How DO you get to Norway from Farmington. Lots of possibilities: I'd like to think that heading East is best, but it also involves North. This time our crew from Denver to Newark expected storms and adverse winds in the Mid-West to make travel longer than expected (over 4 hours) and we were going to fly up to the Canadian border to avoid them. I'm all for avoiding storms! And there was turbulence which happened just as I poured a cup of diet Sprite. Then I was holding on to a can, a cup, my pen and my Ken-Ken book. My knitting was stowed in a bag around my neck, and I was "sandwiched", yes, SANDWICHED between an oversized person and a not so oversized.
When we landed in Newark, the flight attendants started making comments over the PA about the pilots. They were two women, and since they didn't have to ask for directions we landed "on time"! One of the men attendants also pointed out that there was some hardship because they weren't allowed to go to the restroom in pairs. I thought things were going to be fine, but then we got off the plane in.... Newark!
This could have been Prague, or Bangkok! The system was... scary for someone who likes sign-age.
I had an hour between flights, which was enough, but, to get to the international terminal everyone relied on two attendants at one counter to look at your boarding pass, give you a gate number and instruct you to wait for the "ground transportation" in an area that held 10 people comfortably. There were WAY more than 10, spilling out into the corridor of people passing. One person mistakenly thought she should open the door herself, and set off a very piercing alarm. Then the bus arrived:
EVERYONE went through the same door, down stairs and outside onto a bus, with someone every 10 feet saying, "A or C, A or C, A or C..." and pointing to a bus. I guess we were "B" but who knew? Not a big bus either. This bus made turns and U-turns and there was nothing to tell us we weren't being swept away to Estonia. Eventually the bus stopped and everyone was told in an unclear way to exit the bus and take another bus if you were going to C (which I was). "That bus over there," as the driver pointed. Lucky for me, he was right. Unlucky for me, time was passing and I began to be concerned.
My boarding time for the next flight had passed... so I began to walk briskly with my knitting around my neck, a purse (dang, that purse was small) and a carry-on. My mission was Gate 131 which was about 100 gates away. As I got to the gate, boarding was in process and I smoothly got in line just as they were calling my row. But something came up flagged on the computer, and I was told to go stand next to another man while they checked something. Now he and I stood and wondered why all of these foreign passports were waved through, with green tourist visas being collected, or not, and a young man at a nearby counter pounded furiously at a computer terminal, exclaiming at intervals, "What do I do? I did that, it's not working. What else should I try?" and the woman taking boarding passes shouting out intermittent instructions to him. They were at least 50 feet away from each other. Eventually he came over with the other man's passport, (mine hadn't left my sight yet, and I was within 5 feet of grabbing it...) and said it was "OK". Now it was time for him to work on mine.
I was unhappy, having ridden two buses and being a crazy women walking "briskly" to get here on time, and then, sort of, sent to the end of the line...but I was a knitter, and knitters prevail, one stitch at a time, and I was indeed allowed to board although now all rows were boarding and I was in row 30. At my appointed row, I put up no fuss when asked if I would trade seats 10 rows closer to the front so a couple could sit together, and several people and flight attendants gave me adoring/relieved comments about my willingness to do so. I was beaten, and I knew it would be a long flight, and a short night.