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Junglecat’s Travel Diary

Monday, 11 Dec 2006

Location: USA

MapHave you ever had one of those near misses when it comes to flying? Well after 22 flights, I had one! And of all places it was in Germany!! God has a sense of humour. The day started out like it was going to be adventurous. My Doulos friends Andrea and Arun offered to drive me over 200 kms to the airport in Frankfurt where I’d catch my flight to New York at 10am on a Monday. Sounds simple huh? Try leaving home an hour after you planned to and then getting stuck in that morning traffic that you would have missed had you left on time.

When we arrived I rushed inside to find a HUGE line even before the real line!! It was 8.20am. I had time I thought.. So I waited patiently for 40 mins to reach the nice lady at the counter who told me ‘sorry I can’t book you in!!’. She said I needed to pay a flight change fee first and sent me away. I had changed the day of my flight but my agent said there was no fee, however it is useless to fight with a computer that doesn’t agree! So still with all my bags I rushed to the payment counter to find they were all full. Another 10 mins went by….when I finally reached another nice lady, she said ‘sorry ma’am, your flight to New York has been cancelled!’. OK now I knew that this was getting serious.

She made some explantion that because I didn’t board my flight to Germany on the day I originally booked, all other flights were cancelled. I prayed silently and waited whilst she tapped away on her computer after I insisted she re-check this. You know those times when all you can do is pray?! With sweat pouring down my back, time ticking faster than usual and no idea on a plan B, I prayed to God ‘help!’. Without saying anything the nice lady produced me a boarding pass and said ‘hurry up, go to Quick Drop’…I ran! Only to find there was no Quick Drop at all but the first place where I’d lined up for 40 mins!! Arghh….looking lost and desperate for about 10 mins, a helpful man got me to check my bag in at Business Class – danke shoen. But the lady there said to me, ‘you’re very late (thanks for the obvious!), don’t know if your bag will make it’. ‘OK, but I will’ I though to myself as I rushed to Gate C8.

Totally forgot that I had to go through security and immigration. It was 9.30am. I rushed as much as possible but the security man said ‘is this your bag?’ and sure enough it was. He pulled out my water bottle and I knew what was coming so I asked ‘can I have one last sip, I need it!!”. He smiled. Then I had to find some friendly people in the Immigration line. I said to a couple, ‘I have a flight at 10, can I go before you?’, they said ‘we have a flight at 10.15’ – not helpful! I went behind them but I’d chosen the slowest line. The 10.15 man said, ‘this line is slow, the guy is writing a novel on everyone’ – he was right!! I swapped lanes.

It gets better. Gate C8 was of course the furthest away, through all these knooks and crannies. Why does that always happen when you are in a hurry?? I seriously thought by now I would be running onto the plane. It was not to be. Me and some other stragglers got stuck just before entering the plane behind a security door that wouldn’t open. About 15 of us, including a Jewish rabbi, waited for about 15 mins whilst several official looking people tried to open this crazy door for us. Needless to say, the plane was delayed for about 30 mins due to this little mishap. I couldn’t help but wonder whether the Lord used this incident to make sure my bag made it too!