blog, Raw Food Adventures

Off to Ireland

CDG airport
Airport Chaos

With my time in Paris coming to a close, I prepared my gear for my visit to Ireland. At this time the Icelandic volcano mischief was wreaking havoc at airports around the world, especially in Europe. My flight into Ireland wasn’t effected but that’s not to say that I would escape the cloud of chaos that had descended upon Charles Degaul Airport. Per Arletty’s suggestion I got up extra early to go to the airport; good thing too. I got on the wrong train twice, went to the wrong terminal and qued up in the wrong line before I got to the correct ticketing area. I’ve never seen or felt so much disorder than during my visit to CDG airport. I searched for someone or something that would give me a bit of guidance. There were tons of flat panel screens all over the check-in area and none of them had any useful information on them. The AirFrance staff was far a few between and the ones that appeared to be of service were surrounded by travelers hungry for answers. The picture doesn’t do it justice. This was only one section in the AirFrance ticketing area. More than half the people standing in line had no flight or had missed their plane. They were just standing in line because they didn’t know what else to do. I realized that if I were going to make my flight I would have to slice through this mob of stranded travelers, which I eventually did. To my dismay the woman at the check-in counter had no record of my booking. I had checked in online, but didn’t write down my confirmation code. As a last resort I pulled out my laptop and tried to get online at the check-in counter and pull up my ticket, but before the Wi-Fi pirates were able to take my money she found my booking which was under my first name instead of my last name… doh! A wave of relief came over me as she printed out my boarding pass and she didn’t bat an eye at the weight of my checked baggage. I was used to flying Ryanair which only allows 15kg for checked bags… my bag was over 20kg and my carry on was stuffed to the gills. With all the speed bumps, wrong turns and mishaps I was still not on the plane. I needed to navigate through security and I was 10 minutes away from boarding. Another mad dash and line cutting maneuver was required. I pulled an OJ Simpson once through security, no knives or bloody gloves were involved, I’m talking about the classic TV commercial where he dashes through airport, hurdling suitcases and then eventually hiding in the back of a white Bronco that he rented from Hertz rent a car. So I’m on the plane to Ireland after quite an ordeal. The lesson learned was “surrender”. When I walked into the AirFrance check-in area and saw thousands of people in line, first I panicked, then I surrendered realizing whatever outcome happened was for the best. With each new obstacle I took a moment to be thankful and let go of any attachment to an outcome.  It was quite a challenge. My arrival in Ireland was the complete opposite of my departure from France. I eased into my new surroundings and the relaxed pace in Ireland. It was great to see a familiar face upon arriving in Dublin. Donal, my roommate in Spain, picked me up from the airport and also assisted in preparing for the upcoming class. After the class he also gave me a tour of Dublin which was unforgettable. I have to say I’ve been blessed every step of the way of this journey. More to come from my adventures in Ireland. Keep It Live!