My bro is 17, very teenager-like and has never left the North West. Considered a sort of 'outback boy' he grew up next to the ocean in the smallest of small towns, spent his days wandering around beaches and trying to not get caught by the law doing illegal things. We decided that the first person to make a trip out to visit me would be my brother, so, we booked a flight.
Not only would this be his first flight, but it would be his first international flight. He packed up two giant suitcases and meandered his way into the flight, gutsy and 'unafraid'. The plane food was as we all imagine it, terrible and bland. It was a plastic covered dish of rabbit and some type of a liver dish. Surviving by plane peanuts and watching 'Inception' three times in a row; the flight was awful. It only got worse as it came into the field of Amsterdam... and too afraid to land, kept circling the city until the pilot announced,
"Sorry folks, we are running out of gas. We are going to swing into Germany for fuel and get back in the air."Forty minutes later the plane landed in some 'Worthsdorf' or another and refueled. Everyone on the flight started to complain, and as the flight lifted once again into the air... no one knew if they would ever make it to Amsterdam. Finally they landed.
Bro, 12 hours into this trip, wandered into the foreign airport. He later divulged that he drank about 4 glasses of complimentary wine on the flight and was feeling intoxicated. Testing his new powers as a legal to drink teenager, he went straight to the nearest Heineken bar and ordered up a tall ice-cold beer. As he drank he felt as an adult.. an adult that tended to chug his beer versus sipping.
Three hours later, locked into the next plane... Bro arrived in Lyon. When he came off the plane the entire place was a mess, children running everywhere, all the signs in French. He waited by the luggage area, but no luggage came. Afraid, without a cellphone and unsure as to where the Hell he was, he posted this (thanks to a good teen samaritan) on Facebook:
My mother promptly called Brian's cell phone, frantic. He was lost. He was at baggage claim. Around me, thousands of Middle Eastern individuals ran around- a giant festival was going on outside. Confused and scared I scoured that airport. I ran upstairs and downstairs, I searched corners, I ran into hundreds of people- finally mom called me again and stated, "He's in the BAGGAGE CLAIM"!
Bro: Mom. Get sasha to get me
Mom: Ok u r at Lyon?
Bro: Yes. I am at the Lyon airport. My luggage is missing. So many Egyptians. This I scary.
I stared at Brian and exclaimed, "WE NEED TO CALL AIRFRANCE BAGGAGE CLAIM AND HAVE THEM SAVE HIM!"
Finally we got to the phone and made the call. As Brian explained, it sounded silly. He's 17, he's American, first flight, he's lost in the baggage area, he doesn't know how to leave. They were kind and sent a worker to grab him.
Down in the baggage claim a worker asked him in broken Franglais, "You 17?" When Jason nodded, afraid, the guy pointed towards the 'exit' sign.. and off he went. There I stood, other side. We embraced. He looked terrible, it was a mixture of body odor and absolute exhaustion from 16 hours of travel; even worse the luggages were lost.
Here we are now, he got a full night's sleep, still jetlagged; baggage arrived today. I explained simply:
Well. Now that you've had the absolute worst experience flying, you'll always see every other time possible as much better than this!
I guess taking your flying virginity is meant to be like losing your real virginity- awkward, terrible, inexperienced and leaving you with the slightest regret.