When I first stated that flying with my German passport was going to be a nightmare I was kind of being dramatic. Or so I thought. I thought it wasn't going to really be a problem. Arrive at airport show paperwork, check in, bingo bango. I figured it would possibly be a bit of a mish when entering the US but I sure didn't think there was going to be any hussle on the UK side of things. WRONG. (Warning long boring over drawn post about travel day)
We arrive at the airport I hand my German passport over to the guy before check in. You know that serious guy who you know asks if you packed your bags, do I have any weapons and so forth. Straight faced and very serious. He then says well do you have an American passport? Oh yes sir I do have it but my bag was taken and I believe my passport was inside the bag. The mood when from serious to like red alert in a snap of a finger. Uh mam why have you not reported your passport stolen etc. I'm going to need to go and speak to security to see if we can let you fly. So this other fella only goes and phones US Embassy Security and I then have to speak to her on the phone. She lets me know she just has to figure out if it's really me and if I am really an American citizen and so forth. Although I am not trying to fly as an American this still I guess really makes a difference. So then I'm put to the side to wait for the results. "Tanja, we found your American passport details in the system you are an American citizen." Gee, wonder what gave that away good thing I dont sound American or anything. Then this guy proceeds to ask me more questions. Why I am in the country, what am I doing here. I did the wrong thing by saying that I am here living and working with my husband. You're married? Then I have to reassure that he is a UK citizen, but then the problem is.... My name is no longer Tanja Heffner it's now Aden. He goes and phones security again. Comes back and asks to see my marriage certificate. I unfortunately forgot it yesterday I mean I usually carry it around in my back pocket. Oh well we aren't going to be able to allow you to fly. Excuse me? In short he then phoned the embassy again and just gave me a warning and said that I must change all my passports and items as soon as I get back or they won't let me fly again. I explained that I didn't want to send for a new one just yet as I didn't know when I would be travelling again and I didn't want to be without passport.
David and I say our byes and I get to the plane to find that we have the TV screens in back of seats. Score. I also then discover that no the person next to me is not late for the plane, there in fact is no one sitting next to me. I have two seats. Double score. So I turn my phone off and put it in the pocket in front of me and begin reading the book I bought for the trip. "The Angel at No. 33" which was brilliant by the way. Read most of it and finished it this morning when I woke up at about 630AM. In midst the flight I also watched The Help which I have been a bit interested in watching but didn't think I'd enjoy it. It was very moving and inspiring. I absolutely adored it and actually teared up at one of the parts just being so moved by the courageous acts of some people in the world. (I realize it's just a film). Then I also watched CRAZY STUPID LOVE. What can I say I was on an Emma Stone kick and Ryan Gossling had no participation in the persuasion of choosing this film. I would tell you what I thought about it but it was shut off during our decent into Philadelphia.
I grab my book and magazines and put them away and head off the plane to sprint to customs since I can't just flash my US passport I'm going to have to actually que. I don't even bother looking in the backs of the seats because I already grabbed my magazines and book. I didn't use my phone during the flight so it must be in my bag. I usually look a few times just too make sure but I didn't bother this time.
Customs. My heart was pounding as if I were smuggling a load of drugs in my luggage or something. I don't know why but I was so nervous. I think because of how much hassle it was on the other side I figured it was going to be twice as hassle in the United States. Wrong. The guy was so nice to me. I mean I had to go through a second security "interview" but they didn't really even ask me any questions just said as an American I need to enter the country with my passport so I get treated as an American.
So I proceed to go and find my baggage to recheck it and make my way to my next flight. Baggage is taking awhile so I'll have a peak at my phones to see if they both work. ( I haven't used my US iphone in over a year so was a bit worried) Ok so there is my US one but my English iphone seems to have gone on it's on holiday. You know when you look for something and you try and play over and over again where you placed something. Then like a light bulb you can see where you've placed it. Well that moment happened and I remembered putting it in the pocket in front of me ON the plane that I had just gotten off of. Oh joy.
Oh my bags. Rechecked. Security check. Now where is a help desk. " Oh mam you will need to go down there to A1 and they can help you there. God bless you." (Oh yes definitely back in the US) 3:00. Flight leaves at 3:40. Walk FAST. Get to the flight help desk. Where is the woman behind? Oh ofcourse they are opened at 8-2 and 330-8. How convenient. So I begin to scurry towards my gate and hope that the woman at that desk can help me. C26. Of course I'm 3 terminals away from that location and there aren't shuttles. Glad I could fit in a work out. Not. I'm sweating now in my lovely warm cardigan I wore to keep me warm on the plane. Flushed look is so back in right now. C24, C25, ahhhh finally C26. 3:20. 20 minutes til flight leaves. No attendant to be found of course. Definitely not getting that phone back now. Lady comes to the desk to throw something away. Finally I out of breathe try and tell her the situation. She phones us airways about my flight to see if someone has found a phone. The woman was sat in 31G. Yes yes that would be this ladies phone. Can you please get it to us now she needs to board the plane? She looks at me and says that they are going to bring the phone to me its found. Sigh of relief. The plane begins to board. No phone. All of a sudden she comes to me and says your going to have to go to A1 and get your phone. I'm sorry but it's just taken me 20 minutes to get from there as if I'm going to make the plane? She assures me there is a flight at 6 if I miss this one and that they will try and hold the plane for me as long as they can. Gets me one of those guys that drive those airport things and takes me to B so I run to A grab phone run back to B guy picks me up drives me back to C. Not a soul in sight at C26. Missed the flight rats. At least I have my phone. Then for some odd reason things worked in my favour. The check in guy came and said the plane waited for me. Oh great I'm that girl.
Needless to say it was a looong winded day but I arrived safe and sound to Heather's beautiful face. We and her room mate went and ate Mexican food and had a well deserved Margarita. I also went without a coat.
Now I shall end this post and maybe talk more later. You'll probably STILL be reading this then when I post. I get a little carried away during story time.
For now I shall get back to enjoying my starbucks and when Heather gets out of the shower ceize the day with her. :)