*I apologize for no pics...but apparently the camera AND phone wires were left behind in boxes...read on...also spell check is not working so bear with any misspelled words please.
Ive been meaning to get this post up for a week...but Ive been so freakin busy its not even funny. I also considered giving you all a detailed over view of that past 2 weeks but figured that would be a down right mini series...so decided to spare you that trauma of anticipation for each new installment. Sooooo came to the painful conclusion that I would just give you more of a bullet type update...anyone with questions can leave them in the comments. Be nice.
So here goes...
1. Right up until the VERY moment we boarded the plane I was having one headache after another just preparing to leave Bahrain. Everything from missing passports...delayed visa...making new passports...stolen money and wallet with all my ID....aaaaaand the million and one other things moving from one country to another entails. I wasnt sleeping at all for the week leading up to our departure...and jet lag is still kicking my backside...so Im still trying to catch up a week later.
2. I had a dozen people calling me offering plane tickets....money...help with the bills etc...a dozen people if not MORE...they ALL CALLED ME due to the article in the newspaper I mentioned before....they all called me....ONCE... with heartfelt promises and BIG PLANS...and then never called me back. NOT ONE OF THEM. Like I have mentioned countless times before...why even bother to call or offer such things if you have NO intention of following through? Whatever.
3. One person from the blogs did email me and promised that she would make sure all the tickets were paid for (she found some people to donate them)....and she did. I am truly indebted to this lady because once some of the money was stolen I did not have enough for the tickets...but wasnt about to get on here and say that after the amazing turnout of people who donated. I sincerely apologize to those that donated for losing (had stolen) a portion of the money donated...I lost all my ID as well. Try getting passports, traveling...and starting a fresh life with NO ID (well eventually got my passport...barely hours before I traveled) and discover just how hard that can be. I dont recommend it.
4. At the airport I discovered I had too much luggage and had to open everything we had right there on the floor and rearrange contents trying to get some of them legal weight wise...had to leave two boxes behind. (have since discovered those boxes had some very needful things in them...of course) It was a mad rush of sorting and screaming and trying to organize in a hurry as the delay meant we were late getting to the gate. I was absolutely drenched in sweat and near to having a breakdown due to the 2 weeks build up of high stress over the stolen money, ID etc plus other delays...plus now the luggage drama. By the time I sat down at last on the plane and could actually take a very long exhale...I was pretty close to exhaustion. It was the hardest most stressful 2 weeks I have had since pre divorce...and thats saying something. (boxes were taken back with my friend who has promised to send them to me...Im waiting girl)
5. Oh yes...I need to mention that upon arrival at Bahrain airport I discovered one of my childrens passports had a page torn right down the middle...which page might you ask...the picture and ID page of course. Prior to heading to the airport I had stopped to make photocopies to leave with my friend....apparently the Filipino girl that did the copies tore the page (I assume by accident...but she did seem in a hurry to get us out the door) and I didnt notice til I handed it to airport reservation...who took one look and declared it illegal to travel on...ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! Eventually much heated discussion followed in which numerous "higher ups" were called upon to make a higher up decision...and it was accepted but I was warned I would have a headache, no doubt, while traveling...now THERES an understatement. Every single passport check delayed us again and again while ALL of our passports were scrutinized due to that one having the tear. In Paris we barely made it to the next flight due to the delay. In Dallas the man just stared at me and asked..."did you do this...why did you do this...you know its not allowed to do this"....ok...gotcha...just stamp it and get on with it will ya? In Salt Lake the lady said...."how in the heck did they let you travel with this?" I have no idea but Im certainly glad they did and now that Im here I dont really care anymore...JUST LET ME THROUGH ALREADY!!!
6. The trip itself was sooooooooo loooooooooooooong. My lord was I tired of sitting and sitting and sitting...and did I mention how much I sat for heavens sake? At least we were pleasantly surprised to discover the first leg of the trip was in business class...so we could stretch out and enjoy our leg room...warm cloth...and REAL utensils with our meals. However, this set us up for the devastating realization that the next 2 flights would be in the Sardine Section. Im NOT complaining as I was extremely HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY to be on the plane at all...but for us bigger than average people (read:fat) its harder to be in the Sardine section when your a fat sardine...*sigh*. (need to work more on that...been going to the gym you know). By the time we reached Salt Lake my feet were the size of cantalopes...I dared not remove my shoes for fear of a minor explosion of flesh hitting innocent bystanders.
