I'm thinking my internal clock is having spasms right now.
I arrived here safe and sound if not sound of mind! In all the years that I've flown that flight had to be the FLIGHT FROM HELL!
Due to the security issue now, I had to go back to my gate, alone, an hour before the flight was due to leave and I did this after going through 3 security check points and 2 more additional times of having to show my boarding pass and passport only to get to the gate and be told the incoming plane (the one we were to take on our outgoing flight) was late coming in and had to be cleaned. That was delay #1. Delay #2 came when there was a mechanical problem that had to be fixed. Then came Delay #3 AFTER boarding at 7:30pm, which was a full flight, an old DC10, and not enough space for all the take-on bags, so 46 additional pieces of luggage had to be removed from the cabin and checked before being stowed into the baggage hold in the plane's belly.
Our 7:25pm flight left Memphis at 9:00 pm.
But the pilot said that we'd still arrive in Amsterdam on time due to the tail winds and his heavy foot. Well, you understand Murphy's law don't you?
The lights kept acting weird on the plane, blinking off, blinking on. ( Irritating to say the least.) I'm thinking that this was maybe the mechanical problem that they supposedly fixed. Then we're flying along at over 700mph and just as I see the little airplane nearing Toronto on the little animated screen where they show the flight progress, the flight attendent asks over the intercom if there is a doctor on board.
This caused me not more than a little concern, let me tell ya cause my first thought was "please, please don't let it be the guy flying this plane that needs the doc".
15 minutes later I notice a decrease in speed, then I notice the little antimated plane doing a u-turn. Then the pilot announces that we were turning around and landing at the nearest U.S. airport due to a medical emergency. One of the passengers ( a lady about my age) was having a heart attack. We landed around 11 pm.
It was almost 1a.m. before we took off again so we arrived in Amsterdam just over 2 hours late after being on that plane for 12 straight hours (flying and on the ground). Mind you, for me this was 12 hours of being seated beside an elderly lady from Nirobi who spoke no English, who took up 1/3 of my seat room because she was wearing this huge, stuffed, coat, who every time we took off, or landed, (which we were doing more than is usually normal), and during every episode of turbulence, would take out her rosary to pray.
By the time we landed in Amsterdam, I was praying right along with her.
I also managed 2, 30 minute catnaps in amongst all those prayers.
The pilot shook every passenger's hand and apologized as we left the plane. I told him it was ok because the medical emergency could have been any of us and he did the right thing.
Soony and her parents met me at the airport and 2 1/2 hrs later I arrived safe and sound, (except for being slightly brain dead), in Stein, the Netherlands! We had a delicious family dinner,I met her sweet little nephew, Lucas, I had a little sleep, and now, here I am, at 3a.m. here, wide awake.