Hello from across the pond

Kara McIntyre

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London Pride Parade in Westminster, London. Photo by Kara McIntyre

 

July 19-24 — Italy: We had a mini break from July 20-24, so five of my classmates and I traveled to Italy — specifically Naples, Rome and Venice. I wasn’t in charge of planning anything, so I was just along for the ride.

Well, our flight was at 6:25 a.m. on July 20, but the tubes in London close at 12:30 a.m. and don’t reopen until 5:30 a.m. We would never make our flight doing that, so we had to take a train to London Stansted Airport on Wednesday and spend the night in the airport until our flight.

All of us slept on the floor in the middle of the airport. I don’t think it gets more “broke college kid traveling abroad” than that.

Once we arrived in Naples, we didn’t have a clue how to get around, and there were way less English speakers there than there were in Amsterdam. We wandered around for what felt like hours, trying to find one person that spoke English and didn’t stare blankly at us when we talked.

A cute, old man saw us staring wide-eyed and open-mouthed at the giant map in Piazza Giuseppe Garibaldi in central Naples, because the whole damn thing was in Italian and we were coming to terms with the idea that we were never getting to the hostel. He walked up to us and said, “Do you need help?” in perfect English.

I almost cried. He was the second coming of Jesus for all I was concerned.

We made it to our hostel, Eco Hostel Floreale, around 1 p.m., which was actually in a little town outside of Naples called Ercolano. The hostel was painted bright blue with flowers on the outside and we were greeted by the sweetest dog. I didn’t care about anything after that — they had me with the dog.

They actually had two dogs and two cats. I was a happy camper, despite no air conditioning and the intense Italian heat.

The whole time in Naples, Rome and Venice, our main problem was the language barrier. In Amsterdam, there were enough English speakers to make us feel comfortable about asking questions. In Italy…I definitely can’t say the same.

The hostel I had booked in Venice, Hotel Colombo, looked nice on the computer, but was actually pretty shitty when we got there. One of the male employees was one of the creepiest men I’d ever met — he had nasty smoker’s teeth and gave off a “I’ll watch you when you sleep” vibe. My friend Kaytlyn and I were sharing our own room, and of course the AC unit was blowing hot air.

It wasn’t even just hot air. It was basically hot water vapor, so it felt like a swamp after about an hour of trying to make it go cold. We gave up and opened the window, hoping for some coolness, but it was hot as hell outside too. I tried to take a cold shower to lower my body temperature, but the stupid shower had two temperatures: hot and hotter.

Kaytlyn and I tried to get comfortable on our bunk beds, but after about 10 minutes I heard the squeaking of her bed and shuffling of sheets. I looked over the edge of my top bunk and saw her laying on the tile floor on her bed sheet, shoving a pillow under her head. I laughed and said, “You okay down there?”

“Yeah, it’s so cool down here. I don’t feel like I’m roasting. You should try this,” Kaytlyn said.

I debated it for a few minutes before I go so uncomfortably hot that before I knew it, I was laying on the floor with my shirt pulled up so my back was hitting the cool tile.

Yes, I slept on the floor. Again. I guess this is going to be a thing over here.

Despite all of this, Italy was incredible. I’ve always wanted to go there, and I finally achieved my dream — but I’ll definitely be going back someday.

July 13-July 14: Here’s where it gets really interesting, y’all.

We have three-day weekends while we’re here, and as long as we fill out a travel form, we can leave the country. So of course, four of my friends — Shaniece, Rachel, Justin and Kelsey — and I took this opportunity to travel to Amsterdam (and no, I did not go because weed is legal there…I’m so naïve, I didn’t even know it was legal in the Netherlands).

We are all broke college students traveling on a pretty tight budget, so we booked the cheapest way to travel — by overnight bus. The ride was about 11 hours long (which is longer than the plane ride from Dallas to London), but we figured since we’d be asleep for most of it, it wouldn’t be so bad. Mistake number one.

We also thought it’d be like one of those buses in Harry Potter with the bunk beds inside it, so sleeping would be easy and just like a bed at home. Mistake number two.

After a long day of class, we packed and booked it to Victoria Coach Bus Station to make our 9:30 p.m. departure. When we finally got on the bus, I was searching for the secret door to the beautiful bunk beds where I’d make camp for the night, but all I saw were rows and rows of chairs. No secret door. No beds.

Well, damn it. So much for that.

