Friday, August 20, 2010

Scandinavian Adventure Day 0.5

Travel is both exciting and boring at the same time.  Exciting because of the anticipation of what you will soon get to see and do, and boring because of how incredibly long it sometimes takes to get there.  As I say this... I'm sitting in the S concourse at Sea-Tac waiting patiently for the opportunity to board the plane and wait even more patiently for an even longer time.  My flight leaves at 1pm PDT, only to arrive 10 hours later at 8am Central Europe Time.  (You do the math.)  So as a result, if I'm not to be a complete zombie my first day in Copenhagen, I must achieve some level of sleep on the plane, and then force myself to stay awake until darkness comes across Scandinavia (or at least something close, considering how far further North it is compared to home, it will be light forever.)

In honor of my last day on American soil for a couple of weeks, I ate the most American thing I could find for lunch... a hamburger.  OK, that's the story I made up... actually it's just about the only edible food out here at the S gates, and I really didn't feel like trekking all the way back to the main terminal to find something better.

International Travel Observation #1:  50 lbs isn't much.  Actually, I take that back... it WOULD have been a lot more, if I didn't have to haul a bunch of work stuff along with me.  (And yes, "work stuff" includes the stuff I'm hauling back to Sweden that our Swedish intern left here when he went home... though it was also the first stuff that didn't make the cut when I had to jettison cargo to get my bag down to 50 lbs.)

My measure of 50 lbs falls somewhere in the neighborhood of "just heavy enough that I can't lift it comfortably."  My bag was right there on the borderline... and I knew it had to be +/- 50 lbs.  I threw it on a scale at my sister's house before she took me to the airport, and it topped out at about 56 lbs.  Offloaded unnecessary junk, and got it down to right around 50 lbs by that scale.  Not a problem, I can work with that.
Fortunately at the airport, they've set up "pack and weigh" stations so you can get your bag weight right before you get to the check-in agent.  My bag topped out now at 51.3 lbs on the official Delta baggage scale (that I think they just stole from UPS).  A transferred some snackage from the checked to the carryon, and hit 49 lbs.  Success!  Fortunately, the goal was to pack as light as possible for the trip over, so I can have plenty of space to haul stuff back on the way home.  It seems a success so far.

Well that's all the news that's fit to print at the moment.  Hopefully it's a peaceful and relaxing flight... all 10 hours of it.  Then I have about 3 hours to kill in Amsterdam between flights, maybe I'll find something interesting to do there.

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