open my book and start reading, it was Justine, by Sade. I read a few chapters when a man approached me, he was dressed in a white t-shirt with denim jeans and sandals, he had a cell phone without battery in his hand and a charger in the other, he had only his wallet and his travelling ticket, he had a worried look on his face mixed with a bit of shame. I acted as if I did not know he was going to talk to me and waited for him to make the first move. He took the seat next to me and for a few seconds he sat there in silence looking at his cell phone.

I knew he was going to talk to me and I had no desire to talk to him, he was going to ask me to help him somehow, most probably, some money. I stood up and as I was grabbing my shoulder bag he looked me in the eyes and said "Hello, how are you doing?". I was now obligated to answer so I simply replied with "Good, thank you" trying not to provoke further conversation, but he insisted to carry on with the awkward conversation and asked me if I knew where he could charge his phone, I pointed to a column full of electric socketsand he suddenly started telling me about his situation.

He claimed to be in Cancun on business, and that yesterday has been his last day of work there so he decided to go out and drink, the next day he woke up in his hotel room with nothing but his cell phone and his wallet which had nothing but his ID. He said he did not remember what happened last night and he called his company to see if they could facilitate a plane ticket because he lost his flight the previous night. The company did but he was in serious problems, he had no money and was hungry. He was going to ask me for money to get some food.

I could tell he was not lying about the drinking part, he had a hangover, he clearly had headaches and bright lights caused him more disconfort. While he was taking I put my theory to the test, I took my iPhone and used the screen to reflect some sunlight towards his eyes, when the beam hit his eyes, even through glasses he took a pause from his tale to rub the corner of his eyes.

About the other part of the story, he did not have any money or credit cards in his wallet and he had no carry on luggage. His disgusting smell told me he did not take a bath and he was wearing last night's outfit, but when he showed me his airplane ticket I saw he documented luggage, contrary to what he told me. His story was full of lies but also had some semi truths, luckily for me my flight was announced and I told him I could not help him and then left to my boarding gate.

Inside the next room, just before the boarding walkway there was a military checkpoint asking routine questions, they inspected my carry on luggage, pockets and wallets. after I got through the checkpoint I boarded the plane, a Boeing 767-300ER, I located my seat and got ready for flight.

Next to me there was a mexican couple visiting their daughter and granddaughter in Brussels, the flight was 12 hours long, most of which I spent sleeping, I woke up once when the flight attendants started serving dinner which consisted on spaghetti with meatballs, a lager beer named Jupiler and strawberry jelly.

I looked out the window and I could see the sun going down on my left side and pitch dark on the right side, from this I deduced I was heading north, which was obvious since ICAO forbids any airplane to fly farther than 2 hours from any airport, then I went back to sleep.

Photo courtesy of ©Anthony Jackson

The next time I woke up there was sunlight once again, I stood up to go to the bathroom and I looked out of the right rear door's window and I saw the sun coming up, then I went to the left side and I saw the twilight at the horizon and below I could only see the Atlantic ocean, as far as my eyes could see.

The third time I woke up I went to the rear of the airplane and I could finally see land, I was finally flying over european airspace, I calculated that I was flying over the United Kingdom.

One hour later the captain asked the crew and passengers to take a seat, put the tables and seats to upright position and fasten our seatbelts in order to start the final approach on Brussels Zaventem International Airport.

We landed and unboarded the airplane, I proceeded directly to the baggage claim area, my back pack was the 5th luggage to be delivered, I picked it up and proceeded to the inmigration offices where the officer asked me for my passport and without any questions stamped it with a permit to be in europe for 90 days, I crossed customs and I was officialy in Europe.



  1. WOOOW!!lo he leído varias veces!!! me impresiona tu narrativa, tu forma de observar cada detalle, ya quiero leer la siguiente parte!!

    1. Muchas gracias por tu comentario, espero poder publicar pronto la siguiente parte. Me alegra que te haya gustado.


  2. I want more right now!! jajajaja