The bus was just a basic charter bus, like one of the ones high schools use to cart around its athletes to away games. At least the seats reclined, I guess.

I plopped down in my aisle seat next to Kelsey and started setting up to make some kind of attempt at being comfortable in these fabric-covered cardboard seats. I knew pretty quickly that I wouldn’t be getting much sleep here, so I plugged my phone into the overhead charger port and started connecting to the bus WiFi — which was slower than molasses in January, I might add.

After about an hour into the trip, I started to smell urine. There was no mistaking that God awful stench, and I couldn’t figure out why it had overtaken my area of the bus. I thought someone peed themselves, and I was ready to shove them under the bus with all the luggage and make them stew in their own smell for the next nine hours of the ride.

But of course, I look over and realize Kelsey, Justin and I are seated right next to the bus bathroom. Amazing.

Shortly after this disgusting realization, one of the three children on the bus started screaming, which of course caused the other two to join in like they were speaking some new screaming language to each other. I thought about screaming back at them just to get some frustration out.

I tried to recline my seat so I could at least lay down in my misery, but the woman sitting behind me had her feet on the back of my chair, pushing on it so I couldn’t recline it into “her space.” Listen, this is a bus. No one has their own space here.

I know what some of you are thinking: just put your headphones on. Y’all are true geniuses, really. As if I didn’t think of that.

My dumbass forgot to pack my headphones. So I just wallowed in the misery of this urine-smelling, screaming child hell I called the bus ride to Amsterdam.

We got to Dover, England, and our bus parked on a ferry to cross over to France. At this point it’s been almost 14 hours since I’ve gotten some semblance of sleep, I’ve been smelling urine and listening to screaming children for the last hour and a half, so I’m irritable and pissed off.  The five of us found a small group of chairs on the fifth deck of the ferry and I set up camp on the floor.

Yeah, I slept on the floor for two hours. Kara McIntyre — the girl with the Memory Foam mattress pad and Tempur Pedic pillows — slept on the cold, hard floor with my head underneath a chair to block the light. Thank God no one took a picture of me (that I know of).

I woke up in a groggy state, almost like I was drunk but without the fun, and stumbled down to the bus to continue our drive. I wish I could say it was smooth sailing from here, but I couldn’t sleep on the bus at all and just sat in complete misery for the rest of the drive. I was so uncomfortable that I couldn’t stop fidgeting and even considered laying on the floor just to catch some shut eye, but I’m pretty sure someone would’ve stepped on me on their way to the bathroom and I was not down for that.

On the bright side, I did get to see a breathtaking sunrise in Brussels, Belgium.

Once we finally made it to Amsterdam, it started raining. I wasn’t shocked or bothered — it was kind of like a shower that I so desperately needed after the urine smell. It was about 10 a.m. when we arrived, and our hostel check-in wasn’t until 3 p.m. No one figured out how we were going to get around Amsterdam, how far our hostel was from the station, if we could check in early…it was a mess. Mistake number three.

We plopped down in the Starbucks inside the station and tried to Google what was the cheapest and easiest way to travel around Amsterdam. We had arrived at Amsterdam Sloterdijk (don’t even ask me how to say that because I have no idea) station and I found its website, but the entire thing was in Dutch and my phone wouldn’t let me translate it to English. I looked around the station, but most of the signs were in Dutch and for the first time, I realized what it’s like for tourists and immigrants to come to America with zero clue as to how to read English.

Thank God most of the employees at the station spoke English, because otherwise we would’ve been screwed. We got two-day travel passes, and Amsterdam’s public transportation system worked a lot like the tube system in London, which made traveling there 1,000 times easier. We managed to figure out that Amsterdam Bijlmer ArenA (I also don’t know how to pronounce that nor do I know why the last A in “arena” is capitalized) was the station closest to our hostel — or so we thought — and walked the rest of the way.

We got there at about 1:30 p.m., and the receptionist said we were lucky enough to have our room ready early. We get our keys and go to our room, which I was expecting to be a shithole because, you know, it’s a hostel — but it was so nice. The mattresses felt like Memory Foam (yay!) and it almost looked like a hotel instead of a hostel, except for there being six beds in one room.

We noticed that the room looked used, and saw two people’s stuff inside the cabinets and on two of the beds. Hmm…six beds, seven people. Doesn’t seem right to me.

