Retro Post – Wrapping Up in South Korea

Seoul, S. Korea: Days 5 & 6 & 7

Day 5: “Sun so hot I froze to death. Susanna, don’t you cry.” Yep. We forgot it was a Saturday, left the alarm clock set for 5:30 a.m. Bummer.

So we woke up at 5:30 a.m. but didn’t manage to get down to breakfast until 10:20 where we were promptly notified that the buffet would disappear before our very eyes at 10:30 so we better move it. This isn’t verbatim. I had to translate from Korean.

So, we’re stuffing our faces when this gentleman who is obviously from the U.S. starts small talking Russell. We learn his name is Mr. P (we know his full name but I forgot to ask him if I could put his name on the web, hence, Mr. P) and that he’s from Texas and comes to Seoul often for business. In fact, this was his 9th trip this year. He said he hadn’t been to bed before 3:00 a.m. once this week because the deals are all made during the night, under the influence. In Korea, the true business hours start after everyone has sung at least one round of Karaoke. Oh, and no women. Women don’t do the business here. Only men.

We spent about an hour talking to Mr. P and were the only ones left in the restaurant. The staff cleaned up around us. The more we talked about him the more he opened up to us and told us about growing up in New York and how his childhood was spent playing stick ball and going to Coney Island. It was a huge surprise when he told us where he went to high school. Russell just about fell out of his chair. It was the same school that Russell’s dad went to. Well… that meant we had to chit chat about anyone and everyone that Mr. P thought Dad might know. All in all, though, it was a very enjoyable conversation. He really tried to clue us in on what business in Korea is like and tried to make sure that I understood I wouldn’t be involved in it. (Fine by me.) He wished us good luck and I felt that he truly meant it. I’m very glad that we met him. Nice people make the world go round.

After our it’s-a-small-world breakfast we headed to a neighborhood market called Insadong. It was amazing. Arts and crafts and antiques. We had such a good time strolling through the shops and bargaining with the vendors. I got pushed into the street a number of times. I haven’t learned the bow-your-head-and-charge-through-the-crowd technique yet, much to Russell’s annoyance. He always has to yank me back to the sidewalk. We found some good deals and were starting to get ornery because we couldn’t find any bibimbob (bee-bim-bob). Russell was going to eat bibimbob for dinner or die trying. Bibimbob is a Korean dish of rice and vegatables and beef. Of course, Russell skips the beef part –anyway, he loves the stuff and had his heart set on it. We sat down to rest – our search for Korean food seemingly fruitless – when two young girls with a small boombox came up to us.

They wanted to interview us. Imagine how long it took me to figure that one out with our gesturing and guessing at English words. But, we got straightened out and learned that they were 11 years old and taking English classes. One of their assignments was to find Americans and interview them in English and tape the whole episode. It was a blast. They would get so embarrassed when we didn’t understand something and giggle like any American 11-year-old would do. For some reason that surprised me. The four of us had a good time and after the interview those precious girls went scouring the streets in search of a restaurant where Russell could enjoy his bibimbop.

Day 6: No music. No Susanna, no Alabama, no banjo on his knee. Our alarm clock refuses to work. We’re basically willing our bodies to wake up at the right hour now. And I woke up with an earache. Not good. It was bothering me off and on for a few days but this was the first day that it hurt. But, smart chic that I am, I decide to ignore it.

Back to It’aewon. I vowed I wouldn’t bring Russell here. I knew he would spend money. [Sorry for the interruption. 2012 Kristine here. I have no memory of Russell ever being eager to spend money. I do know, however, that I was just as fond of wine in 1999 as I am now, so all I can figure is that I must have been drinking when I wrote that.] And he did. But we had a blast. We also went to the Seoul Tower where we couldn’t see a damn thing because the smog was so thick. We knew there was this cool city view out there amongst the gray haze and we couldn’t see it!

