15 June, 2011

24 hours of crazy, part 3

Today's post is brought to you by the letters: K, L, and M--
Since I've spent a better part of the past 18 hours in airplanes flown by KLM.

Firstly, who came up with the name Fokker for an airplane? Because hearing our pilot say that we'll be flying this City Hopper flight in a Fokker 700 in a "Netherland" accent (ie, Swedish Chef to me) definitely brought out the giggles.

Ok, so yesterday I had to fly to Glasgow for an audition. I booked my flight last week, and since everything this month seems to be happening last minute, I paid a pretty penny for it.
Except that there are no direct flights to Glasgow, so I had to fly to Amsterdam first.

First flight was 7-8pm, next flight was 9:05-10:30pm...
Except that APPARENTLY I have the worst airplane taxi karma EVER---
Because even though our first flight (the fokker) landed at approximately 8:05, we took a little tour of runways A through Z, to get a lay of the land, see the scenic winding rivers of the countryside, THEN park a million miles away from the gate, THEN have some fool forget a SPY novel on the plane, so that the bus to the terminal couldn't leave until someone had claimed it, and THEN arrive at the terminal-- the terminal that was MOST far away from my CONNECTING flight which was now clearly into LATE BOARDING.

As I'm running through Schippol Airport at 8:42pm, I am thinking:
a. I'm not amused as this horrible layout of one 'choke' point and then breaking off in every direction for different terminals.

b. WHY THE HECK do I have to go through ANOTHER passport check AND SECURITY SCREENING?!?! I JUST GOT OFF OF AN AIRPLANE! Have I somehow acquired bomb-making materials in the past 52 minutes since being screened in Germany? Was THEIR metal detector not good enough?

c. Running sucks.

d. Usually Asian business men are my go-to people to stand behind in the security line, but this time, really? WHO DOESN"T KNOW that you have to take the laptop OUT of your bag, OUT of it's case and put it BY ITSELF in a bin through the Xray machine by now? Really? WHO?

Ok, so I make it to gate B24 and-- surprise surprise!!! We have to go through ANOTHER security machine! Yep, xrays and all...(that's three times in less than an hour and a half).
I'm the last person to board the plane, but since I don't have a roll-on carry on it's fine- no need to fight for overhead storage.

Flight to Glasgow is fine- oh, and let me mention (TAKE NOTE, AMERICA and your CRAPPY NO SERVICE DOMESTIC AIRLINES) that on BOTH of these flights, one of which lasted UNDER one hour, I was PLEASANTLY offered TWO free snacks (savory and sweet), and had drink service AND duty free cart choices (had I wanted to spend 8 euros on a Toblerone).

Arrive in Glasgow, and hey Toto, we're not in a EU country anymore.
I actually had to fill out on of those forms saying why I'm here and where I'm staying...and stand in the FOREIGNER line!

It has happened to me now both in Glasgow and London at immigration-- I'm asked why I'm there, and I say for an audition with xyz opera house, and of COURSE I look like crap. I mean, I'm wearing ripped jeans, sneakers, a university hoodie, hair in a busted up high bun so that I can lean my head back on the airplane seat without getting a headache, bright orange backpack stuffed with audition clothes and my music..looking a MESS, and I have to tell them I'm singing an audition at this prestigious opera house.
The double take is kind of priceless.
But they let me into their country.

A 22 pound cab ride later (I don't want to think about how many Euros that actually is to drive 14 kilometers), and I'm checked into my hotel by 11pm.

Next morning- wake up early but stay in bed watching BBC in ENGLISH! Eventually take a shower, do some lip trills, check out, walk 4 blocks to the audition location (I'm there super early since I had to check out by noon, but the audition wasn't until 2:30).
However, due to scheduling, I'm asked to sing earlier- and FIRST!
Hurray- at 1pm I sing Queen2 aria, then asked for Queen1 aria.
Both of which I rocked.

NOTE to ... whoever cares to read this and is in a position on the 'other' side of the table.
Umm, when scheduling an audition for an opera company in a big hall with a grand piano- you MIIIIIGHT want to make sure that the piano is TUNED properly from TOP to BOTTOM- because...when an auditioner is singing Queen of the Night and has to hit High F's as WELL as low F's in the span of about 2 measures, and suddenly the left hand of the piano comes trouncing in halfway through a cadenza which you are otherwise ON PITCH for with the RIGHT hand of the piano...yea...that's not a good sign.

So, I finish my audition, get in another cab and 20 pounds later, I'm enjoying a 10 pound lunch of chicken and chips (I couldn't do fish 'n chips...too risky for an airport restaurant plus having to fly on 2 flights immediately after that).

The rest of my flights were uneventful, as I had plenty of time for my lay-over in Amsterdam this time (except that I'm an idiot and forgot that I had to go through one million security checks again and I bought a bottle of WATER which I had to CHUG half of and pour out the other half of in order to get to my gate).

I arrived home around 11pm, tired but glad to be home.
HOME for 5 more days before another round of travel.

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