I went downstairs to let the staff know what happened, and it turns out that the receptionist checked us into the wrong room. Shocker. She moved us into our correct room and we moved our stuff in to what was actually a much nicer setup, except the old sheets were still on the floor, the trash can was full, and there were still used towels in the bathroom. I threw it all in the hallway hoping that housekeeping would get the message, but the lady banged on our door and said they hadn’t cleaned our room yet and we needed to leave.

I was pissed. They checked us into the wrong room, then checked us into a room that wasn’t ready even though they said it was? My only thought was, “Uggggghhhhh.”

We waited for about 20 minutes and went back into our room. At that point I didn’t care if they were done cleaning, just get out of my room. I managed to take a nice, cool shower after sweating all day and crawled into bed for a nap.

We were all knocked out for a couple of hours. Never travel on an overnight bus, people.

July 10-13: Sorry for the wait. It’s so hard to find time to blog between traveling, going to museums, class work and the little amount of sleep I do get. Plus there’s just so many stories, and so little time (as my gently nagging and loveable adviser puts it).

You haven’t missed a whole lot from this week. We went to the Tate Britain and Tate Modern museums, the Getty Images photo archive, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Pentagram design studio. I took a lot of pictures of paintings, typography, record sleeves and buildings. When I get back to my computer, I’ll upload the most interesting ones I can find, considering it’s a bunch of pictures of “stuff.” Photography isn’t really my style — I’m much more keen on taking pictures of people. Moments. Emotions. Photojournalism. Plus apparently I took the wrong wide-angle lenses for my camera, so I only have this giant zoom lens that feels like it weighs 20 pounds and could whack someone in the face if I turn too fast.

Believe me. It happened already. Sorry, random lady on Pembridge Road.

My absolute favorite moment of this week was on July 11. We were told we had to have a rough draft of one of our visual journal mages done by the 12th, so we needed to upload our pictures onto our laptops and start working on Photoshop that evening. I’m picturing what I want to do for my journal in my head, and then I realized it.

Guess who forgot to pack a card reader for my memory card?

Shit.

My professor told me there should be an electronics store nearby, so I could just walk a few minutes and get one when class was over. Phew. Problem solved, right?

So my giant, heavy, expensive camera (courtesy of The Wichitan) has a different memory card than a normal camera. It’s a compact flash, or CF card, so it’s a bigger card than a SD card.

Okay, sorry for the nerdy camera talk. In laymans terms, my memory card is like an obese American that apparently no normal electronics store carries a card reader for.

I walked in the rain to Curry’s, which is the English version of Best Buy, and they didn’t carry a CF card reader. They told me to try Argos, which is like an Amazon warehouse on steroids. You go in, order what you want from one of the little electronic kiosks in the store, and they bring you your items right there.

They had a CF card reader. Thank freaking God.

I go to order it and it wouldn’t let me put it in my cart. “What the fuck?” I said to myself, or I thought I said to myself, until the employee near me said, “Can I help you?”

“Why can’t I order this item? It says you carry it, but it won’t let me buy it.”

He pointed to the “out of stock” button and said, “Because it’s out of stock.”

Well I felt stupid as hell.

I left and walked to the Starbucks next door to get some Wifi, wait out the rain that had now picked up pretty heavily and try to Google where I could buy a damn CF card reader in London.

My professor texted me and told me about a store on Oxford Street called Jessops, which is a camera accessory store. I called them using my 20 cents per minute international phone plan and asked if they had one.

“Yes, would you like me to put one on hold for you?”

YEEESSSS. Pardon the improper spelling, but that’s about how excited I was. By this point it had been 2 hours and 5 miles of walking around trying to find this stupid thing.

I maneuvered the tube system and got off on Oxford Street. I pulled my raincoat hood up, tightened the strings so the rain wouldn’t hit my hair and started my journey. As I was walking, I looked up and saw the beautiful, ornate buildings in the dim evening light, reflections glowing on the roads from the slickness of the rain. It was truly magical, and no picture could correctly capture it. You just have to see for yourself someday, if you can.

I walked for what seemed like an hour, when I smelled it. The combination of bath bombs, lotions, shampoos and literally any other beauty product you can think of.

The promised land: Lush.

I’d heard about this particular store. It’s the largest Lush in the world, stacked three stories high and carrying exclusive products only sold in the Oxford location.

I had to go in. I had to. I could hear the bath bombs whispering, “Kara, come here.”

No. No Kara. Don’t do it.

I passed by it begrudgingly and finally found Jessops. Ironically, it was right by Lush. I got my card reader and intended to go back to campus, but I smelled the smell again.