Oh, and I figured out I have an ear infection. Ugh. But, Russell and the Ritz Carlton came to the rescue. I’ve got the medicine I need and this should not delay our trip home.

Day 7: Back to It’aewon again, so Russell can have a fitting for the custom made suit he ordered from Jeong of ALL SEASONS TAILORING. Starving, but running out of money, we stumbled upon a bar that had happy hour but no food. I played pool against a very nice Korean girl. Lost. But only barely!

I’m pining for home, Pixel, and Oh Susanna.

Retro Post – Stinkers Trying to Steal Things

Here is part two from the Retro Post series about our first visit to South Korea. Bad writing kept intact for posterity! *smile*

Seoul, S. Korea: Days 3 & 4


Day 3: A man stopped me on the street and started shaking my hand. (This is the stinker I mentioned in Day 2.) He was squeezing so hard it made my joints ache and my ring cut into my fingers. I asked him four times to let go of my hand. He could speak English. He knew exactly what I wanted. Finally, he slowly released my hand, the whole while keeping the pressure on. He never stopped talking the whole time. The jerk was trying to take my ring. (Don’t worry, Mom, I was surrounded by people. I wasn’t in any real danger!) 

Day 4: “The day I left it rained all night, the weather it was dry…” (Had no idea that this song was going to be so prophetic!) Went to the Korean Folk Village with some women I was fortunate enough to meet. The Korean Folk Village is Korea’s version of Williamsburg, PA. At least that is what the guy at the gate told me. It seems that people live in this reproduction of a 19th century Korean village. They tend to the crops and catch fish and do everything Koreans did back then. Except, of course, this time do it with an audience of gawking tourists.

I did have an interesting encounter with one of the villagers. Our group had scattered a bit and only Gina and I were left in a courtyard surrounded by Korean dwellings. On a deck sat a very elderly Korean villager. He glanced my way and I waved. He nodded and waved me over. Well kinda. He made oh, about nine different gestures, and none of them actually waved me over, but what he wanted was for me to come over. (You see, you don’t wave someone over here the way you do in the United States. If you wave someone over it’s considered an insult, like you are calling your dog.) When I finally figured out that he was waving me over without actually waving me over, the poor man must have been out of breath from all the arm swinging and head nodding I put him through. I had to cross a roped off area that visitors are not supposed to cross over, and I felt kinda funny about it but he kept not waving me over, so I kept going over. I get up to him and he shoots me a grin like he’s the happiest man on earth. He pats the wood next to him, beckoning me to sit down. (You can beckon here, just not wave over.) So far, not a word has been said. I sit next to the man and ask him if he knows English. “Yea,” he smiles. I notice that he only has one tooth. I ask him if we are sitting next to his house. “Yea,” he’s still smiling. I ask him if he likes living in the village. “Yea.”

All right, so I’m a little slow. It takes me this long to figure out that the guy has no idea what I’m saying. I smile at him and he gently pats me on the shoulder – still single-toothin’ it – like he’s still the happiest guy on the planet. I really didn’t know what to make of the situation or what to do, so I just settled in and turned towards the courtyard. What I saw must be what that man has seen every day for many years: people who don’t speak his language, oohhing and aahhing, staring, touching, laughing. In a way I felt sad because I don’t think that I would like to live this way. But I was also happy and honored that this man wanted me to share a moment with him. Even if it was only to sit quietly for a few minutes with his hand on my shoulder.

When I left, he followed me into the courtyard. The woman with me took a picture of us both. Yep, I crossed those ropes and became Miss Tourist again. I probably shouldn’t have taken the picture, but I don’t think the man minded. Because as soon as he saw the camera he put his arm around me and did that single-tooth grin.

