Saturday 14th February 2015.
We left the house in a hurry at 10.45am and rather stressed as no preparation was put into this trip. I let my brother organise the whole trip apart from the hotel bit as I didn’t want to sleep in no raggedy hotel.
Before topping up our oyster cards so we could travel to Heathrow, my brother realised that he had left his at his house. He had to buy a new one which he wasn’t happy with as they are quite expensive.
We stopped at Finsbury Park’s 99 cents shop to get some European plug adapters for Turkey plus a few pad locks for our suitcases as I had lost mine a few months ago in my room. We didn’t know if the Airline was going to allow us to take the suitcases on board or not. We really didn’t to risk anything so we just went along with the purchase.
I asked the lady at the kiosque if there was a possible connection between the Victoria Line and the Piccadilly Line that would allow me to crossover without paying and the lady gave me a response with such a smile that it made my day. We hit Finsbury Park station and connected in Green Park then jumped onto the Piccadilly Line.
I was getting quite stressed out as London was as expected very busy and packed on this saturday morning. 40 minutes later we arrived at Heathrow and the mission started; we checked in with no issue al hamdulilah even though we still didn’t know what the luggage allowance was with the airline (KLM).
We approached the counter to check in and the lady said that it was 12kg maximum and that a fee would be needed should our luggage exceed the maximum limit, my brother said: “Hell no, I ain’t paying Jack and left” lol. At that point we didn’t care we just left and proceeded to security which I must admit was the easier I have ever had to go through.
I presented my passport at the counter and they didn’t even check my picture (the reason I say this is because I have a totally different face than the one on my passport).
We boarded the first plane to Amsterdam airport and it was the smoothest flight I have ever been on.
We landed and we entered the airport and found a nice bench to relax on. I prayed my salat and I asked my brother: “How long till the next flight”, he jittered “6 hours” I spat my drink and said: “what the hell you said it was 4 hours max”. I said: “never mind” I set up my arabic paper so I could try to teach my brother but he didn’t seem interested at all so I put it away. We watched so Key and Peele videos and laughed stupidly for hours.
I took my Canon AE-1 out and started taking pictures everywhere in the airport. I then spoke to a few friends on whatsapp whilst in Amsterdam before leaving, this place reminded me of my previous trips to Berlin.
Time for boarding came quite quickly and we boarded the second plane from Amsterdam to Istanbul Ataturk Airport. We found our seats and people from all nations of the world starting filling up the seats on the plane and off we were. It was so beautiful to see so many different people it really felt like a melting pot. There were a couple of french people behind and it was nice to hear french again. There was a mexican looking guy reading a theological book next to my brother and he started documenting his travels as he had his diary and a pen, this right there sparked up a desire in me to start writing too. It was 22.57 but this didn’t stop me.
I finished writing this whilst on the plane and I really fathom writing and believe this would be a great post to retrospectively think about. It was then time for food and it was delicious (al hamdulilah it doesn’t take much to please me).
We landed after a good 3 hours of flight and when we came out we had an issue with the money. I didn’t take any cash out to change so the rate was high and when I tried to take the money from the ATM it kept on declining. My brother saved the day and he took money out, I reimbursed him later on.
I was really nervous and scared of travelling as this was my first holiday after my illness. It felt so good and I felt so much appreciation to Allah for allowing me to feel this great feeling of escape.
The beginning of a great adventure to the Ottoman Empire!