Lush is my drug of choice, y’all. And I was standing outside the largest store in the entire world. Did I go in?

You bet your ass I went in.

“I’ll only go in for a few minutes,” I told myself. Whaaaat a joke. I don’t know why I was kidding myself.

I was greeted by the most adorable, skinny, rainbow-haired employee. She saw me eyeing the soaps and she knew she’d get me to walk out with at least one thing.

“Hi.”

And there was no British accent. She was full-on American.

We, of course, immediately bonded over our mutual American-ness. She ended up walking with me to every single section of the store, on all three floors, including the spa. Yeah, they have a freaking spa.

And she mentioned the golden conversation starter. RuPaul’s Drag Race. 

I don’t know what it is about fans of that show, but we all just immediately bond. Doesn’t matter where you’re from or what language you speak — because in RuPaul’s world, no one sashays away (if you watch the show, you’ll get the reference).

The third floor is all bath bombs. If you know anything about me, you know bath bombs are my shit. I take baths every chance I get, so this was like leading an alcoholic to a bar.

Alex, my new Lush employee friend, was showing me the gold shimmer bath bomb, when her fellow employee Josh walked up and started chatting with us. He had the most beautiful accent; I could listen to him talk for hours.

And I quite literally listened to both of them talk for hours. I stayed up there until they closed, talking about London Pride, drag queens and kings, differences in British accents based on their region, Harry Potter, school and more. I didn’t want to leave, but I promised I’d come back before I left.

I bought a foot mask, a bath bomb and a bath oil, but when I looked at my receipt I only paid for a foot mask. She gave me everything else for free — I almost cried. I felt so loved by the two sweetest locals!

I left Lush with a big ol’ smile on my face. I felt like I could conquer the world, and I’d finally traveled through London by myself, while meeting the best locals I could’ve asked for. It made the homesickness that was creeping its way up, climb slowly back down.

Even though I stayed up until 4 a.m. to finish my journal and do a little homework, the trip was so worth the lack of sleep.

July 9: I visited Bri, one of my best friends, in Cambridge immediately after Pride. I rushed from the parade to the dorms, then shoved everything in my backpack and speed-walked to the Mile End tube stop and headed for Kings Cross train station. By this point, I’m basically a pro at this whole public transportation thing (with the help of Google Maps, of course), until I get to the train station.

First of all, this place is huge. There’s a Platform 9 and 3/4 — yes, like in Harry Potter — and I can’t even tell you how many people I saw running over there just for a photo op with the iconic luggage cart halfway through the wall, looking like you can transport right to Hogwarts.

But that wasn’t why I was so damn confused. I figured out how to buy my ticket from a kiosk, but I was frantically texting Bri trying to figure out what kind of ticket to buy. Super off-peak single? Off-peak return? Super off-peak return?

All I could think was, “What the actual fuck is this? Give me a one-way ticket to Cambridge, damn it!”

I got a ticket (super off-peak single, if you were wondering) for 20:44, which left six minutes from when I bought the ticket. I ran around trying to figure out which platform my train was leaving from, and ended up at Platform 5. I wasn’t positive that that was correct, so I just wandered up and down staring into the train windows, hoping for some kind of signal that this was my train. I’m pretty sure the people already on the train were thinking, “Stupid American.”

Yeah, I am a stupid American who uses a car to travel, like a normal person. Sue me.

Turns out that was my train, and I jumped on with a minute to spare. I wandered through the train carriages trying to find a place to sit, and finally I found an open seat next to, of course, the weirdest person on the train. I guess there was a reason he was alone.

He also smelled. Like, REALLY smelled. I thought it was me at first — I’d been sweating my ass off all day, so maybe I finally stunk through my clinical protection deodorant and Bath and Body Works perfume. But I did the awkward, attempt-at-being-sneaky-but-it’s-really-obvious armpit sniff, and it certainly wasn’t me. He moved his arms to take off his jacket, and yeah. Definitely him.

Once I finally got to Cambridge, I had the best weekend with Bri. Even though it was short-lived, we’d been talking about me coming to England for months, and it was surreal to finally see someone I really, truly love in another country.

I had been having strong bouts of homesickness — missing my boyfriend, my family and my friends — but seeing Bri helped ease that longing. We drank wine, watched Netflix, talked, ate the best breakfast at Fitzbillies, split a pitcher of Pimm’s and spent way too much at Lush.

It was a much needed 24 hours in Cambridge.

