I began this new year with a chaotic, overflowing schedule; which by no means I was going to be able to keep up with. You ask the reason why? I have been invited to a friend’s grand wedding in the sun ( obviously – I am a big deal you see). This meant that I would be flying across half the world in the last week of the very first month of the year!! A holiday tailing another – I’m on a roll! Anyway, whilst I was busy rolling, I also had to a mountain of work to finish and loads of deadlines to get through before I could unplug myself from the ever-so-permanently-leaching-my-life-force of a menace called a job / work/ whatever you do to survive.
By burning the midnight oil, I was able to get through most of the deadlines, the rest I decided could either wait or my boss could finish them if she ran out of patience (a scenario which exists only in my dreams). However, this was one of the few times where I constantly kept feeling as if I was missing something. This led to my OCD driven self to make several lists and lists of lists of things to finish. These so called “lists” got so long that by the time the day if my departure arrived, I was severely sleep deprived, haggard, edging towards albinism, high-on-adrenaline maniac (okay maybe the albinism is an exaggeration -but you get the point).
Only the thought of frolicking in the sun kept me on my feet. I had it all planned – I will push myself till I am on my night flight and then collapse the moment I get on my seat – ten hours of blissful dreaming. But fate had decided to play the devil and ruin all my severely scrutinised plans! I left my house early, reached the airport- on time, only to find out that my flight had been CANCELLED! Just like that! No text, no email updates- I had travelled three hours for nothing! Determined not to give up, I grabbed a replacement option of the first flight out with both my hands whilst the airlines also arranged for accommodation for the night. I checked in all my bags with the airline and thinking I had it all sorted, clambered on to the coach looking forward to a good nights sleep.
But when do I ever do things the straight way? While on the coach, the crazy wheels in my head began churning and I started to analyse the new situation; that’s when things got worse! I realised that my new schedule meant I would be spending another whole night at an airport to catch my connecting flight! I was appalled, I had a WEDDING to attend – I would be missing a part of it this way! The SUN was awaiting my presence. I could not wait any longer! As soon as I reached the Inn, I contacted the reception and tried to get in touch with airlines to assess my other options. But all my effort was in vain, for no one would answer the damned phone. Frustrated, I decided to go back to the airport before the office closed and confront them in person.
Luckily I managed to get a shuttle bus to the airport and I rushed out of the bus, running up the stairs like wind; out of breath I barely managed to reach the counter and pant out my issues when the bespectacled lady draped her coat, looked sharply and informed me “I’m sorry, we just closed… You will have to wait till morning to get your bags if you want to cancel your travel. ”
“No,no please, something must be done…” I begged and pleaded, but to no avail. This basically meant taking another airline was out of the option as I would reach even later than my current twelve hour delayed flight. Resigned to fate, I trudged back toward the coach information desk. That’s when I realised – in my hurry, I had forgotten to pick up the address of the Inn where the airline had stationed us and much to my luck, there were only four inns with the same name around the airport! Now I was stuck in the freezing cold, clad in only a summer jacket and I didn’t know which bus to take! After talking to two of the four bus drivers,I managed to ascertain with a certain degree of confidence that it was the third bus thatI needed to take. So at 9.45 pm I decided to take the plunge and got on what I thought was the right bus. Luckily for me there was another lost soul who boarded the same bus and was supposed to take the same flight as me.
The bus passed the different stops and with each passing stop my heart beat just a little faster, what if this wasn’t the right bus? I didn’t want to go back out in the cold, I was already tired and my adrenaline was wearing off. Thankfully though, the stop before the last was the correct one. With the spring back in my step, I hurried to the check-in desk grabbed my room keys- just in time for dinner. Hurriedly, I gulped half chewed pieces of food down my throat, washing them with queer tasting orange juice. With my grumbling stomach now silenced, I headed to my room; plopped on my bed and fell into a disturbed sleep haunted by dreams of me missing my flight. When my alarm finally rang, after four hours, I stretched into reality, glad for the short yet much reliving break from the rush.
All in all, I managed to get on my flight on time, get a part of the sleep that I had planned, despite it being the wrong time of the day. Landing at the airport, I felt a bit braver, more confident of my connecting flight and despite the long wait ahead my spirits were uplifted thinking of what lay at the end of the journey. Snaking through the airport immigration, customs and all the elaborate security measures, I reach the next terminal only to find out the even my connecting flight has been delayed!!!! This means I get to spend an additional seven hours at the airport in the night making it a grand total of 36 hours of being on the move!
While I gaze at a larger than life banner of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge driving me “off the edge”, I am thinking -“I am quite sure I have read somewhere that travelling is important; it reminds you of the value of those everyday things that you tend to take for granted” – I, surprisingly, am missing my heavily warm, claustrophobic but short daily trips in the tube and the feel of my cappuccino splashing against the warmed recycled cup of restraint. Hmmm.. back to gazing at random strangers now.