The few times I have flown internationally, I have had to walk past the luxurious large seats in the first class section of the plane to take my spot in the strictly vertical chairs. I realize I am very lucky to travel anywhere by airplane, but trying to sleep sitting up is not a very fun experience.
However, last night I got to experience the good life at the front of the plane. I was assigned to a spacious, comfy chair, which could be shifted to lay flat for sleeping. When I got on the plane, there was a large pillow and comforter in my seat, along with noise-canceling headphones and a toiletry bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc. I was given a glass of champagne as soon as I set down. I was so in awe of my good fortune, the flight attendant had to be convinced I was over 21.
After wiping my hands with a warm towel, I was given a small bowl of warm almonds and cashews. This was soon followed by an appetizer of duck slices with cous cous and bread. Next, I was given a salad with yellow pepper slices and crumbled blue cheese. This was followed by a large bowl of pasta with eggplant and cherry tomatoes. Finally I got to pick a dessert – vanilla ice cream with strawberry topping and whipped cream. I am amazed airplane providers can serve such gourmet meals so high in the sky.
The only down side of the delicious dinner was it took so long to eat all the courses, I ended up sleeping only three hours. I got off the plane at 8:30 (12:30 am Minnesota time, I believe). I blindly bought a train ticket to get to Leuven from an automated machine, without realizing there were people behind a counter to sell tickets as well. I managed to find the right train, but when the train employee came to check tickets, he told me I had bought the wrong one. It ended up costing the same amount of money, so I was fine. Even though the employee spoke English and was nice about my mistake, this was enough to get me teary-eyed, which I blame on sleep deprivation.
The hostel I am meeting Bethany at had a map and good direction so I only had to wander a couple minutes before finding my bearings and getting on my way. I’m now sitting in the lobby waiting for Bethany and friends to come back from a meeting.