“If you care about something you have to protect it;If you’re lucky enough to find a way of life you love, you have to find the courage to live it.”
Originally, I saw this blog post going in a totally different direction. The type that is short and sweet and simply states ” I made it to Bangkok!” But, you never know what is coming for ya, and today it was the wild world of airlines.
I wake up, I am all packed and ready to go. The day I travel to Thailand has come! I arrive at the airport three hours early. Yes, three hours early, and I love it. I love airports and I love being punctual. Boom. I said the difficult good-byes to my parents and I begin to walk through security, the world at my feet, exciting horizons ahead! But then, I hear, “Towler, Colleen , please return to ticketing.” My heart drops. I assume the worst, that they will not accept my one-way ticket despite my non-immigrant B visa and I am destined to have to buy a return flight my bank account is unable to afford. But no,- it is not so bad. It is just a simple flight delay. Now Flight 1336 from Detroit to Boston it is to arrive at 11:15pm instead of 9:30pm. This is not so bad!
Oh wait…yes it is. EK238 from Boston to Dubai is to depart at 11:15pm. Okay, okay, this is alright…the world is trying to teach me how to start being able to “go with the flow” … and I can do this! Come to find out, EK238 is also delayed an hour, and I can make it! I could even have an hour layover still. Unfortunately, this is short lived my flight just got delayed until 10pm. 15 min. sprint? Good thing I trained for a half marathon last year, I still got these running skills! Well, come to find out my running skills will not be necessary. The delays just continue on and on. Hours go by and there is absolutely no chance to make this flight anymore. This is pretty bad…but the JetBlue representatives told me to rest assured. They were going to make sure I get on a flight, with the alternative being a hotel room in Boston.
If it was not already, this is when the whole situation became quite frustrating.I was told to call Emirates as they were the airline I booked through. They told me I needed to talk to Jet Blue. Repeat this situation again and again and there you go. At this point I realized there was no way I was getting to Thailand on time for orientation and I entered a glass case of emotion. I reverted back to childlike behavior in my mind, “this is not fair!” Finally at 10:15pm we board the aircraft. After sitting on the tarmac for a good half an hour, the captain tells us, we will be sitting their for another hour because the weather in Boston has worsened. This is when I break my promise to myself and cry.
We finally get off the ground and begin our trip to Boston. However, by this point I was informed there is no way JetBlue will be getting me a hotel room, because they do not do so for inclement weather. We land at 1am. I am in Boston, with 3 bags of luggage, and no hotel room. Lucky for me I am reminded of the ridiculously amazing people in my life when Colin drives down to save me from losing what was left of my mind. Plus he greets me with my favorite vice, Diet Coke. Amazing.
The next morning repeat telephone conversations with Jet Blue/ Emirates/ Jet Blue/Emirates. Nobody wants to talk to me because I didn’t have a proper confirmation code due to all the changes. Colin needs to go to work, and so I am at the airport at 10am. I wait in two long lines to try to get on ANY flight earlier in the day that will get me to orientation on time. My hopes are soon crushed. Not only can I not get on an earlier flight but I cannot check in until 8:15pm. The Jet Blue employee also informs me I am in the wrong terminal. I plead my case for the belief I was not, but she convinces me.
I trudge over to Terminal E with all of my luggage to wait until 8:15 p.m. Here I spend my day reading, online (until my computer dies), on the phone (until my phones dies), and writing.It is so obnoxious to take all your luggage to go to the bathroom. It familiarizes you with the pity eyes and smiles people have for you as they watch the struggle. 8:00pm arrives and now I am informed that in fact I need to be in terminal C, where I started. I get all my luggage and repeat the process back.
With my 3 hour slumber from the previous night I am exhausted. I try to check in with Jet Blue. They tell me I need to check in with Emirates. I turn to go, and exhaustion has gotten the best of me, I trip and fall. Not the dainty check yourself type fall. I fell flat on my side, like a tree falling down. And then, due to my 70L backpack with the majority of my things, I was unable to get up, stuck on my back like a turtle flipped on its shell. Some lovely gentleman picked me up by my shoulders. It was highly embarrassing. So I thanked him and ran away.
Okay,I finally check in and make it past security. But not without Emirates employees genuine concern about my well being. “Are you okay…you look exhausted.” Past security I am going to meet Katrina, another program participant. Her flight was also delayed because of Boston weather. But before I get to the gate, I call my Mom to tell her I made through! I start the conversation with, “Mom, I fell down, with all my stuff, like a turtle, and I could not get up” and begin to cry (again). Followed by, I cannot go to the gate yet, I don’t want to meet Katrina and be that girl…you know, the crying one. But eventually I make it there. And here things start to go improve (Que: Here Comes The Sun). I slept almost the entire way to Dubai, which was 12 hours. And then the 6 hour flight to Bangkok as well. So, most importantly, I made it to Bangkok! My almost 30 hour travel time turned into about 60. But I think the real lesson is: “Life is what happens when you’re busy making plans.” Or, as they say in Thailand, Mai Pen Rai!
Listening to : Do You Realize- The Flaming Lips