There are 36 minutes until we touch down in Istanbul.
The flight went well. Very little turbulence and relatively smooth. For dinner, we had cannelloni with spinach, and eggs for breakfast. Of course, the insensitive pr*** in front of me had to recline his seat all the way back. Do people not know that this is bad air travel etiquette ? I had some Chardonnay with dinner, hoping it would make me sleepy, and it did.
There are some older women yapping in the aisle behind me, very loudly. I should pull a Bernie Matczak and ask, ‘do you speak English?’ They would say yes, and then I would say, ‘then you know what shut up means.’ I wouldn’t do this, but seriously, this isn’t your living room. You’re sharing it for 11 hours with HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE.
Does it sound like I am excited to land? :)
6:32 pm, Istanbul: Holy cats. Istanbul is still kind of a hot mess. And by that I mean, it’s hot and messy. I also am not looking too awesome.
Check out the photo I took of the plane. I was worried about all those older people and those steps. Some were hanging on for dear life. I pushed and shoved my way on the first shuttle bus, because that’s the way you roll here.
Now I’m on the flight to Zagreb. Should go well, and soon I should be at my hotel, with my feet up. That sounds awesome right now.
9:16 pm: I made it to Zagreb. That flight was only 1:40, and it wasn't a full flight. The middle seat was empty - score! I deplaned and made it through border control easily. The Croatian passport dude really didn't even give me a second glance. I found an ATM and was able to withdraw cash. This always make me a little nervous, especially the machines that completely suck in your card. I'm always worried that if something goes wrong, then I wouldn't get it back. So far, that has not happened. I called Hotel Dream and asked about someone picking me up. I was told to wait outside and someone in the silver van would be there in 5 minutes.
I waited. Of course, the swarmy cab drivers were asking if I needed a ride. I declined. A silver van pulled up, a man got out and loaded some luggage for two other men. He saw me and kind of walked toward me. Hotel Dream, he asked? Yup, and I hopped in. I didn't give it a second thought. Being in a car with three strange Croatian men didn't phase me. But things aren't the same here as they are in America. Here, the biggest crime is usually pick-pocketing.
I got settled into my room. Small, but clean, private bathroom, and will do the trick. The receptionist, "Damir" said the bar is open all night. "Bar" meaning a counter with 4 stools, but I'll take it. So, I'm sitting here eating some cashews that I packed and sipping an excellent Croatian Chardonnay, recommended by Damir.
Tomorrow, it's a short flight of 55 minutes to Drubrovnik via Croatian Airlines. It's likely a budget airline, where you pay extra to not sit on the airplane wing, but hey...get me there, and we're good.