The beginning of my trip is quite adventurous already. As I proceed to my seat in the limbo section between heavenly first class and hellish the rest of the plane, I examine my closest neighbors. A cute old lady whose English vocabulary consists of two words, Arabic and Egypt, and an angry Indian boy who managed to get two extra seats for free (American Airlines messed up his flights, shaving a day of his vacation). Just as I settle in, a family on the left decides to send their broken ankle son to a little oasis of my own 2 empty seats. So much for hoping to get some sleep.
Delay at the gate. Something about a door not matching the standards or maybe an issue with the fuel… The more I look around the more I wonder about the age of the plane.
Take-off, at last. One of the oxygen masks falls out. Noise on the back. I tell the Indian that I will blame him if we die – he is bringing bad luck. We produce a laughter with a hint of neurosis.
Unable to hide the masks and close the lid, flight attendants simply band-aid it to the panel with a clear tape.
Dinner time. Passengers in limbo leave their technological inventions of Stevie or Billy and start chewing. Strange noise on the back. Relax, peoples. It is only a girl stuck in the bathroom because a food cart abandoned by a flight attendant is blocking the door.
I have no complains – this “Friday night live” is a great substitution for the “Boy with a little dragon” movie offered by the high-on-altitude American Airlines. Mind you – the only movie available at this point. What happened to the good old days when flying was a pleasure even in the limbo section?
I desperately need a drink and some sleep so that I can arrive fresh and stunning. Yet I think that screaming baby in the first row wont let my dream come true.
Little did I know that it was only the beginning of my troubles as if travel gods were punishing me.
The rented apartment so charmingly advertised by the New York Times turned out to be a total disaster as it lacked A/C. Crazy hot summer days were driving me crazy together with the landlord who attempted to convince me that A/C is not a part of the Istanbul’s traditions. All I wanted to do was to cry and hope for the magic.
My friend suggested a cozy boutique hotel Uyan in the heart of Sultanahmet. The lack of cold air destroyed my opposition to hotels and I moved. The apartment situation in Istanbul took me by surprise because even the rented flat in Rio de Janeiro was great. I assumed that Turkey was not an exception from the rest of the world’s short-term rentals. I was wrong.