July 8: As I said before, on Saturday my class and I went to the London Pride Parade. I’d never been to any Pride parade before, and how cool was it that I get to go to my first one in London of all places?

We have to take the tube around London, which is similar to the subways in New York, so after being packed like sardines in there for 20 minutes, we finally arrived near Trafalgar Square. We went down “the gayest street in London” as my professor so eloquently called it, and there were thousands of people.

I’m not kidding. Thousands. It was worse than New York during Christmas time.

Imagine 15 clueless Americans trying to stick together while shoving through thousands of people who are used to this sort of thing. It was overwhelming — we were told not to take pictures on the way to Trafalgar Square, because it would “distract us from walking” — but how can you ask a bunch of college students, who’ve never been to England before, to not take pictures of one of the most colorful, lively events in London?

Some of us (including me) started taking pictures anyway, and at some point or another, I got lost. Like, really lost.

I saw no one I knew. I was taking a picture of a floating Yoda (yeah…that was a thing), turned around and everyone was gone. I tried not to panic and imagine being the next star of the Taken movies, when I saw a flash of red hair — my classmate and friend, Kaytlyn.

I rushed over to her and we found several others from our group that had gotten lost from my professor, who was our “tour guide.” We all tried calling and texting people from the group, but to no avail. Without an international phone plan, there’s no service without WiFi. And even if someone does have an international plan, like I do, using data without WiFi is still pretty much useless.

And of course, almost all of the group didn’t have an international plan.

For my summer internship, I’ve been working with a company called VeepWorks, which is a technology startup focused on empowering communities to be safer and smarter through situational awareness. The developers created an app called DREAM, which is similar to Find My Friends for iPhone users, but it has more features. You can create groups with family or friends, and they can see your location no matter where you are. If you feel as if you are in danger, there’s a panic button to press that will notify your selected groups that you need help, and offer directions to your exact location.

It’s pretty cool. I got a few of my friends and classmates to download it (since it’s free), because I thought it’d be good to test out while we’re overseas, but here’s the problem — without an international plan and/or WiFi, it doesn’t work. I tried, believe me.

Once we all realized that we wouldn’t find my professor and the larger group, one of the other professors we were with told us we could go off on our own, as long as we had a buddy. Kaytlyn and I took off to find some food — it’s weird how often I forget to eat here!

We wandered down a couple roads, shoving through people, where we ran into the parade. We took dozens of photos — I even got an adorable one of a gay couple kissing — and then managed to wind our way into a restaurant called La Chandelle.

I ordered fish and chips. Come on, I had to. And it was delicious.

We also went shopping — probably a bad idea in hindsight, considering my suitcase was only 0.5 pounds under the weight limit on my way to England — and navigated the tube back home alone. We were pretty proud of ourselves; the locals on the tube with us got a good laugh out of Kaytlyn and I praising each other for figuring the confusing tube system out.

Getting lost in London wasn’t so bad, y’all. I strongly recommend it.

July 7: It’s 7:34 a.m. here in England, and I have about an hour before my first class begins. It’s been a whirlwind of trying to get adjusted to the six-hour time change, no air conditioning, and sleeping in a bed that doesn’t have a Memory Foam mattress topper (sorry, I just really miss my bed).

Disclaimer: I know it’s July 10. I only put July 7 because I’m recounting the events of Friday, July 7. Bear with me!

Once we got to Queen Mary University of London on Friday, everyone lined up and waited for their names to be called to get their room keys. We’d just gotten off a nine-hour flight, an almost two-hour bus ride from London Heathrow Airport to campus, and while most of us thought we escaped the Texas heat — we were SO wrong. Even though the temperature may be lower, the humidity and influx of people makes London feel just as hot, if not hotter than Texas. So you can imagine how ready we were to be inside, in the cool air, unpacking and settling in.

I waited for my name to be called…and waited…and waited. Nothing.

“If your name wasn’t called, go to the reception desk and get your key.”

I walked over to the reception desk with three other girls, where we found out that our room had a leak and we couldn’t go in yet. Maintenance was trying to fix it within the next 10-15 minutes and they’d let us know what the status was on our room shortly.

Of course I get the room with the leak.

So we sat in the shade, luggage strewed about the benches for about 10 minutes, when I could hear one of the girls start whispering about me.

“Go ask her, she might switch.”

