Monday, June 6, 2016

Made it to Ireland. Cheers!

I suppose every good story requires a little suspense, and United Airlines made sure to deliver it on my trip to Dublin.

My flight from Nashville to Chicago got delayed (twice) so that it would arrive about 45 minutes before the Dublin-bound plane took off. Yes, dear reader, that sounds like plenty time. Except that it doesn't take into consideration the time it takes for the plane to taxi to the terminal or the fact that the gate for the Dublin flight would close 15-20 minutes before takeoff.

So by the time I actually stepped off the plane from Nashville at 7:38 p.m., I had 20-25 minutes to sprint through Terminal 3, wait for the tram-thingy to get to the International Terminal, race up the escalator and through the security check point, strip off my tennis shoes and belt and take out my laptop, wait for the impossibly slow people in front of me get through the radioactive chamber, collect my things and sprint (shoes untied) to Gate 5, which, I would discover, was conveniently placed at what felt like was the farthest point from security.

"You have got to be kidding me," I said (out-of-breath) as I passed gate Gate 6 only to see another hallway and a sign pointing me to the ever-farther-away Gate 5.

I actually raised my arms in triumph when I reached the gate just as they announced "final boarding call." O'Hare International Airport Course Record: 21 minutes, 40-some-odd seconds.

The best part of the trip across the Atlantic, though, was sitting next to Michael Thormann, a German pharmaceutical company co-founder, whose firm is working on a drug to stop degenerative brain diseases, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Thormann was a delightful conversationalist and would be in almost any language. He speaks 10 of them, although he told me: "It doesn't matter if you can speak 10 languages; it only matters if you have something to say."

Cheers to that!

After our overnight flight, seatmate and new friend Michael Thormann and I are pleased to arrive at the Dublin Airport.
- Ryan Alessi

1 comment:

  1. I could picture it all! However, when I picture myself in your situation, I don't get to sit by the cool guy on the plane. I am sure I would be sleeping in the airport next to a sweaty, snoring fella that just finished his job emptying port-a-potties at a music festival. I am equally sure I would be arriving in Dublin two days late. Can't wait to read about the rest of your adventures!