Feb. 18, 2011: En route to Istanbul

I almost miss my connection in Frankfurt.

As the belligerent Indian guy from last night makes rounds of apologies for his actions during our descent to Frankfurt, I nervously change my computer to reflect the local time in Berlin. I secretly hope that when the minutes read 44, it is 10:44 locally, not 11:44. My connection is tight as is; if we’re up in the air at 11:44, it’s not a good sign.

Sorry man, the he says. I never drink and my buddy was making drinks last night. I heard I was bad. Was I really bad?

He asks the stewardess for an Advil, and I quickly hand over one of my Edelman-provided packs of two.

Really bad?

Yeah, you were belligerent, I tell him, but no worries.

When the voice comes over the intercom announcing that the local time is 12:20, I glance down at my blackberry, which I have again set to the global setting. It reaches the 3G network without much delay, and I’m pleased to see that my emails are coming through.

Wrong, I think. It’s 12:30. That makes a big difference when your connection is at 12:50.

I hastily grab my things, remembering to grab my coat at the last minute—I have a habit of leaving coats places.

I pray that I don’t have t go through customs. If I do, there’s no way I’m going to make it.

I dash along in my 3-inch wedges, stopping briefly only to see that my flight departs out B24.

Following the clearly marked arrows (leave it to the Germans), I am relieved to I see I only have to clear security.

Come on, come on. I don’t even bother to remove my laptop or fluids. They TSA equivalent doesn’t seem to care.

In the Lufthansa hall, I run past the little deli I had asked An-an to meet me at. Three months ago, I had sat there with a glass of wine, thanking God that I had made it out of Morocco unscathed, en route to Berlin.

I head down the escalators toward the area marked B20-28.

24! 24! Where the fuck is it? Of course, I see B22 and B24 must be down another corridor. Of COURSE my terminal is at the furthest area possible.

I am clearly the last person to get on the flight.

No boarding pass, the gate attendant asked. She looks shocked.

No, I gasp. My flight…just landed… late… from Toronto. Can I get on?

With every bit of efficiency, she quickly prints the ticket. Please present it to my colleague, she points primly.

And then I am bumping my suitcase down the aisle. I try to look for An-an along the way; I haven’t heard from her since last night.

I don’t seem to see her but then again, I am rather in a rush. I dump myself down, relieved, only to find that I am sitting next to the loudest woman and child on the plane. I know I must be somewhat tired because the sound of her voice is like nails on a chalkboard—and equally as loud.

Shut up, I want to scream.

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