2 Down, 1 To Go

Hello from Turkey!  I’m sitting on the floor of the Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, alongside other thrifty laptop users who are taking advantage of our proximity to one of those Sky Lounges to get free wireless internet.  It’s 7pm local time, and I just got off a ten hour flight from Chicago to Istanbul, which was preceded by a quick flight from Buffalo.  These 6 and 7 hour layovers are sure made more pleasant when there’s internet available…

Istanbul Airport.jpg

Needless to say, I was more than a little wowed by my first international flying experience since going to Norway with mom and my cousin Oda 18 years ago.  On that flight, after we hit turbulence and a flight attendant accidentally spilled a drink on my outfit, they apologized by bringing out copious amounts of free candy for Oda and I.  There were no spilled beverages this time around, but the customer service was just as fantastic. (Or perhaps I’m just easily impressed, having flown on so many airlines where getting a second bag of snack mix is a rarity). Despite it technically being an overnight flight, we were served dinner and breakfast, plus a “between services” snack and unlimited alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages.  Add in the other freebies and the in-flight entertainment system, and it adds up to pretty great value for what was an extremely cheap economy class ticket.  (I swear I’m not being paid to say that!)

So far the travel gods seem to be smiling on me.  I’ve managed to sail through border and airport security, and have even had airline workers waive checked baggage fees and look the other way when it comes to carry on luggage regulations.  On top of that, the flights have all left on time and arrived early.  Hopefully I haven’t jinxed myself by documenting my good fortune…

I’ll be met in Uganda early Wednesday morning by the group that I’m volunteering with, who will take me back to the volunteer accomodations in Kasana.  Then the real adventure begins!