Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Egypt (14) Istanbul: Goodbye Turkey!

Saturday, January 23 2010

It's still far too long for our flight, so our boarding gate isn't listed on the screens yet. Diaa takes out a box of pills and shows me how his wife cut them up for him and prepares it for his trip. I tell him that my mother does the exact same thing for my father! His back is a bit sore, and he needs to lie down somewhere. I need to walk and stretch my legs. I can't sit any longer. We part and I browse through a bookshop. There are still 4 hours left till my flight. This is driving me insane! I can't find Diaa, so I take a seat and start reading. There are people everywhere.

There are a few flights that have been delayed. There's no word on the Cairo flight being delayed. I notice many people are eating sandwich rolls and sipping on Coke. I count a total of over 20 people eating. I secretly hate them. It looks so delicious. I'm envious that they can eat that kind of food before traveling. I can never eat bread or drink heavy drinks before I travel. I'm a bit hungry - I hardly ate on the flight from Seoul to Istanbul.

Finally, Diaa and my boarding gates are listed on the screen. He's at boarding gate 10 and I'm at 11.  While we're there, there are two brats running around screaming. Their father thinks they're cute. Clearly, other people are annoyed by this. At 23:00, it's a bit hard to find things like that cute. 

"I wonder which flight they'll be on," I say to Diaa.
He smiles and says, "I hope they're on yours!"

There's an announcement which I can't make out and suddenly people are grabbing their bags and rushing. I ask a lady what's going on. She tells me that the boarding gate for the Cairo flight has changed to Gate 22, which is on the other side of the airport. We walk briskly and make small talk on the way. She tells me she's originally from India, but living in the USA. She and her husband, along with a few other couples are also heading to Egypt on a week-long holiday.

When we arrive at the new gate, we are told that the flight will be delayed for 30 minutes. I can still handle a delay, but not a cancellation.  There's a group of about 15 Koreans, led by what seems to be a young tour guide. She and I start to chat and we hit it off immediately. She's from Bucheon - very near to where I stay. She tells the group that I live in Korea, and when I greet them in Korean and tell them it's a pleasure meeting them, they're delighted that I can speak a bit of Korean!

Looking outside, everything is covered with snow. I'm not very fond of hot climates, but this is one time I'll be welcoming warm weather. It's been a harsh winter in Korea this year and I'm actually looking forward to some sunshine in Egypt.  After a while, they begin to call passengers to board. Only then I relax.... I'm Cairo bound now, and it's just a matter of hours before I meet my mum.  Excitement has officially taken over!

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