That night Russell and I went to dinner with a Josh and Gina. Josh is with O1, the company that brought Russell out here. It only took us twenty minutes to find the restaurant even though we were only 200 yards away. It’s really hard to get along sometimes when you don’t know the language. I think we probably got directions from six or seven people along the way. But, the wild goose chase was worth it. 1 price = all the Korean barbecue you can eat and all the beer and liquor you can drink. Extremely good value, I think. After dinner we went to Hard Rock café. The band played American music as well as Korean. The people there went wild over Wonderful Tonight. Then it poured on us on the way home.

“The day I left it rained all night, the weather it was dry…”

Retro Post – Oh, Susanna, Don’t You Cry for Me (in Korea)

Another retro post – this one is a three-part series about our first trip to Korea.. back in August 1999!!!!

Seoul, S. Korea: Days 1 & 2

Aloha! Or should I say, Anyong-haseyo!We made it! We’re in Seoul, S. Korea. I can’t believe it myself. For those of you who don’t know, the trip was on-again, off-again. Nearly drove me mad! Once it was even canceled the night before departure! But we’re here now and I’m told that some of you are anxious to hear about what’s been going on, so let’s not delay any longer…

Day 1: We arrived at the hotel (the Ritz-Carlton!!) around 5:00pm on Wednesday (Tuesday to all of you!). We were so tired and jet lagged – we slept through an incredibly expensive dinner. Bed.

Day 2: The alarm clock woke us up: “Oh Susanna, now don’t you cry for me. I’ve come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee.” No kidding. The shrill whistle of this tune at 5:30 in the morning is enough to wake even the weariest travel. And we were weary! And baffled. The alarm clock tune — we just can’t figure that one out.

People here in Seoul are nice. All except one guy I met on the street, but we get to that stinker on Day 3. The locals try very hard to be patient with Russell and I and our horrid communication skills. We say thank you a lot. “Kamsa hamnida.”

“Kamsa hamnida for not taking more money than I’m supposed to pay.”

“Kamsa hamnida for understanding that I need a bathroom, and I need it immediately!”

“Kamsa hamnida I know I sound like an idiot but Kamsa hamnida, Kamsa hamnida.”

I get laughed at a lot when I try to speak Korean. Nonetheless, I think the Koreans appreciate the effort (or is it the entertainment?).

Went to the I’taewom Market – luggage and leather. It’s so cheap and the quality is excellent. I wish I had need for a leather jacket in Hawaii! Got some chopsticks for my collection. Cheap. I had fun bargaining each vendor down. I’m getting good at it.

Vendor: “Price is 14,000 won.”

Me: ”14,0000 won! Kamsa hamnida but no way am I paying 14,000 won.”

Vendor: “Okay, for you I give special price. Special price for first customer of day. 12,000 won!”

Me: Silence. I pretend to mull over the offer. I cleverly wrinkle my brow.

Vendor: Looking concerned: “12,000 won is very cheap. Very cheap. I cheapest vendor on street.”

Me: ”Will you take 10,000 won?”

Vendor: He’s disgusted. He starts muttering in Korean. “11,000 won. No less!”, he barks.

Me: ”Okay. Deal. Kamsa hamnida”

Vendor: He bows. “You’re very welcome, Sir.”

You’re very welcome, Sir.

I’ve never been called “Sir” so many times before. In fact, I’ve never been called “Sir” even once before! Many of the people here who speak English don’t realize that “Sir” refers to a male. A couple of times I’ve been called “Sir” only to have the person speaking to me get flustered and apologize, quickly saying “Ma’am” a number of times in a row. Most of the time, though, I’m simply, “Sir.”

I’taewon was my first trip outside the hotel and I was a little nervous. But everything went great. I was very hot though, it was 92 degrees. I ended up inside a Burger King and ordered a Coca Cola Light to cool me off.

Later that evening, Russell and I walked around the streets near the hotel. This city is just hopping. There are people all over sidewalks. Problem is, there are also motorcycles all over the sidewalks. I don’t know if it is legal here or not, but nobody seems to mind. Except Russell and me, that is. And these motorcycles are not the little moped type. These are the big loud legitimate kind. It’s scary to be walking peacefully down the sidewalk only to have a motorcycle come roaring past you from behind. I caught air a number of times, I was so startled.