7. When we FINALLY arrived some 3 months later in Dallas (11 hours but whose counting), I might add...while standing in line at customs and my kids are looking around getting their first REAL look at America (the boys at least) (and you cant get anymore American than Texas) what should be their first EXPERIENCE in America be but a flat out rude f**k of a man who shocked them and left them with open jaws and round eyes. A guy was standing in front of me in the looooooong customs line that all the Americans stand in...the line drew ahead and he just continued to stand there. Made no attempt to bridge the gap...and the gap was at least 7 or 8 people wide by this time. Im very tired...very irritated...very thirsty...and very tired..did I mention that? So I did what just about any other person would have done...I made moves to move ahead in hopes that he would catch on and move ahead too. He quickly turned and looked at me and with a completely benign look on his face spewed out the most foul language I have heard in quite some time. "F" this and "F" that about how I dared cut in front of him and who did I think I was and how he F***ing hated people who thought they were better than you and cut in front of you in line...and how he had JUST ABOUT HAD IT WITH RUDE PEOPLE. I see. After I got over my initial shock I calmly asked him if he was having a bad day. Willing to give him some small excuse because I wasnt IN America officially until I was past customs....and I still had a torn passport to deal with...no need to cause heads to lift and focus on me anymore than they had already...right? So I was calm. I was good. I swallowed his sh*t just to get through customs. He said he was having a "very good f**king day and would continue to do so if people LIKE ME didnt come and try and ruin it". I see. My kids were in shock as I said and I was trying to figure out if the guy was actually going to have a mental breakdown and go all kung foo on me or something. He looked spring loaded and ready to act that was for sure. I decided to remain silent....but not in my head. Anyhow...he moved forward so I took a step forward as well. He then turns his head and dared me to touch his luggage or "see what he would do to me". Wheres a frickin police officer when you need one? I calmly (still calm) told him I wouldnt touch his luggage if my life depended on it. (and maybe it did?) When we passed a security man I pointed out the sh*t and told security dude that he was insane and rude and they should scrutinize him a little better than most. Security dude just laughed and pointed me to a line.
Welcome to America kids *sigh*
7. I did manage to get some exercise in at Dallas airport after all that sitting. For those that havent been there...there is a tram system set up that takes you from one terminal to another. It goes all around the airport. We found the tram after getting off the Paris flight...went to the proper terminal for getting to Salt Lake and sat down with a sigh. I then realized I had all the Bahraini money to change...not having had a chance to do so in Bahrain due to the luggage fiasco delaying us...and in Paris due to the passport fiasco delaying us...and I wasnt sure if Salt Lake airport would change Bahraini money or not. I wasnt sure if it was considered an international airport...so I went looking for a money exchange. Turns out that terminal did not have any...I had to return to the terminal I was just at. So I told the kids to sit and relax and dont leave the carry ons etc while I got back on the tram and went back to the other terminal. Once I located the money exchanger and he spent eons of time figuring out the rate for dinars and carefully calculating at least 10 times...he then asked for my ID. Did I mention I didnt have any? Thought so. I had not brought my passport either...ugh. Soooooooooooooo I had to scamper ALL THE FREAKING way back to the tram and to the other terminal...grab the passport with a quick word to the kids...and rush like mad back to the other terminal..change the money and get back on the tram to my departure terminal in which they were by now calling for all boarders. I didnt even have a chance to relax and enjoy browsing the airport (same thing in Paris...argh!!!) I sat down with an exhausted crash and held a silent pity party for one.
8. So we FINALLY reach Salt Lake...the last leg of our trip...but is it? No it isnt. We still have a 3 hour plus drive ahead of us to Wyo. It was lovely seeing my long time friend there to greet us...hugs all around...meet the family...wait ages for luggage....of course it was ABSOLUTELY LAST coming out of the little box thing....and off to the car we went. Arrived "home" at 2 am with my two kids and her two kids screaming like mad in the street having been waiting for 2 hours for our arrival. My sonny boy was first in the car into my lap and arms around my neck before the door was even fully open. I hadnt seen him in 9 months...he is nearly 12 now but he wasnt ashamed to cry with happiness at seeing his mom again. My kids were estatic to see each other and be all together once again (didnt last long til the first argument over who slept where was had but hey...it sounded wonderful anyhow). We all crashed out where ever we could find a spot(my sonny boy was right next to me..almost on top of me)...and it was lights out until the next day was half gone.
7 hours to Paris (give or take)
11 hours to Dallas (give or take)
3 hours to Salt Lake (exactly)
3 hours plus to Wyo
4 very very VERY tired travelers
*to be continued. Life after landing.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Just to let everyone know that we made it at last and in one piece...BARELY...lol. Such a loooong journey. Im very very tired so will update just as soon as I have some rest and get the feeling back in my legs.
Thank you so much to every single person that made this journey possible. Without your support a dream would still be just a dream.
