Sunday morning, we got up at 6:30 and finished packing up. We had awesome bread and cheese and muesli with yogurt for the last time. Sad. We checked out and headed to the metro. Flaunting the rules yet again, I did not buy a 10Kc ticket for my suitcase. I’m a scofflaw.
Because it was hard to find this information anywhere, and the travel guide says to take the shuttle to the airport, I’m here to tell you it’s easy to take public transportation. Take the green line to Dejvická, then the 119 bus from that stop to the airport. Technically it should be two 20Kc tickets, but we were stupid tourists and just had one. It only takes about 20 minutes to get to the airport from the end of the metro line.
We checked in at the airport, and for some reason, they could issue me a boarding pass for the connecting flight in Amsterdam, but not Bertine. We were pretty early, so we bought snacks in the airport, and sat and had coffee. Near the gate, I was picking through my coins and bills, and realized I had one of everything but the 50Kc bill. Bertine ran and bought me a sudoku book, and paprika chips for herself, just so I could have that bill.
As in Budapest, we got to take a fat bus to the plane out on the tarmac. I almost started crying as I walked up the steps and got on the plane.
The flight was late, and we only had an hour layover in Amsterdam to begin with. Captain Dykstra got on the intercom and said, “We do our very best to fly as fast as possible to get you to Amsterdam on time.” I loved Captain Dykstra. The flight on Czech National Airlines was supposed to be 1:30, but we made it in an hour and ten minutes.
We went to the transfer desk at Schipol to get Bertine’s pass and were told that the place was already boarding, an hour early. That seemed strange. We went through security at the gate and were interrogated by the agents there, as expected. They examined our passports twice, and then right as I was supposed to board the plane, they pulled me aside and checked my passport again. I figured that meant I was flagged at customs in the US, the bastards.
The DC-10 was booked full. Bertine and I were seated far apart, both in the annoying center 5-seat section, but the guy next to me agreed to trade with her. At least we got to sit together. We went through the same snack, pop, dinner, pop, coffee routine, but it didn’t do much to pass the time. We watched Fantastic 4 and The Honeymooners, which made me want to slit my throat twice. It was hot, and felt like the longest flight ever. Finally, the giant map popped back up on the screen, and we were over Michigan. In less than an hour, we were home.
We really had no trouble with customs in the US. The guy asked me if I had any liquor; I told him I had an empty absinthe bottle. In the meantime, Bertine was carrying through a big bag of Czech and Hungarian liquor, and they didn’t even ask her about it.
The first thing we did after the baggage claim was stop at Starbucks. Europe ain’t never heard of ‘grande’.
[Thanks to Bertine for all the movies!]