When you get used to the motorcycles you don’t seem to mind the cars as much. Oh, did I not mention? Cars drive on the side walk too.

All in all, day 2 was a success. I hope that this weekend Russell and I will be able to get out of Seoul and see some other parts of the country. If we do, you’ll be the first to know!


Retro Post – Later Than Night…

This is a post from my old site, A website that Russell and I started when we moved away from Atlanta. Just a way to keep family and friends up to date on what we were up to. What’s interesting is that this was in 1997. Before blogging was popular. Before the term “blogging” was even invented! I posted this on October 1, 1997. Fifteen years ago.

Later That Night…

Before we begin, have you read my story about getting trapped in the airplane bathroom? If not, you really should. You see, that little adventure took place a mere 3 1/2 hours before the bizarre episode I’m about to describe to you. Put together, these stories make for one crazy night!

Ice Cream SundaeSo, as you know, I was trapped in the airplane bathroom for what seemed like hours but was only 8 minutes. As soon as I was rescued, I ran for my seat and started pounding out the experience on my laptop while enjoying a chocolate sundae. All was well for about an hour until I realized that I had to go to the bathroom again! While my mind told me this couldn’t be. My body told me otherwise. There was NO WAY I was going to go into the restroom again, so I hunkered down and decided to wait until the flight was over. (Two and one half hours later.)

We arrived in Los Angeles at 12:10 a.m. I was one of the first people off the plane and I literally ran down the hallway toward the public restroom. As it was such an odd time of day for travel, this part of the airport was nearly deserted except for a group of men milling outside the Men’s bathroom door. They didn’t interest me and I was about to turn my head away when I noticed a man coming out of the doorway. His face was covered in makeup. A clown was coming out of the bathroom and being met by an entourage of men.

Whatever, I thought. My mind was on the Women’s room; I had business of my own to take care of. As I was turning the corner to enter the Ladies room, a shout came from across the hall.


I froze. I immediately thought of the man with the done up face. I just knew it was the clown and I just knew it was me that he was yelling at. I didn’t move. I didn’t know what to do. I had to pee.


Did he sound friendlier this time? Did I hear chuckling? Slowly, I turned around. The man in the makeup was hunched over laughing. His friends, the milling men I had noticed earlier, were all looking at me with smiles on their faces. A few were snickering, hiding their smiles behind their hands. I was very confused. My gaze returned to the laughing man. He straightened up and looked at me.

It wasn’t a clown.
It was Little Richard.
I kid you not.
My jaw dropped open as he turned away laughing, heading toward the gate I had just left. His entourage, his band, I guess, followed. One strong looking gentleman, strolling next to Little Richard, turned around and smiled at me…

“Is that…?” I could only point. The words “Little Richard” refused to leave my mouth. He laughed and said, “Yep.”

Little Richard heard this exchange and turned around to face me again.

“How’re you doin, GIIIIIRRRLLL???” He shouted, louder this time. He was enjoying himself immensely. Laughing, practically crying at his own antics.

Because I am not particularly talented at handling surprise situations, I couldn’t think of anything clever to say. I just stood numbly in the entrance to the Women’s room and gave a little wave. “Well, hey,” I almost whimpered. Feeling out of sorts and quite baffled, I turned and walked into the bathroom. I could still hear him laughing down the hall.

I stared at myself in the row of mirrors. “Now, what was it I came in here to do anyway?”

Retro Post – Be Still My Beating Heart, I’m in Love!

Another retro post. This is cracking me up — how dated it is. Was there really a time when people didn’t know what a GPS was? I’m also laughing at how clever I thought I was. Written in March 1997 and posted on

Be still my beating heart, I’m in love!

