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Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Terribly Awkward Travel Moment

I travel. I sometimes craft a joke while I sit idle on a long flight that has a line in it somewhere like “one day I am going to write a book on how to see the world, one convention centre at a time.” I know. Not very funny.

Anyway, my travel is work related. I wish it was glamorous, but alas, I am the one you see dashing through an airport dragging an object that looks like a five foot R2D2 on wheels, or can be found being escorted to the “woman’s line” in a middle eastern country or enthusiastically explaining to US customs officials that the demo equipment in my suitcase is not at all sinister.

Combine that with the fact that flying terrifies me. I’m the one that will suddenly grab the stranger’s hand and hold it when the air gets bumpy. I really don’t care if his wife is giving me the evil eye.

How I cope with all of this is by exploiting friendships. I have friends that will wake up in the wee hours of the morning and drive me to the airport and help me lug my luggage. My special people call and email me with promises of an uneventful flight. Yeah I know – not exactly a low maintenance friend. But alas, I have a wicked sense of humour (see joke above) to make up for this shortcoming.

On this particular day I am headed to Hong Kong. I’ve loaded R2D2 on the conveyer belt and its all looking good. Next I flop my suitcase on.

Let me break here and tell you how much I love clean teeth. So much in fact that one of the first things I bought when I moved to Austria was the most high-end, super awesome, high-powered electric toothbrush. I even take it with me when I travel, I make sure it’s all charged up and I am good to go.

So, as I was saying, I heaved my heavy suitcase on the conveyer belt when to my absolute horror – my toothbrush turns on inside my carefully packed suitcase.

Now I have experienced my fair share of awkward moments, but I have to tell you, this one ranks up there in my top three. The girl on the counter looked and me and I looked at her. I knew what she was thinking, and she knew I knew what she was thinking.

“Stupid toothbrush,” I offered.

Just then my friend returned with a much needed Starbucks. “What’s that sound” he asked.

“Her toothbrush,” said the girl behind the counter.

In the end, she didn’t charge me for R2D2 – we both wanted that moment to end and were pretty much prepared to do anything to make that happen.

On Saturday I am doing it all again. This time without R2D2 – and my toothbrush.

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