Sometimes “getting away from it all” is harder than you might think.
My husband and I had finally picked our destination: Turkey. We booked the tour and the flight; a two-legged journey with a three-hour layover in Amsterdam. We canceled the paper and spoke to the neighbors to let them know our house would be empty for two weeks. Coincidently, our next door neighbors were also going on vacation…to India with their two boys.
The neighbor boys. (Insert ominous music here.) Backyard spies who routinely climb their play structure like it’s a watchtower at a prison camp. Of course, this makes us the unsuspecting targets of their surveillance. Then the questioning ensues. Cheery, soprano voices with an endless chorus of, “What are you doing?” “Why are you spraying the hose on your patio?” “Are you going to barbecue?” “What are you going to cook?” And on, and on, and on…almost every night, all summer long.
So as you can imagine, we were looking forward to spending time outside, in a country far, far away.
On the morning of our departure the alarm was set for six o’clock. We dragged ourselves out of bed and caught a cab to the airport. The security checks were no problem and we were at our gate in plenty of time. Boarding began and we made our way down the gangway to the plane. After locating our seats on the jumbo jet, we settled in for the eight hours to Amsterdam and relaxed. Our fellow passengers continued to load without incident and the plane was soon in the air.
Then we heard a familiar voice; muffled, in a high-pitched kind of way. “Why can’t I get up?” “Are they going to serve food?” “How long is the flight?” “What time will it be when we land?” “Where are the pilots?” “What’s that smell?’ I looked across the plane and three rows up on the right-hand side the profile of my neighbor came into focus.
NOOOOO!!!!! The neighbor boys were booked on the same flight!
Question after question flew across the cabin like ricocheting bullets: “Why?” this, and “What” that. The exasperated sighs we’d been expelling all summer long moved through the fuselage like cascading dominos. Hour after hour my husband and I dodged their careful scrutiny, ducking a little lower each time one of their heads suddenly popped up over the seat backs. Unfortunately, for the passengers directly behind them there was no escape. They didn’t have a chance against the boys’ thorough inquisition. The CIA should use these two kids as an interrogation tactic.
Eventually, the boys fell asleep and we all arrived in Amsterdam with our sanity intact.