You know that volcano that erupted in Iceland? It's a great act of nature, probably beautiful under many circumstances, and generally things in Iceland don't actually impact my life very often.
That came to an end on Saturday night. My flight was delayed 7 hours and when we saw the map of the flight, it was clear that we took a big detour around something in the Atlantic. It was either volcanic ash, or the Bermuda triangle, and I’m pretty sure we weren’t quite that far south.
When I landed in Rome, I’d missed my connection and had a 6 hour wait before the next flight to Israel. I was lucky. There were travelers who couldn’t make their connections for days – either flights were full, or cancelled. I waited in line for two hours for a meal voucher. It’s not like I had anything else to do.
But of course first I had to figure out where I should be waiting. One would think the transit desk, where three different people had directed me. Alas, there was no one at the transit desk. Finally, someone suggested that I got to the other terminal. Again, with nothing but time, I figured, why not?
So I made my way to the other terminal, found the transit desk and found two different systems at work. One group of people was crowding around the agent in the corner, and one group was in line. I went with the line, which turned out to be smart because the agent in the corner left two minutes later, forcing the group of people to go to the back of the line. Which they weren’t very happy about. There were four people in front of me.
Two hours later, I got a meal voucher. I asked how much it was worth and was told that depending on how much I wanted to eat. Okay…. So I went to the food court and asked the cashier if they took the voucher, to which he replied no, that I had to go to the restaurant.
Wasn’t that where I was?! Evidently not.
I found the restaurant. It’s really a cafeteria with a chef. Dinner options included salmon risotto, a nice looking fish, meaty things, and some great looking salads. I opted for salad and when I asked about dressing, I was directed to a table around the corner. The table had a few large bottles of balsamic vinegar, olive oil and some other kind of liquid I couldn’t identify. That worked.
I finally made it to my gate and found that you can fly a lot of places from Rome at 10pm. You can go to Casablanca, Beirut, Tirana, and Damascus. All the flights were supposed to leave at the same time. You get on a little shuttle bus and they take you to the plane. I was hoping that the shuttle driver knew which planes were which. And that the pilots were taken to the correct planes. Not that I was worried. I’d love to go to some of those places….