Sunday, July 24, 2011

Back to Brazil...

Back to Brazil! The time has come for me to head back so I get my bags packed and soon I am picked up by a friend (Craig) who gives me a lift to the airport. We pull up curb side at the airport and the attendant assists me with my luggage.  We have to head into the terminal to complete my check in as they are not equipped to do so at curbside for this flight.  I have arrived at the airport about two and a half hours before my flight and now I am ready to head through security and to my gate.  I remove the usual: belt, watch, phone, wallet, change and head towards the line of people slowly meandering through the ropes towards the government employees checking for accurate boarding passes and appropriate identification.  I hand them mine and with no issue I continue on through the security check point.  Removing my computer from its case , shoes from my feet and putting them along with my carry on luggage on the conveyor belt I work my way through the metal detector.  No issues for me and soon I arrive at the gate.  As I sit in the gate area waiting to board the plane, I take a quick trip back (in my memory) to my first plane flight when I was in high school. I had traveled by bus to Denver, Colorado for a youth convention and while attending there was a family emergency back home. I ended up scurrying to fly home on what would be my first flight ever. Looking back I did not have a lot of time to really think about it. The flight itself was good with limited turbulence. Back then you got a full meal even on the short domestic flight. By the time we got up in the air and had our meal it was time to land. When we landed I followed everyone else and remember I was not able to hear anything as I meet my aunt and uncle who were there to pick me up. Thus my adventures in the sky above began. Since then I have flown all around the United States and once to London / Scotland. Now I am a regular flyer to Brazil and who knows to where next. OK, back to my current travels… I sit with my mp3 player listening to music and watching all the people hurry by. They are all trying to make their destination without any delays and they all have little control over making this happen. This flight to Brazil is an overnight flight so I begin to attempt to wind down. I usually do not fair well in regards to sleeping on planes and I sure hope tonight is different.

The airline crew starts to allow passengers on board and I gather my personal carry on bags and off I head. I present my ticket and passport at the gate before beginning the walk down the walkway. I squeeze through the narrow isle to my seat and secure my carry on bags in the overhead compartment. I have chosen a window seat this time in hopes that I can lean against the window and get some sleep. The plane is not full and there is an empty seat in our row and I begin to hope that the doors close soon. As I wait for the doors to close, I notice there is no individual screen to watch a movie or television shows. Normally on these long flights the seat in front of you is equipped with a television screen allowing you to watch whichever movie you want. But no such luck this time and I wonder how the trip will go.  Soon the main cabin door closes and I am happy as no one has sat in the seat and we will be able to stretch out a little more. My happiness is soon dismissed as the gentleman setting next to me arranges for his family to come occupy the empty seats in front of us and in our row. I guess there will not be any stretching out this time.

I decide instead of being upset about his decision, I will reach out and attempt to get to know them. The family is from Brasilia and they have been traveling for the first time in the United States. (New York to be exact) The father speaks little English (and I little Portuguese) so his daughter and son translate what we cannot communicate. We have a nice conversation and I learn that he is a doctor and both he and his wife are originally from Rio de Janeiro. The son is in high school and daughter is in college taking medicine. I share my story and adventure with them as well as my recent trip to Rio and how I love the city. Their visit to the United States was good and they look forward to a return trip. Soon the flight attendants go through their safety dance, the seat belt sign comes on, and the plane is speeding down the runway acquiring the necessary speed to take flight. We are off into the evening sky and I am hoping my eyes close soon to wake to a new day back in Brazil. 

After a dinner of chicken (yes on long flights they still serve a dinner) I turn my mp3 player on and attempt to relax. Sleep comes around 1:00 AM which is earlier then normal for me but there will be no REM sleep or at least no dreams. Before I know it the lights are on and the breakfast service has begun and it is now 5:30 AM.  We will be landing shortly...wait… I have gained an hour so it is 6:30 and we will be landing in 45 minutes. I am excited about this revelation and I look out the window to see the sunrise and Brasilia below. It has been a good flight and I have gotten more sleep then I usually get. The landing is good and once again a successful flight.  Landing in Brazil I am ready for the next adventure. Upon arrival I present my passport with visa to the Brazilian agent and then wait for my bags which always seem to come last for me. The only explanation I have is that because I arrive at the Atlanta airport so early, my luggage gets put on the plane first to be removed last. It is not a long wait but seems long as everyone else gathers their things and heads out. Soon I have all my bags and head toward customs. It is an easy breeze through customs and soon I am reunited with Luiz and off we go on our travel to Goiania. It is a five hour bus ride and I would blog about it a bit but most of the five hours I sleep,  attempting to catch up some.  I am excited to be back in Brazil and share my experiences with you. Hold on and enjoy the ride!

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