So here we are, ready well in time, all set to leave – thanks to conscientious Swaps! But Murphy refused to let go! Though am convinced that he doesn’t show himself before Swapna!
- We called a cab at 2:45 PM to drop us at the airport for our 5:00 PM flight. It was a 40 minute drive. We should be there by 3:30-3:45 PM at most. Well in time.
- Surprise! The cab broke down on the way and the driver called for a replacement. 10 minutes lost there. Still plenty of time. Reached the airport at about 4:00 PM. Check in done. Security check was a breeze except that I had forgotten to take off my heavy accessories which I had worn for the trip. So the darn metal detector beeped. Twice. Off went the necklace. Then the bracelet. The security check personnel might be thinking “Women!!!!”. Anyway, we finally said our goodbyes and went to the respective gates.
- My flight’s take off got delayed by about 15 minutes.
- It couldn’t get the clearance to land at Detroit in time, so it kept circling for a while.
- My layover at Detroit was only for 40 minutes and I was pretty sure I was going to see a repeat telecast. I kept praying my connection should be delayed.
- We finally got the clearance to land but there was another plane at the gate so our plane now kept taxiing for a while!
- The doors of our plane finally opened at 7:27 PM and my next flight was at 7:28 PM. Thankfully I only had a cabin bag so I took my bag and started running. Like Shahrukh runs in the movies. Think Kuch Kuch Hota hain when he runs across the bridge to the summer camp or Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Gham when he runs from the helicopter to meet his mom. Yep, that running. But alas, my arrival gate had been B21 and I had to run all the way to A15. My only consolation was my flight had been delayed by 10 mins. See when I was praying, I had not specified how much I need it to be delayed. Just like IT, requirements need to be specific. So yeah, He granted my wish, it just didn’t work to my benefit.
- So there I am running amok in the airport and halfway through I read the display board to realize my flight had taken off. Without me. The rest of the way I stood on the moving escalator. Why take the effort to walk?
- The Delta folks had already rebooked me on the next flight 9:55 PM to Minneapolis, because the delay was their fault. But here’s the catch. I was #4 on standby. I used the extra time to finish dinner, catch up on my reading and sat twiddling my thumbs.
- Boarding commenced and I was a little anxious, since I was still on Standby. Well, just my luck that they had seats up to Standby #3 and the rest of us were told to approach the Service Center for next alternatives.
- I trudged to the Service Center and found out that the next flight was only the next morning at 7:40 AM and I had either the option of staying at the airport or at a hotel that they put me up in. Looking around, it was starting to get deserted. I went with the hotel, they gave me a $25 gift voucher to spend at the airport, the hotel voucher, shuttle details to and from the airport and a travel kit. I spoke to my husband who looked up the hotel rating on the Internet. See I had vehemently decided against a Smart phone since I always had access to Internet at home. This was one situation which proved I should get one. The rating checked out okay, I was still a little tensed, so I thought I will check it out, if it turned out to be shady, I’ll simply come back in the same shuttle.
- Now I was still at the counter debating when behind me there was a blood curdling scream. Full bodied, high pitch, female. Panic spread among those of us in the line. People started whispering. We identified the source of the scream who by the way, still hadn’t stopped. Her husband sat next to her, throwing furtive glances at everyone around. He might have been embarrassed for all we know, but it wasn’t looking good. Finally, the lady at the counter could take it no more and she called 911. The airport security descended on her like a pack of vultures. Complete Gun and Taser and all! The works. After a round of questioning, she goes “They cancelled my ticket. I was mad at them. I needed to vent.” Seriously lady? And you chose the airport to do that? I guess they were harsh with her because she burst into tears.
- Well, that decided it for me. Spending the night alone in a hotel room appealed to my logical side more than having to spend it in the company of such crazies.
Thankfully, the hotel turned out to be a decent upscale one, I watched a chick flick, set my cell phone alarm with 3 snoozes, another backup alarm, called the hotel front desk to set a wake up call and finally fell asleep. The next morning I made it to the airport with two hours to spare.
Moral of the story: I had a chaotic spell when I was too casual about everything (I kept thinking my casual attitude was because I could speak English decently, drive well and had travelled alone before, so I knew I could manage). During the trip I had decided to amend my carefree ways and get more serious. Well, the trip back was not my fault and even if doing everything by the book leads to these results, then why be serious!
And oh yeah, Murphy continues to make his presence felt. Meeta has termed it Deepagiri but I know he’s there and am convinced he will be with me till the very end. I am a strong believer in his law. “If anything can go wrong, rest assured it will.”.
I would love to hear your views!