Thought I would start up with my Egypt Travelogue, I’ll go back to the Scandi and Russia Travelogue at a later date.
Pre-Tour (March 8, 2007): Today I fly from New York to Cairo, via Milan, on Alitalia.
I was up at 7:20 this morning because my house was too hot to sleep in, it worked out ok since I didn’t want to sleep too late today and then not be able to sleep on the plane. I spent my morning doing some last minute things and reading part of a travelogue about Egypt. The travelogue wasn’t the most positive (while the writer loved Egypt there were some issues along the way), adding to the anxiety that had slowly been rising in the past few days. Mostly I was worried about the water being gross, Egypt being really dirty, the people in the markets driving me nuts and not getting picked up at the airport. Even though I had been to Europe alone before, this was going to be the most culturally different place I had been to and I could already feel myself resisting it.
I went to lunch with my Mom, my sister Heidi and my nephew Alex. All week my Mom was telling me that a camel would pee on me, not sure where that came from, but it cracked me up. Before Heidi took me to the airport my Mom had some words of wisdom for me, “don’t eat, drink, or breath anything.”
I got to the airport at 3:15 and easily checked in and got through security. I was flying Alitalia and was a little worried about what to expect, I had read a lot of mixed reviews about them. When boarding started the line quickly got really long and I was at the back of the plane. They were only boarding rows 30-45, yet there were people from all rows on line. The airlines should either give up on the boarding from the back, or actually enforce it. I called a few days earlier to confirm my flight and I got my seat assignment, I had a window seat at the back. What I didn’t realize was that it was the second to last row. What I also didn’t know was that the seat would have a box for the entertainment system. I quickly grabbed the things I thought I would need for the flight and the people next to me put my backpack in the overhead compartment.
The people next to me seemed like a nice couple, but they didn’t speak any English. In one of my blond moments of this trip it never occurred to me that on Alitalia they would speak Italian and there would be Italians on the flight, duh! If I had realized it I might have tried to remember a couple words of Italian, like thank you, but I didn’t. The woman I was sitting next to asked me where I was going and had a horrified face when I said Egypt. She seemed relieved when I said Milan to Egypt, but I think she thought I was going to Milan and Egypt. Who cares, I would never see these people again. During the flight they wore there headphones, but never plugged them it, I thought that was really weird.
While we were taxing to take off the flight attendants asked some guy in front of me if he would switch seats with someone who had a middle seat. Apparently they weren’t able to fly in the middle seat, and if they couldn’t switch them then they would have to go back to the airport to drop the person off. Are you kidding me???? I really wanted to turn back and drop them off, but more importantly I wanted to make my connecting flight to Egypt. The guy switched and we were off. But really, who does that? My guess is liars who think that someone will switch out of fear of taking off late.
The flight was ok, I watched The Departed until I fell asleep. For dinner they were serving chicken and fish, but they were out of chicken by the time they got to me. Since I don’t like fish, dinner wasn’t my favorite meal. Actually, the only good thing was the dessert. I guess the rumors about Alitalia are true.