Mini Monday: 15 Hours at Atatürk

Please enjoy this guest post from my beloved (and crazy) husband.

In order to spend an extra hour with my wife after she checked in, Istanbul_airportI decided I would just bum around the airport until my flight departed at 3 am. Here’s my record of what I did for 15 hours and 49 minutes at the Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

11:28 am Arrived at Istanbul Atatürk Airport

11:28-11:37 Tried to check-in and check luggage for my 3:05 am flight and found out I couldn’t check any bags until 10 pm at the earliest, but I could get a boarding card and accompany A to her gate

11:37-11:46 Cleared security and passport control

11:46-12:26 pm Sat with A just outside the additional security at her gate

12:26-12:32 Watched A go through additional security at her gate

12:32-12:38 Played cards (war) with A through the glass wall at her gate

12:38-12:42 Watched A board her flight

12:42-1:48 Perused the Duty Free: sampled 11 types of Turkish Delight and 2 types of Baklava

1:48-2:14 Surveyed the food and beverage options: was not impressed by Popeye’s or Sbarra or Burger King, but did identify cheapest vendor selling bottled water

2:14-2:22 Realized I didn’t need to lug my duffle around because they had little carts and found one

2:22-4:18 Found Gate 213 empty and napped with shoes off (to keep others away), watched a flight take off for London

4:18-5:36 Visited book store: read chapters from Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy; Game of Groans (a parody); and Orhan Pamuk’s Museum of Innocence standing up; tried to find a Turkish Cuisine Cookbook in English (they had Spanish, Russion, Italian, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Arabic, no English—though they had plenty of Western cookbooks in English…), read the recipe for ezme (our favorite Turkish meze) in French and think I get the general gist

5:36-6:01 Bought and consumed an Ayran (yogurt drink) and bottle of water

6:01-6:29 Checked various email accounts and confirmed my ride in Kabul

6:29-7:48 Went back to Gate 213 and read some Sherlock on my Kindle and watched a flight take off for Dubai

7:48-7:59 Read about the curative powers of apricots and the “miracle” hazelnut while snacking on them and watching the sunset

7:59-8:13 Walked from one end of the international terminal to the other in 765 paces and saw a large group of Muslim pilgrims heading to Jeddah all dressed in white

8:13-8:28 Walked it a second time in 768 paces

8:28-10:02 Bought a simit (sesame roll) and another bottle of water and did a little people-watching by the “bar scene”

10:02-10:37 Found a quiet place with no one around and listened to Adele because that’s what A was listening to last

10:37-10:44 Cleaning staff decide to have an argument three feet from me when there was no one around

10:44-11:09 Listened to Flight of the Concords because we had been discussing the “Rhymnocerous” song earlier and realized there was a pedometer on my iPod

11:09-11:54 Walked 1,704 steps according to my iPod, noticed my flight finally made it onto the departure boards (bottom of the third screen at 11:06)

11:54-11:56 Texted A “H is for…” after realizing there were exactly the same number of days to our anniversary as letters in “Happy Anniversary”

11:56-12:17 am Bought second simit, which was much chewier than the first

12:17-1:03 Settled down back at Gate 213 played logic puzzles on my kindle, watch a flight depart for Ercan (the Turkish part of Cyprus)

1:03-1:07 Checked the boards and found there was still no gate assignment with 2 hours to go until departure

1:07-1:11 Ironically noted my flight was leaving from Gate 213

1:11-1:12 Receive text from A that she had landed in the U.S.

1:12-1:20 Return to Gate 213 to find it the most crowded it had been all day/night

1:20-1:39 Wondered how long it will take A to clear passport control and customs

1:39-1:44 Called A and found out she already had cleared passport control and customs and met our friends who were picking her up

1:44-2:38 Read more Sherlock and glanced repeatedly at the deserted counter because we were supposed to board at 2:05

2:38-2:52 Boarded plane

3:17 am Departed Istanbul Atatürk Airport after 15 hours and 49 minutes

If you are wondering, 15 hours of loitering was totally worth the extra time with my honey muffin.

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