Friday, September 11, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Ok...sooooo here's the story so far.... I get the group okay to go home at last...have minor heart attack (ok major but lets not be picky over details) and rush to the blog to put out a plea for help. Next thing I know complete strangers...and some not so strange (hee hee) jump on board the "lets get Coolred and family home" bandwagon and within a very short week or so...WaLah!!! Lots of money is donated and....ANNNNDDDDD!!! so much more then anyone could even expect under such circumstances. Listen up people...
Right now there is enough in the pot to go straight to the nearest airline and buy 4 tickets...which I would be rushing to do post haste except! I have had several offers from some people here on the blog and some people here in Bahrain to donate a ticket or two...despite the money raised. So I'm holding off just a wee bit on that...if I can go home with some money in my pocket to get our lives started why not grab that opportunity? Scary enough pulling up stakes for the Great Unknown...doing it without a bit of green in your wallet is heart stopping.
Anyhow, some of you may have seen the article in Al Bilad by one Mohammed Othman (no idea why he wrote it...he never talked to me...lol) it was in Arabic but essentially said 'how can we let this poor Muslim mother of 5 head off into the lands of the unbelievers where they wont be allowed to be proper Muslims when we could help them right here and now in Bahrain and shame on all of us?"...something like that. I don't want to sound ungrateful to Mr Othman but he seems to have little faith in our abilities to resist the temptation to turn into *gasp* Americans...and all that entails (loss of morality and ethics as such I'm assuming). Heads up Mohammed...we are Americans and proud of it...but my kids are Bahraini too...why cant they be both in the eyes of Bahrain and not just Bahraini? Just a thought...anyhow....
Apparently many people seen that article (so a big thanks to him for at least getting the word out) and Ive been getting phone calls from people offering this that or the other (could someone explain to me how all these people got my phone number? anyone?)...but essentially HELP!!! help to get us all back home...help to maybe pay my bills (several months late rent, electric etc) and help in giving me some peace of mind that this will be just bit easier then I was anticipating.
NOW...my only reservation with receiving all those phone calls is that I have received many such phone calls in the past which resulted in naught...so I will take them for their word...wait patiently for a week or so and see what pans out...but not much more than that if I can help it...school is starting in America...need to get on the ball...or plane...a better form of transportation for sure.
I've also been contacted by the GDN (Gulf Daily News...local newspaper here) and did an on the phone type interview for them...apparently there will be a snippet about us in that paper too sometime this week...very cool. Considering how many letters I have written to that newspaper over this past 23 years and the "notoriety" my name has received on occasion from people (autograph anyone? lol) who recognized it...wondering what sort of reception that will pull off....hmmm?
I'm somewhat stuck here still due to passport hangups. The kids are good to go but mine is still awaiting a visa as my Bahrain visa expired (before all this happened) and its been in the Ministry of Passports for awhile now. 23 years Ive been receiving visas without too much hassle...NOW its taking forever!!! Murphy's Law truly sucks sometimes.
Ive gotten a few other phone calls and a little birdy has informed me of something else that POSSIBLY may happen for us...I definitely will NOT hold my breath on that one...been here too long to fall for such talk as that. Fool me once and all that...*sigh*. I will let you all in on those subjects if they do actually turn out to be true. *yawn*
My two kids in America are VERY excited that we will be arriving any time now. My 11 year old is over the moon his brothers WILL be coming this time...he needs his bros. I cant wait to see him. I FREAKIN MISS THAT KID!!!
I know this isn't over yet...until we are all safely in America I wont let this long LOOOONG held breath out and relax...but I do want to thank everyone...every single person who donated anything at all...from money to well wishes and prayers...for this humongous thing you have done for me and my kids. I can only hope we deserve it and put this opportunity to good use.
More updates coming as soon as I have some to pass on. Stay tuned folks...it can only go uphill from here. Yahoooooo!!!
*I will keep the paypal button there for anyone that still wants to donate at anytime. The response has been overwhelming and more than I could have dreamed of...but I wont refuse more help at this point. Every dollar counts when making this sort of move. Thank you everyone.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Dont know what happened but my blog totally disappeared for a few hours today. Luckily I download it quite often...however, as you can see...alot of what I had on the sidebars etc is gone...including my followers. Please if you were a follower of mine before re-follow me. I will work on this and get an update about whats been going on from my side...
some of you wont believe whats going on!!!
p.s. thank you so much for the emails etc asking where the blog went...nice to know people would miss me if I were gone...ha ha!!
some of you wont believe whats going on!!!
p.s. thank you so much for the emails etc asking where the blog went...nice to know people would miss me if I were gone...ha ha!!