I arrived in Istanbul yesterday afternoon after about 14-15 hours of travelling and no sleep.
Leaving my house and friends and family at around 2 pm on the 25th, I was dropped off at JFK International Airport. I checked in, dropped off my suitcase, went through security and then sat in Terminal 7 Gate 12 waiting for the first of three planes to arrive. After boarding and taking off about ten or so minutes late, I was finally off the ground at about 5:30 pm. I was off! When we landed, I had to rush because I knew my next flight was supposed have already been boarding and was going to be taking off within the next half an hour or so. The walk from where I got off to get to where had to go to was a hike. It was all in the same terminal but boy was I out of breath. When I got to the mini customs in order to go through to Gate H I had to fill out one of those declaration forms which made no sense to me seeing as I wasn’t staying in Canada for a period of time. I finally got through and found my gate. When I did, I realized that my flight was delayed. This put me into a bit of a panic considering I was already only going to have an hour to catch my last flight. I tried to put it out of my mind. While in line to board the plane, I made friends with a middle aged Polish woman who was actually a U.S. citizen. She was going to Munich and also had a connecting flight, so she was just as worried as I was. We talked a bit, and I found out she was a study abroad coordinator at a college in Minnesota and someone she knew just won a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in Istanbul. Needless to say, we both talked to each other a for awhile until we had to board the plane and then we separated. Once I boarded the plane, I was pleasantly surprised. The seats were comfortable to begin with and, somehow, there was no one sitting next to me; I had two whole seats all to myself. Dinner came about an hour into the flight; it was nothing special, just ordinary an ordinary airplane dinner and crappy wine. I took a sleeping pill right after, and it did help me fall asleep as I was watching The Big Bang Theory on the enRoute entertainment system on the flight. Not an hour later though I was awakened by the two little girls in front of me giggling every other minute. The plane was completely silent, except for the girls, because everyone else was trying to sleep as well. I thought their father might tell them to be quiet, but, instead, he joins in talking to the one girl (loudly because he had his head phones on). I don’t understand why. He saw that the lights on the plane were turned off and everyone else around him was trying to sleep, yet he continued to babble away. At one point the little girl saw me give them a dirty look and she tried to be quieter. The dad noticed me at one as well but didn’t seem to care. Aside from how hard it is to sleep on planes to begin with, I simply couldn’t because of the chatter. I need complete silence to sleep, and even then I usually cannot sleep in moving objects, whether it be planes, trains, cars, or buses. I thought the sleeping aid would help, and it did help me to get to sleep but once the family was chattering I couldn’t stay asleep. Finally, the dad points out that we were three hours away from Munich and that his girls should get to sleep or they would be exhausted. This is something that he should have done a couple hours back. By the time he pointed that out, the sleeping aid had worn off. I didn’t dare to take another one though because I had a feeling that might not end up well. It was useless for me to try and get some more sleep since I knew that they would soon be handing out breakfast (which ended up just being a piece of banana bread and a drink). I looked at the ETA and I didn’t know what to think. The ETA was 10:53 am. My next flight was at 11:20 am. How in the world was I going to make that? I asked the flight attendant about it and she assured me that I would be fine and that the airlines had been notified about. If I missed the flight, I would be automatically re-booked for the next flight in. This calmed my nerves, but it didn’t stop me from rushing when the planed landed at 10:43. The Munich airport was much more efficient, just as I had hoped and expected it to be. I got off, and was led directly to the next gate the I had to be in. I had to go through a security / customs check, but the was done quicker than I had ever thought possible. Yay Germany! I was in and out of Germany in a matter of thirty minutes. If there is any reason at all that I was disappointed by this, it was because at least if I had stayed for the next flight, I probably would have had time to enjoy some German sausages at one of the airport eateries. Finally, I arrived in Istanbul. I bought my tourist visa, waited in line, went through customs, chased my suitcase around the conveyor belt, and met up with my boyfriend’s dad who was waiting for me right in the middle. It was quite a journey, but now I’m here.