Besides Chicago, the hardest leg of our journey was disembarking from the plane in Cairo, getting our luggage, and finding our ride.
Neither of us had slept in who knows how long, so we were both dogtired. I had Rachel strapped to my front and she was fast asleep so I was little help while Andrew dragged all six of our suitcases, and Rachel's stroller, off the baggage carosel.
It took two luggage carts to hold our suitcases. At first, we decided that we'd each push a cart, but picture this:
100 lbs. woman with 20 lbs. of sleepy baby strapped to her front. Luggage cart with 150 lbs. + a bunch of baby hud.
Let me do the math for you: 100 ≠ 170+
Somehow things didn't add up.
I was able to move the cart an inch or two, but I could go no farther. I felt like I was pushing up against a wall. How do ants carry x-times their body weight? Just carrying Rachel wears me out. I was pushing with all my might, giving it the old college try,but I looked like I was on a tread mill. I was going no where.
Anyway, people started staring and baksheesh dudes were starting to circle around me like vultures,
"I will just help you..." They would say, leaving off the part where they beg for money after helping.
"I have no money..." True, at that point.
"You need help..."
"La, I can do it..." Not true, at that point, totally not true.
"I will just help..."
"Really, I can do it..."
"Let me take your cart..."
"La, la, la, la, la..." No, I'm not singing. La means no.
"You have baby...let me take cart..."
"My husband will come back for me..." I say, watching Andrew and his cart (also loaded with 150 lbs.) disappear into the distance.
Finally I couldn't stand it any more.
"ANDREW!" I yelled in desperation. He heard me, which is a miracle. No one ever hears me when I yell--especially not in a crowded airport, "I can't do it!"
We started doing a relay race of sorts. I ran over to the cart he had been pushing and stood by it while he pushed my cart along. Then I'd run up to that cart and stand by it while he'd push the other cart along.
He was so hot and tired by the time we got through customs...and then our ride wasn't there! So I stood by the luggage again while he went and borrowed cell phone after cell phone after cell phone, trying to find our ride (thank you, Egyptian hospitality!)
Our ride was parked, so we had to get everything on a shuttle and ride out to the parking lot where we unloaded our suitcases and loaded them up again. Why did we bring so much stuff?
I suppose we should just be glad that everything arrived. We've been less than that lucky before.