My vacation didn’t start until I placed the feet on that plane. Once I accommodated myself comfortably in my seat, turned off the iGadgets, put myself in airplane mode, it then hit me. It wasn’t at the moment when the trip was booked, sent off the last report, phoned to my boss and said “I’m going on vacation”, checked in my luggage at Tirana International Airport “Mother Teresa” , or when constantly got those typical sort of pre-departure looks (where is she going…) Usually knowing someone at the boarding gate is pretty funky. It can start with a sweet request “Let me help you holding your luggage!” to the weirdest one “can you change 200 Euro with smaller cuts?”. As if this matters. C’mon guys, we are flying most likely to different transit destinations and since now it is peak season I certainly got a plan…
It happened the moment I unfolded the Alitalia magazine ” Let’s go to the islands”. Just that my destination is not an island. It’s rather the beautiful region of “Cote d’Azur”, but the first stop before the real beach time off is Vienna. Why so? For very good reasons: Two nights, two concerts, and tonight is ‘Boss Time’, Bruce Springsteen playing at Ernst-Happel Stadium. So here I am waiting at the gate B28 of Fiumicino airport in Roma. Everything seems to go smoothly since I got a couple of hours to hang out in the duty free shops until I get totally incapable of distinguishing any new fragrance. Yes, I’m not an exception to most women when it comes to shopping and perfumes.
Here I was in my own up in the air world, sitting on the window seat, and looking at the merging borderline of the clear Roman sky falling deep into the blue sea when suddenly I heard twice an announcement: “Ladies and Gentlemen, we are now returning to the Fiumicino airport due to a technical problem…” Ohhhh damn it, did I hear that well!?! This is so like in a wrong movie, one of this overblown Hollywood plots with too much drama on board! But what drama!!! Everyone was so calm on board, kindly asking questions to the flight attendants if the issue is too serious or how risky the landing will be while flight attendants were busy explaining that the issue was not worrisome. I thought this could be over soon, they are just trying to keep us tranquil and it was eventually working since there were no strange signs or turbulences on the plane. So I asked the aged man sitting next to me as for seeking reassurance to my legitimate concern. In contrast, he didn’t look worried at all, rather had a regretful talk about missing Springsteen live tonight in Vienna.
After safely landing while some people were busy applauding on the board here we were again walking through the airport corridors searching for our gate, the same B28 one. In déjà vu mode we were desperately looking to hearing good news, an early departure to Vienna. The first notice of Alitalia was that we will depart in less then 1 hour. Cool while the impatient waiting continues. The second notice followed: ‘Ok guys we got the plane, we got the crew, we are missing the pilot. Any volunteer?’ LOL, that was a good one and can certainly leave plenty of room to passengers minds for playing with the idea of a “lost pilot” who was probably enjoying a glass of wine in some airport booth.
Once the captain was found we were now boarding again. The flight went smoothly, it had to go. I was feeling the exhaustion already. Good evening, Vienna! I stuffed myself into a taxi and asked to be dropped off at Fleming’s Deluxe while Springsteen already started rocking with other 50+ thousands fans. I was sad.