Russell doesn’t know it, so I can’t give you too much information. I won’t tell you his name, but I will give you his initials. G.P.S. We met last night at the car rental agency. Russell was there so I pretended not to like him. I actually told Russell that G.P.S. was an accident waiting to happen. But, no, Russell wouldn’t listen. He likes G.P.S. and wants to be around him so I’m destined to head down a very treacherous road indeed.

G.P.S. is strong, a born leader. He only takes direction from above. He’s driving me to distraction! When we’re together, he keeps track of my every move and never steers me wrong. On the road of life, he is my guide. Where he leads, I will follow.

All right, all right. For those of you who know what I’m talking about, pretty darn clever, eh? For those of you who don’t… Let me introduce the

Have any of you ever heard of this? It’s this satellite tracking system that can be installed into your car that will give you directions from any position to any destination. It’s the most incredible thing! I only saw one for the first time yesterday and already I’m hooked.

Russell and I used the G.P.S. to drive from the airport in San Francisco to our new apartment in Sunnyvale. It was our first night in town and we didn’t know where to find a place to eat so , what did we do? Why, we fired up the G.P.S. and asked it to list for us (in order of closest to farthest) the restaurants in the area. We then chose a restaurant, decided to take the shortest route (as opposed to the one with the most freeway or the least freeway), and got there with only 2 wrong turns. Russell’s fault, not the system’s!

To top it off, the G.P.S. has a male computerized voice that will tell you: PREPARE TO EXIT THE HIGHWAY or SLIGHT LEFT TURN AHEAD or LEAVE YOUR HUSBAND, YOU KNOW YOU LOVE ME!

I don’t know where you can get one of these gadgets. I don’t know how much it costs. (I’ll find this all out later, for the sake of keeping our readers informed.) But I do know, I HAVE TO GET ONE OF THESE SYSTEMS. Lucky for me, Russell is addicted too!

Retro Post – I was Scammed by Ponce de Leon

The homepage graphic of

So, somehow I forgot that I used to blog. Back in the 90′s. Before blogging existed (the term was coined in 1997), I started a website for family and friends called My tagline was, Come on it… Make yourself comfortable. The homepage was a living room as seen from a curtained window. I put it together from clipart. Go seet it! No, don’t. It’s awful.

But it is kinda fun to read some of the posts. Some are cute. Some are funny. Some are god-awful boring. And the writing is terrible on most entries.

This one, though, cracked me up. Written in November, 1996. And particularly applicable to me today. I thought I had been scammed by the Fountain of Youth back in 1996… now I know I was scammed by the Fountain of Youth back in 1996.

I didn’t change anything. Not the font, the size, the formatting, the midi files! This post is sixteen years old! The writing is terrible but I feel a duty to preserve it!

Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth

When Russell and I reached St. Augustine (Saturday, Nov. 23, 1996) the first thing we did was check out the Fountain of Youth. (It was the first thing we did because I pouted.) we followed their signs till we came to a rough parking lot type thing next to a camp type thing enclosed by a wooden fence type thing. It really looked like a giant fort or something. That is, until a choo choo train trolley came by giving a tour. A blue and red choo choo train. No Lie. I have to admit, I was a little confused. Russell, having grown up in Chattanooga where tourist traps are the “thing”, knew what we were in for. I, however, did not.

The girl at the counter told us that the Fountain of Youth was inside the Spring House. (Now, in a million years, I never would have guessed that The Fountain of Youth would be inside a building. But it is. The Fountain of Youth is not outside.) And that there was a tour you had to go on to see it. After I whined a little, she did admit that you didn’t have to go on the tour to see it though.

So, after I paid the $9.50. (I have to point out that Russell, knowing full well the scam we were about to encounter, stepped away from the counter when it came time to pay the money. This is Kristine’s little adventure and Kristine can pay.) Okay, so I give the girl the money and head for the Spring House. There’s people inside so we gotta wait. We wander around and discover we are inside a reproduction of an old Indian village. Scattered around the village are old cannons which I found odd, yet somewhat interesting. Anyway, my excitement is waning but I’m hanging in there waiting for the Spring House to clear out so I can go drink from the fountain and ensure my youthfulness forever.

