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The Journey Here

By Belinda

A little about my journey to get here--out of sequence, but I had to get down to the most important business, earlier. :)

...In C34, the boarding lounge for KLM flight 692 on Friday evening, I connected as quickly as I could, to the free internet at Lester B. Pearson Airport, Toronto--to check Face Book. A message waited there from my nephew John, and he had given me his cell phone number to call him in case of any problems. Just then, as I searched my handbag for a pen, I heard my row being called for boarding. Usually I stock up with many pens but in my last minute rush, changing over to traveling bags, I hadn't packed even one!

I broke into the airport anonymity of the man across from me to beg a pen from him and scribble John's number into my moleskin journal, handing it back with ridiculous gratitude for this essential implement, afterwards.

I turned off my laptop and gathered up my carry on luggage to board the plane, bent on securing another pen as soon as possible. Such a silly and small thing to forget, but without one I felt lost. A writer needs a pen!

As I stow my luggage in the overhead baggage compartment, a flight attendant in KLM blue, a little older of vintage, but classically beautiful, with glamorously made up eyes; smiled a welcome at me. I'm afraid I pounced on her with my need. "Is there any way of getting a pen?" I asked.

She nodded and said, in English with a slight accent, "I will bring you one in a few minutes."

As she vanished into the crowds of busily boarding passengers, I wondered if she would remember, but she returned a few minutes later and handed me blue ballpoint pen. I took it from her hands as though it was a most precious gift, feeling that now, all was right in my world!

I found myself wondering if Rob had any idea and how he would react when he saw me. I could hardly wait to see John in the morning and felt a little guilty at how much pleasure I was experiencing at Rob's birthday surprise. I thought of how many people were "with me" on this adventure, and how they too, would be shouting, "Surprise!" at Rob, my somewhat reclusive brother, in the morning. He would much rather have "virtual" party guests than real ones. It was all perfect.

I imagined him sleeping during the early hours of his birthday, with Bruce snuggled in his own bed under the shelf, where he feels secure, in Rob's storage cupboard, covered by the colourful blanket crocheted by his elderly neighbour, Olive.

Six and a half hours after take off, we descended into Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, where I had just over an hour before boarding a City Hopper to Birmingham. I chose Amsterdam for the city to catch my connecting flight because I love the airport and love even a brief time in the culture that that half of my genes come from. 

Schiphol is the most colourful airport and distinctively Dutch. Today, hooray, I managed to upload some of the photos I took there. Enjoy!


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