One of the girls waiting around, whom I noticed already had her room keys, starting walking my way. I connected the dots — she wanted to switch rooms with me because I was in the same room as her friends. Hell, anything to get me out of the heat and into a room faster!

I agreed to switch and took her keys. We talked with the reception desk and got everything sorted out, and I headed to Varey House (that’s the name of the building) to get some nice, cool air conditioning.

The lobby was a little stuffy, but I figured it was from the constant opening and closing of the front door. I walked to the elevator and rode it up to floor three, only to get off and realize that wasn’t my floor. I rode down to floor two, and that STILL wasn’t my floor. Did I have to run through a wall with all my luggage in tow like Harry Potter on Platform 9 3/4? Was my room in Narnia?

It turns out my room is in this weird in-between level. It’s between floors two and three, so at least I was heading in the right direction.

I got to my flat (they’re not called dorms or apartments here, I guess) — Flat 57 — and tried to unlock the door. I tried for about five minutes straight with zero luck, thinking maybe I’d accidentally grabbed the keys for my original flat or I was just that dumb and couldn’t unlock a damn door, when one of my flatmates opened the door for me.

“Don’t worry, I couldn’t get it open either,” she said.

Thank God it wasn’t just me.

I walked into our cozy little flat, opened my bedroom door and BOOM. I was hit with the stuffiest, hottest air I’ve ever felt in my life. And something else hit me.

England has no air conditioning.

Is this a joke? Do they hate themselves or something? How do they live without air conditioning?!

Just as I was convinced I was going to die here, I remembered I was going to take a bedside fan from one of my best friends, Bri, who lives in Cambridge. I was going to see her the next day, so I just had to endure one night without a fan.

It was absolutely and entirely miserable. After a pizza party for dinner, a small excursion with my class and a quick run down the road to get as many 2-liter bottles of water as I could hold, I took a cold shower to get myself to just stop sweating for two seconds. I managed to get my body temperature down enough to relax a bit, and finally got ready for bed. Some of my flatmates were going out to underground punk clubs and invited me to join, but I was so tired I swear everyone started looking like talking crabs.

Yeah, jet lag and zero sleep will do that to a person.

I had a T-shirt and Nike shorts on to sleep, but it took about 30 seconds for me to rip both of those off and throw on my 2XL night shirt to sleep in. I needed something that didn’t cling to my body or to the inevitable sweat that has been consistently lingering on my skin for the last three days.

I finally drifted off to sleep and was passed out for about 10 hours. I didn’t even wake up once, which I usually do. I guess I was just that tired.

Saturday was filled with the London Pride Parade, getting absolutely lost in the middle of downtown London, fish and chips, navigating the tube system and catching a train to Cambridge in the last four minutes before it pulled away from the platform.

But I guess you’ll have to wait until later today for those stories. Ta-ta for now!

July 6: Here I am, coming at you live from 30,000 feet in the air and about two hours into a nine-hour flight. Everyone told me to sleep on the plane, but when you’re claustrophobic and shoved between a 6’2″ man and a window, sleep is left back home. Oh, and he’s asleep, leaning so far into my “bubble” that I can feel his breath on my neck. I love traveling.

Fun fact: I’m typing this on my phone, because my laptop wouldn’t connect to the airplane WiFi quick enough and I only have 55 more minutes before I’m off the grid again, so I’ve got to make this quick.

I had to walk through all of first class and about half of economy seating before I arrived at my spot for the next nine hours. My rolling carry-on bag got caught on every single seat as I tried to walk as fast as I could to 36A.

I’m not kidding. Every single seat. 

I plopped down after getting my bags settled, thankful for the small television screen on the back of the chair in front of me and the most coveted item on an airplane: an outlet. I plugged my phone in, picked out 22 Jump Street on my mini TV and watched as I pulled away from DFW Airport.

And of course, as soon as we’re in the air and I have two people comfortably in their seats next to me, I realize — I have to pee. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel bad when I have to ask people to move so I can use the restroom. I know I can’t prevent a bodily function, but still. I tried to talk myself into getting up, but before I knew it, the flight attendants were handing out dinner and I just couldn’t miss that.

Airplane pesto pasta isn’t so bad, y’all.

Now I’m sitting here, lights out and The Blind Side streaming on my TV, starting to get a bit sleepy. It’s probably my anxiety medication, thank God!

I’m going to try and sleep now. Only if the guy next to me stops leaning my way every time he nods off.

Oh, and I still haven’t gone to the bathroom.

Kara McIntyre is a mass communication senior.