We wander up to a building with this wrinkled man standing at the door. He says, “Would you like to go into the Discovery Dome? Inside you will be treated to a short, 8 minute presentation of the early history of the Spanish discovery of the New World.” I’m thinkin’ who cares? I want to drink from the Fountain of Youth and ensure my youthfulness forever. But, the Spring House is still full and we’ve got the 8 minutes so we go in.



Let me just run you through the so-called, 8 minutes.

  • The lights go out. It’s pitch black.
  • A curtain opens to reveal a giant two story globe glowing with the help of a black light.
  • The music starts… it’s the Theme from 2001: Space OdysseyEarphones. I do not tell a lie.
  • The globe starts to rotate. Painfully slow.
  • A man with a very deep and boring voice speaks (painfully slow):
    • “You are looking at a giant globe 56 feet in diameter and as high as a two story building.”
    • Silence
    • “This is a very special globe”
    • Silence, 5 or 6 seconds crawl by
    • “With the help of this globe, and some very special lighting, you are going to learn about the early history of the Spanish discovery of the New World.”
    • Silence, I can barely take it
    • A child starts to cry
    • “Early in the history of the Spanish Discovery of the New World,…” blah blah blah… Do you get the picture? 8 minutes of this! EIGHT TORTUROUS MINUTES!!!!!!
  • The Globe stops rotating (I figure we got thirty seconds to go. My left leg is asleep and Russell is cracking jokes in my ear.)
  • The man stops speaking. Presentation over, right? No… We’ve got to listen to the stupid theme of the stupid movie, 2001: Space Odyssey AGAIN!!!!! And what do we do? We sit and stare at the same giant globe that we have been staring at for the last 7 minutes and 30 seconds and wait until the song is over.

When the song ends, the lights come up and the wrinkled man politely invites us to the Planetarium. No way, man! Russell and I rush for the door!

And what do we see? The Spring House. Completely empty. And roped off. And guarded by two high school girls who are more than well aware they have the most uncool part-time jobs in the whole junior class.

We beg them to let us in. And against their better judgment they do.

Let me stop here and say that there is no way I can do justice to the scene inside. You have to visit it yourself. If you like a good laugh, it’s well worth the $9.50. Inside the Spring House is a museum display. Life size Indians are standing around a pool of water about two feet wide. That’s it. There’s no more. The state of Florida has enclosed the Fountain of Youth in a building and surrounded it by fake indians. I don’t care. I head for the water when, out of the corner of my eye, I see a trash can. I go over and peer inside. It’s filled with little plastic cups. My heart dropping to my stomach in anticipation of a great disappointment to come, I swing my head to the right. There is a card table with a blue plastic pitcher resting on top. Surrounding the pitcher are about 20 little plastic cups filled with water. Water, I can only assume, that came from the Fountain of Youth surrounded by plastic, life-size Indians, that is supposed give me youthfulness forever.

Yeah, well. What are ya gonna do? Russell and I each pick up a cup and toast. “To eternal youth!”, we say. And drink.

Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
  • $4.50 is not that expensive when you think that you just might be buying a ticket to eternal youth!
  • It’s fun for a good laugh
  • There are some very old cannons and conoes and stuff like that. It’s kinda interesting.
  • The staff is very adept at laying guilt trips. They REALLY want you to take that tour!
  • The Globe – see above
  • The “actual” fountain is a large disappointment. (I left feeling so betrayed! just kidding)



Retro Post – Trapped at 30,000 Feet!

I was a blogger before the term even existed. According to Wikipedia, the term “weblog” was coined by Jorn Barger on December 17, 1997. The short form, “blog,” was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. I wrote this and posted it on on September 30, 1997. Here it is, verbatim. Formatting and graphics the same as they were 15 years ago.

