Monday, September 1, 2008



Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Puking Airline Passenger(Somewhere over the Atlantic- Monday, September 1, 2008) The flight out of Germany was terrible. There was a three hour line up just to get tickets so I went unknowingly to the first class line, which was still 45 minutes long. When I took my turn the girl questioned me about being in the wrong line and I told her that the guy over there (imagine me pointing at a nondescript crowd) told me to come here because my flight was leaving in half an hour. She didn't even think of putting me through secondary questioning. Something was going down at the airport and the crowds were getting ready to turn into a complete riot. I have never seen anything like it. Needless to say my flight was delayed for two hours. But on the bright side I was given a coupon to go eat. Yay! I wasn't looking forward to the flight home anyways.

I went through security a little worried that I was going to have to drink the contents of my pilfered mini bar right there on the spot but I caught a break and they didn't question it at all. I guess the mini bottles of booze fall into the 75ml and under category of acceptable liquids. Or... maybe they really don't care. I made my way to the gate so I would know where to go if I started to run late and then I hit the duty free. Now usually at the duty free they take your ticket and have your stuff waiting at the gate for you but not here. Not only did the champagne salesman pour me half a dozen glasses to try (and I did buy a couple bottles in the end) but at the end of the sale they just handed me my loot in a sealed plastic bag. Nice.

I then scoured the airport looking for some Bitter Lemon. For those of you who don't know what bitter lemon is it's a terrible tasting soda that when mixed with gin becomes the greatest hi-ball ever, but you can't buy it in North America. I finally found some and loaded up my day pack with 5 bottles of it. I had to tie the jacket I had packed around my waste to make room. Then I went and used my coupon for free food. What a feast! They actually fed us very well. I had the steak and potatoes and chicken and pasta and ice cream and beer and wine. It made the walk down to the gate a little heavier to say the least.

The plane was delayed another hour so I sat at the beer kiosk by the gate and had a couple of more until boarding began. I had the forethought to use the bathroom prior to getting on the plane. That's experience for you.

I thought the delays on the ground were bad. They were nothing compared to the 6 hours we spent on the tarmac. This was borderline kidnapping. Fortunately the guy next to me was good company and we exchanged stories. He spent the summer with his family at his house in Greece and explained the ins and outs of traveling with two passports. Lucky bastard. After about an hour of waiting I ripped into my plastic bag and pulled out the bottle of gin and my new travel partner and I polished off the bottle over the next four hours. Then I asked the waitress...err...I mean stewardess to bring me glasses of orange juice to rehydrate myself. I'm not sure how much hydrating I did after I mixed it with one of the bottles of champagne and then drank that bottle of champagne too. I'm terrible. A month in Europe has turned me into swine. I'm not even sure if I was drunk at this point. Of course being unsure you're drunk means you are drunk but being drunk you fail miserably at self realization. "I drink therefore I am?"

Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Puking Airline Passenger

I was ecstatic when the plane finally lifted off. My drinking buddy wasn't talking anymore and that in itself was a little worrisome he was being awfully quiet and still. Somewhere over the European continent he began to move and my spidey senses were bang on. He moved so quickly to grab his barf bag that I could barely make out his hands. For the next twenty minutes he had all the barf bags from the two rows of seats around us strapped to his face. My job was to take the full ones and provide him with new ones. The sounds he made were unbelievable. People were looking at me like I was some kind of saint for taking care of this poor stranger. The looks of sympathy were equaled out by the looks of disgust. I could see that some of the people around me were on the borderline of puking themselves. The smell was thick and by walking each bag down to the bathroom I just contaminated the back half of the plane with the odour of regurgitated gin. My fellow passengers were not impressed. Even the flight crew was impressed with my ability to keep it together and handle the situation at ground zero. All I could think was that this guy was getting some kind of ab workout. The wet work was followed by about 10 minutes of dry heaves until he passed out exhausted. His whole family was aboard the plane but they were nowhere to be found now. I was on my own. With the exception of this kid and his father who seemed to be enjoying the gin opera the guy was spewing out.

Motorcycle Adventure Travel | Interested Kid

I was on my own for the rest of the flight. After that show there was no chance I was going to be able to find a new drinking partner. I polished off the champagne and had the girls fetch me a few cocktails for the remainder of the flight. I finished up with a couple of Bailey's and coffees and the landing couldn't have come soon enough.

Customs was another story... I was drunk, tired, dirty, and smelly when I approached the customs officer. With the exception of the minibar and second bottle of champagne still tucked in my carry on I had drunk all my duty free and I was under my limit again. Nope, I'm wrong. I had forgotten about the ten or so liters of beer in my luggage. Oh well, the way I look no customs officer wants to deal with me. I was in and out smoothly.

Trip complete. How the heck am I going to pay my credit cards off?


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