30 January 2014

So, how was your trip?

I like the fact that I get to see those I love so often and that I'm home in many different places, but flying is not my favourite. And the last flying day was probably the worst I've ever had.

The morning of my flight I couldn’t manage to pack my bags properly, which is normally not a problem. However, this time I just had too much stuff and couldn't figure out what was most important. At the airport, we eventually got it down to under the required 23 kilos. It turned out that the check-out desk scale considered it to be even less, so Matthijs sneakily put an extra half kilo of cheese into the luggage when the check-in lady at the counter wasn’t looking.

But after Matthijs left, I was not feeling in any kind of mood to fly, despite the coffee and hot chocolate we'd had time to have together. I don’t particularly like flying, but my mood was significantly worse than unusual. It was like an anticipatory bad mood, even though it was also a day filled with grace.

The worst part of the day is that I missed my second flight. And not because my plane was late arriving, but because I had no idea what the gate was. I spent an hour trying to get the gate number, only getting as far as the terminal before it was supposed to leave. I was standing in security for the second time when they paged me. Missing a flight is one of my nightmares, which obviously didn't help matters. I don’t know, on the basis of the info I then had – and the fact that it was a shared Star Alliance flight – if I could have done it differently. But that doesn't change the sinking feeling I had when I realized that my flight was leaving without me - and I had had more than enough time to make it. .

Thankfully, though, I got a new flight quickly. At no cost, even. My panic and distress at missing my flight seemed almost inappropriate in light of the calm and helpfulness of those who rebooked me and the sheer simplicity of it. 

You would think that was the end of the story, but my second flight got delayed several hours and my checked baggage got left in Newark. Yet, because I'd had so much to pack, I'd had more than enough clothes in my carry-on. And not having the extra baggage made it simple to take the bus the next day when the roads were nastier than my sister wanted to drive on. And despite the crazy stormy weather on the day I flew in, it was a friend living close-by in Hamilton who picked me up, and she was up for the drive through the blowing snow, which wasn't as bad as it could have been.

So yes, it was a lousy trip. At the same time, I had much to be thankful for. Not simply the delivered suitcase within 2 days, but even more so the safe tavel and the wonderful family and friends who came to meet me at the airport in Woodstock in the midst of the crazy winter weather we've had on this side of the ocean.

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