I Didn’t Survive the Plane So I Could Die in a Taxi

posted on: July 29, 2015

The taxi driver was in a horrible mood.

At the gas station, he honked his horn as though he was aiming for a new high score. He leaned out the window like a rabid dog and screamed at the car in front of us.

“Just calm down, son,” Grannie advised.

I almost laughed; the day this man calmed down would be the day we achieved world peace, solved world hunger, and Michael Jackson rose from the grave singing “Thriller”.

“It’s impossible to stay calm when everyone in this country has become an asshole,” the driver responded as he peeled out of the station and into oncoming traffic. We nearly collided head on with another car, on account of he was driving in the wrong freaking lane. “Isn’t he an asshole?!” the cabbie screeched.

“Absolutely,” my grandmother nodded solemnly in the passenger’s seat.

Meanwhile, I patted down the back seat for a seatbelt more thoroughly than a TSA agent before an American bound flight.

There. Were. No. Seatbelts.

As a Madison High School graduate, this went against every fiber of my being. We were taught to “Buckle Up, Bulldogs!” because the chances of dying in a car crash was 130% if you didn’t wear your seatbelt. There was even an entire sticker-and-sign-wielding club dedicated to getting the school to buckle their seatbelts.

Factor in the fact that this was Alexandria, Egypt and not sleepy South Dakota, and my current mortality rate was approximately 3000%. (People drive like cracked out chimpanzees in Egypt.) At this point, there were a few different options of how this cabbie would be the death of me:

  1. He crashes the car into a terribly mangled mess.
  2. The taxi driver would pick a fight, which would turn into a street brawl where he would be shanked and we would be collateral damage.
  3. In a fit of rage, the cabbie would murder us himself by tying us to the nearest railroad, cartoon-style, and running us over repeatedly.
  4. All of the above.

I didn’t survive turbulence on every single plane on the way here (there were three) so I could die in a taxi with no seatbelts. Really, I would like my death to make some sort of headlines, and a smashed taxi just isn’t going to do it. Unless circus animals and escaped convicts are involved.

When the taxi finally screeched to a halt by my grandparents’ apartment building, I all but leapt out, sank to my knees, and kissed the ground. Except I didn’t, because I’m pretty positive a clinically insane homeless man had peed on that very spot the day before.

The driver was right about one thing though: the world is full of assholes. He just didn’t realize he was Numero Uno.

The God of Airlines Has a Twisted Sense of Humor

posted on: July 14, 2015

In a rare instance of not being sandwiched between two family members, I prayed to the God of airline seats. May the empty seat next to me remain empty or be occupied by a sexy man on this eight-hour flight. Amen, I thought. Frankly, I was rooting for an empty seat because hellllloooooo extra space.

Plus, this was an eight-hour flight. Chances were that my mouth would flop open as I slept, and Theoretically Sexy Man would get a never-ending whiff of Airplane Morning Breath. AMB, for those not familiar, is a rancid mixture of airline entrée, cheese, peanuts, and unbrushed teeth. Something about the altitude and stale cabin air makes it so much worse than regular morning breath; it’s also why there’s no way on God’s green Earth that a couple will meet on a plane—unless one or both of them are legally olfactory blind. There was also the possibility that I’d fall asleep on my neighbor and drool on him. It has happened in the past.

Not five minutes after my little prayer, a frazzled mother and baby duo sat next to me. Hilarious, I thought with Chandler Bing-level sarcasm, absolutely hilarious. Then, baby Klaus gurgled and handed me his new toy, a sleep mask, as a sign of peace.

I am no stranger to babies, who, while adorable, will send you to the nearest apocalypse bunker for cover when they start crying. As a children’s hospital volunteer, I once babysat a three-month old who carried an impressive amount of hatred in his tiny baby body. There was also Cheerful, Slobbering Saint Bernard Baby (he was human, but I could swear he was related to Beethoven). Oh, and let’s not forget Matchstick Baby; he shared his Cheerios but made me play fetch until I confiscated the ball. If all teenagers babysat tiny humans, I guarantee teen pregnancy rates would crash harder and faster than the stock market in 1929.

In short, while Klaus was the human equivalent of a fluffy yellow chick, I was tempted to fake a medical emergency.

Me: Help! My chest it hurts! I think it’s a heart attack!

Flight Attendant: Miss, you’re a teenager, you can’t be having a heart attack.

Me: I’m 20 thankyouverymuch, and if I die I will sue you from beyond the grave.

Flight Attendant: Alright, we’ll call the paramedics.

Me: Call the sexy one!

Flight Attendant: Excuse me?

Me: There’s always a sexy one! Don’t play coy with me; I’m dying here!

Instead, I stayed seated, clutching a bottle of Tylenol like a talisman to ward off evil spirits. Well, in this case, wailing babies. Thankfully, aside from some pre-bedtime crankiness and tiny karate kicks to my thigh, Klaus was an extremely well behaved baby.

I kept the sleeping mask though. Don’t give me that look. He insisted.

Amsterdam Travel Diary

posted on: July 13, 2015

Amsterdam-10 Amsterdam-1 Amsterdam-2 Amsterdam-4 Amsterdam-3 Amsterdam-7 Amsterdam-6 Amsterdam-8 Amsterdam-9 Amsterdam-11 Amsterdam-14 Amsterdam-5 Amsterdam-12 Amsterdam-13 Amsterdam-15 Amsterdam-16 Amsterdam-17 Amsterdam-18 Amsterdam-19

I had a wonderful time strolling around Amsterdam during the nine hour flight layover. We opted out of the canal tour, since we’ve been on one a few years back. Instead, we hopped on the first train out of Schipol Airport and spent our day roaming the streets. The city is so pretty, and the people are really friendly. We fueled up on shawarma and ice cream after our day out and about. Although what I really wanted was a giant cone full of fries, which they have.

So if you ever get the chance, haul your tush to Amsterdam because it’s so worth it.

If only for those fries in a cone.

Final Count

Pot stores: 5

Crocheted bikini tops: 2

People eating fries in a cone: 16

Cheese wheels in windows: 54

Mohawked biker with rat tail braids (yes, plural): 1

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