Yeah, I like to live on the bleeding edge.

Trapped at 3000 Feet! – 09/03/97

When I actively search for excitement, I rarely find it. It’s only when I’m twiddling my thumbs, minding my own business, that excitement takes me by surprise. I’m on a plane traveling to Atlanta, and not five minutes ago, I got stuck in one of the airplane restrooms. No lie.

Airplane Restroom

I wasn’t twiddling my thumbs, but I was minding my own business, when I saw that the line for the bathrooms had finally dwindled and it looked like I might get a turn. Taking advantage of the situation, I jumped up and jetted toward the front of the plane. A flight attendant said, “It’s open”. I flashed him a smile of gratitude and squeezed myself through the door.

I did what I needed to do… blah blah blah, decided it was time to leave and reached for the door. The handle turned but the door wouldn’t budge. “That’s strange,” I thought. I turned the handle the opposite way and leaned on the door again. Nothing.

“It must be me,” I decided.

Several more times I turned the knob and pushed. Each time the door would rattle a bit but not open. Thinking that maybe I had consumed one too many glasses of wine, I convinced myself that the door would not open because of some fault of my own. Obviously, I had temporarily forgotten the mechanics of door opening. I was sure, that through trial and error, the door would eventually swing open to reveal flight attendants laughing at me and my poor door opening skills.

This did not happen, though. I rattled. I shoved. I made deals with God. Nothing worked. Finally, I had to resign myself to knocking on the door and feebly crying, “Help…” No one heard me. “Help, please?” With each cry for attention, my embarrassment grew. After 4 calls, someone finally heard my pleas and attempted to assist me. (For those of you who are saying to themselves, “Uh duh… you could ‘ve just rung the button to call the flight attendant.” Thanks for the advice. I’ve heard that 20 times now. At the time, I did not know there was a button. I didn’t look around and assess the situation. Panic was setting in. I WANTED OUT!”)

The woman, bless her heart, gave that knob tugs that nearly tore the whole door from the frame, yet still it wouldn’t open. She yanked and pulled for about a minute before she yelled, “Don’t go anywhere! I’m going to find some help!”

“Umm… okay.” Don’t go anywhere???

I started to calculate how many hours the flight still had left. 3 1/2. Way too long to be trapped in a restroom. Let alone, a restroom that is 2 feet by 2 feet and smelly to boot!

Before long, I heard muffled voices and several attempts were made to open the door. The roar of the plane engines drowned out all intelligible words, however, I got the feeling that at least 4 people “on the outside” were now involved in my rescue. A man yelled, “When I say go, kick the door!”

“Gladly!” I yelled back.

“One,… two,… three,… GO!” WHAM WHAM WHAM! I put a lot into those kicks. Even landed on the toilet due to the force of the third one, but the door didn’t budge. Fearfully, I contemplated how I might entertain myself the next 3 1/2 hours. Would I be able to hear the movie? What about my dessert? Would they figure out a way to get me my dessert? Could they maybe slide a complimentary deck of cards through the ashtray? I held my head in my hands and tried to forget that I had a mild case of claustrophobia.

By this time, my not-so-successful rescuers had resorted to kicking the door from their side. I sat on the toilet (the cover was down), scrunched my knees to my chest, and tried to fight the rising panic. “One hundred bottles of beer on the wall, one hundred bottles of beer…”

Suddenly, the door swung silently open. This was very much to my astonishment and also to those staring at me based on their stunned silence. A large piece of gray metal clanked to the floor. I didn’t wait to see what it was. I bolted out of my cell, pushed past my rescuers, snatched a chocolate sundae off the rolling cart, and headed for my seat.

Which, is where I will remain the rest of this flight, despite any protests from my bladder. How long was I trapped in the airplane restroom? About 8 minutes. But let me assure you. Those were 8 long minutes.