When I’m finally arriving at the airport, moving abroad suddenly feels like skydiving. Or let’s say: the moment shortly before the skydive, when you’re up at 4.000 meters and you’re staring our of the airplane asking yourself if you really feel like doing it now.
»Where are you going?«, Volkan asks me. He’s sitting next to me on the flight to Istanbul and he seems like a nice guy. »To Cape Town.« »Cool. For how long?« »Well…«, I don’t know what to say, so I just shrug and he’s quite impressed: »Wow, so you’re starting your expat life today!« I start laughing. »Ja, I start my expat life today. So what are you up to?« It sounds so easy how he says it. Just become an expat. And let’s be honest: Becoming an expat actually is not more complicated then moving to another city in your home country: Get a job, get a visa, pack your bags, board a plane. Been there, done that.
Boring as fuck.
At least that’s what I was hoping for. But only 45 minutes after take off, stewardesses start running through the aisles, panicked looks on their faces. Then comes the announcement: »Is there a doctor on board? We’re having a medical emergency.« We have an emergency landing in Vienna and clock is ticking. When we take off again, I still have 15 minutes to change flights in Istanbul. I’m happy the guy having that hear attack is fine.
But was it really necessary for him to get it on that flight?
I push my way out of the plane right after landing, shoulder 10 kilograms of hand luggage and start running. There’s someone ground staff guy standing at the door to the airport. »Flight to Cape Town, please?« He points in one direction. »Hurry up, you can still make it!« I run for my life. Push people to the side. »Sorry. Sorry.« Fuck, this bag is heavy! In the movies it looks so much more calm and easygoing to run for a plane. I see gate 303. Last call. I rush to the desk, show them my ticket and: I made it! I’m boarding the plane to Cape Town!
With me: a really good looking Dublin rugby team! What a reward for all the hassle. Another reward: the seat next to me is not taken. I just make myself comfortable and fall asleep before the stewardesses serve dinner. My expat life started today. How about your day?