We make it to the plane. Now our next mission: get hubby´s business seat switch to tourist class. The gentleman in seat 40G had no clue that this was going to be his lucky day. And as his Russian nature did not precisely decrease his suspiciousness, he was very hesitant to follow hubby to seat number 24E, to see the business seat offered to him. Hubby later said that Vitali´s serious Russian face was shining like a sun when he understood that he was actually going to spend the next 13,5 hours in quite decent circumstances.
Back to row 40. Both children dead tired. Some water to A and a pillow under her head and she sleeps - before take off. That was easy! Then G...hmm... water and a pillow will just not do the trick. He fights fiercely against any attempt to calm him down. When he finally falls a sleep in his sleeping bag, we place him on the floor and truly enjoy the best that AirFrances can offer: the food, the cheese and the wine. I hook up to the movie "Social Network" and halfway through the wine (damn!) I am knocked out. Nice! Sleep! Finally!
Until somewhere just above Canary Islands it all looks too promising. G sleeping tight on the floor, A very quiet in her seat and both hubby and I exhausted but asleep. RRRR - wake up. Flight attendant informs us that it is not allowed to sleep on the floor. From that moment on the plane ride turns in to endless waiting. It just never ends, and I do not manage to go back to sleep. G in hubby´s or my lap and A kicking ceaselessly. I just wish we would be above Brazil already. But the Atlantic is big and my seat starts feeling like what I imagine a torture chair feels like. Headache strikes - Flight attendant does luckily have a pill for that. Still, I should be happy - both kids sleep, and they sleep almost 7 hours without waking up. Once all awake (5 hours before arrival, which means 4 a.m. Chilean time, decent 9 a.m. Finnish time) nothing is better. A goes car sick from the turbulance and G is in no mood of staying put in one place. It is at this point that I look at both hubby and children and think: "This was all my fault - whatever was the reason for me to go on adventures to South America - now three other persons have to suffer this plane ride just because of that....".
But we make it. Strangely enough. Morning arrives, as well as breakfast. We see the Andean mountains and feel how the plane start decending. Light at the end of the tunnel! Once landed, the Chilean passangers are kind enough to teach our kids that you applaud when landing. Hubby embarrassed, but I actually feel that this plane ride was worth some applause - from both my kids. Relieved and happy - we leave the disaster ground. I remind myself that mess is good; at least the airplane cleaners will see some real results of cleaning this plane today!
The biggest miracle of all awaits us when we have passed the International Police. Our luggage has arrived! Charles de Gaulle airport do offer some positive surprises sometimes. Not too often but often enough to know to enjoy them when the appear. So no emergency shopping needed this morning.
Media frenzy at the exit. We find out that the first Chilean man to make it from revolutionary Egypt to his homeland has travelled on the same plane as we. I see the man with a Chilean flag around him. I get a flashback of the frenzy around the 33 miners some months ago. Chilean journalism...alive and well! Welcome home!