Thoughts From Two Airports

Heathrow

I am currently sitting in a restaurant outside of Arrivals at Heathrow airport. My sister left about thirty minutes ago; she had to go home and take care of the baby so her husband could go to work. Since then, I have been sitting here, feeling tired and slowly sipping the apple juice I bought, knowing that I need to have something in my stomach. I’ve had nausea and stomach pains on and off for the past two days, and right now I’m having a hard time parsing what is nausea and what is simply the effect of my having gone so long without eating that it’s making me feel ill. Either way, it isn’t terribly pleasant, especially since I do tend to get nauseous before big things happen. Flying in general isn’t a big thing, but flying to Vienna—where I will live, study, and try to find a job—is a very big thing. Huge. And I would like to think that it is the hugeness of it that has propelled me to the depths of gurgle-gutted misery, rather than something I ate, or a case of food poisoning. Although with food poisoning, I could at least take something. There would be a cure. Take two Zofran, drink some water, get plenty of rest. I could get a handle on it. Of course, my health insurance doesn’t kick in until the start of orientation, and even then I would have to find an English-speaking doctor (because I have no desire to start testing my German with an explanation of just why I feel like I want to throw up), and still navigate my flight, and getting to the flat where I’ll be staying for this week, and lugging my suitcases up four flights of stairs, and if none of that has made me puke, then I’m probably screwed anyway. Sometimes I wonder if that would fix everything: a quick boot and rally, as we called it in college. Just throw up already and move on. Pull the trigger. But I’m not sure it would work, and even if I were, I’m not really the type. I much prefer lying on the couch like a socialite out of a nineteenth-century novel, taking small sips of water and hoping it will pass. Sticking two fingers down your own throat in the hope that it will make the queasy feeling go away seems rather dire. So here I am, taking small sips of apple juice, trying to relax and studiously ignoring everyone, because I don’t feel like talking to anyone, at least not now.

Thoughts, Upon Arriving in Vienna

This place looks a lot nicer since the last time I was here. Did they do a remodel?

…And of course that woman at the Heathrow bureau de change didn’t give me any Euro coins. I only need to get a trolley for my nearly 100 pounds of luggage.

Dude, get out of my way. Seriously, I will not-even-accidentally whack you in the shins with my heavy luggage.

Seriously, you’re trying to hit on me? No. Not a chance am I getting in your taxi. And ease up on the hair gel.

Welp, four hours until my host can let me in to the flat. What to do?

I could go to Bratislava and do some sightseeing. I feel like you could see all of Bratislava in two hours.

This place has free wi-fi! Thank you, God and baby Jesus.

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