The Journey Begins

The airport has free WiFi, but I can’t get it to work. I’m writing this in the while waiting for my flight, but I suspect that it won’t be published to WordPress until I land in the UK. (I was actually able to get WiFi on the plane!)

As you probably already know, I spent the last week raising money for the trip. I ended up selling my Magic: The Gathering cards and all but a couple of my graphic novels to River City Hobbies. If you’re in La Crosse, Wi be sure to pop in and say “Hi!” to Tom and the others. Even if you’re on team Apex! They’re good people. Tell them “the Brit” sent you.

That brings up the first of many distractions from the topic. Here in America, I’m the Brit to almost all my friends. I’m not sure how that nickname will work once I’m back in Britain surrounded by my fellow Brit. I’ve no doubt that I’ll still be the Brit to my American friends, but it would be a little bit odd if my British friends do too. Will they call me the Yank? My accent has definitely been effected by my time in the states. Partly deliberately. An accent in customer service can be useful, people listen harder, but it doesn’t matter if they don’t understand you.

Back on track. I arrived at the airport,  accompanied by my friend Alex, a little after 8am. He drove the car, the VW Beetle, back to La Crescent, MN. He’ll take good care of it. He offered me $500 for it, but he couldn’t get it to me until later. I decided,  since my roommate Jitters has been left with the apartment all to himself, to have Alex give the money directly to Jitters. That way I know my half of the rent and some other bills are covered for another month, and I can feel a little less guilty about leaving him in the lurch. Especially since he’s also taking care of my feline buddy Scott for me.

Jitters, of course, has been completely understanding and supportive. He’s a true friend and has done nothing to inspire any guilt. Still, I’ll sleep easier knowing Jitters still has a roof over his head, and Alex has a car.

I’m a bloody nice person. So it irked me somewhat when one of my friends chose not to attend last night’s last ever game of D&D. It probably won’t actually be the last, the party fairly unanimously decided that we should continue via Skype or Google Hangouts. The time difference will mean a very late night for yours truly, but it will only be even two weeks. Anyway, the friend who will not be named claimed he was too busy to attend. He told one of us his cat was sick and he needed to keep an eye on it. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. Especially when his girlfriend posted a picture of him, and his cat, fast asleep on the couch.

When pressed he claimed that it was because I pick on him. Am I a bully? To I say hurtful things to everyone around me to demean them and keep them in line? It certainly doesn’t sound like me. The friends that did show up certainly don’t seem to think so. Unless I inspire so much terror that they dare not contradict me to my face! Again this seems unlikely.  This would have been everyone’s perfect opportunity to get everything out in the open, knowing that if I take it badly, I’d be fucking off to England in the morning anyway!

He’s mentioned feeling like he’s being teased/picked on before, but usually to other people. Even on my last day, he refused to clarify his feelings in person. He issued a threat, again through a third party, but made no mention of it when I messaged him. Like I said,  it bothers me. Perhaps he’s just a coward, and I should just let it go. Why anyone would lack the courage to tell me to my face is still bamboozling me though.

However, I’m supposed to be talking about the trip! I saved up about $900 in cash, and my wonderful Mum saw to it that I had another $1000 in my checking account. The plan was to arrive early and go from desk to desk trying to find the soonest, cheapest and most direct flight to the UK, and use whatever is left to buy food, train tickets and hopefully have pocket money until I get settled.

Things had changed a little since I last flew out of Minneapolis-St Paul. Instead of a variety of airlines represented, almost every desk said Delta. This wasn’t the end of the world. Delta was my preference anyway, but the lack of competition wasn’t ideal. It turned out that there was one flight available. Direct flight (yay), at 10:05 pm (I can keep myself busy), for $1853 (ouch!). I took it. By the time I got through security and pulled out my tablet to email Mum, it was still only 10:25 am.

Many of my friends, including nameless, play Pokemon GO! So far I had resisted the temptation, choosing instead to spend all my time not at work or sleeping, writing. That includes writing, sharing and curating the content for this blog! However, with time to kill, and the knowledge that I won’t be earning a paycheck until Britannia says I can, I thought I’d give it a go. It kept crashing of course, so I’d flip between that and Facebook. Using my $20 pay-as-you-go smartphone since I still can’t get the free wifi working.

This airport has a lot of Pokestuff. So far I’ve found 3 gyms, constantly changing hands. Pokestops all over the place, sometimes in groups, and a plague of Drowzees! I’ve faced a lot more than the amount I captured, but between the crashes, and the fact that my dude doesn’t move from the spot once the map loads I still have 8 of them. I have also captured 2 Zubats, a Rattata, a Krabby, a Nidoran, and the Squirtle I started with.  I also got an egg from one of the Pokestops. No idea how it’s supposed to hatch though if my dude won’t move!

I walked all over the place, exploring concourses and corridors I have never been to before. Seeing all kinds of displays and artworks, and cool shops, I didn’t even know were there. I may keep it up when I get home. It’ll give me an excuse to explore. I don’t need to feel weird about my curiosity either, as long as I’m holding my phone I’ll be just another Pokemon player, and not just some creep looking at houses in strange neighborhoods. I may need some company for some parts of town. Much I love the conspiracy theories about Pokemon GO, it’s a fun little game.

I still have 2 hours until my flight. I’m think I’m done writing for now, but I have a great seat by the gate right now. If I explore anymore I may not get it back.

I actually just received a series of Facebook messages from nameless. I’m probably more confused now than I was before. He’s still going to send me money for the furniture he’s taking, and he says he’s going miss me. Apparently the only reason he didn’t show was that he was dead tired. Let me ask you, my audience. If you knew that you were never going see someone again but you were ‘exhausted’, would you bail, or suck it up at least a for a while. Most of the others were tired too,  and had to leave a little earlier than our D&D games normally run too. They, however, showed up!

He claims he’s going to miss me, that he’s sure he’s going to see me again before too long. This implies not only that he enjoys my company as a friend, but also that he has faith in my talent and future success. He did state outright that he felt bullied, both on the podcast (the Masquerade with Bumble and the Brit, and no it’s not Bumble) and the D&D nights too. Maybe I’m over thinking this, but when I felt victimized, belittled and mocked by a friend, I stopped being their friend! He’s not me though. He clearly doesn’t think like me. I shouldn’t expect him to act like me.

To summarize,  I’ve been waiting for 10 hours for my flight. I have less than two to go, and I’ve kept myself occupied by exploring the airport while playing Pokemon GO, keeping up with Facebook, writing, and dealing with confusing emotions.

Since I’m doing this on my tablet, don’t expect the usual linkapalooza with pretty pictures and video. I may go back and edit later. Perhaps remove some parts I later regret, and make it all pretty and interconnected with other articles for you. You may have noticed that I’ve started linking to articles by other bloggers that I’ve enjoyed. Please show us all some love by signing up for email notifacations. Even if you never read the emails, the follower stats and traffic will help us all be successful.

Thank you for listening. What do you think? About any of this?