Final Stretch

Posted on July 10, 2011

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Some thoughts written in a NJ airport:

 

I think that after about 12 or so hours of traveling, you start to get a bit cranky. Throw in the fact that you haven’t slept in over 24 hours, and the situation takes dire turn for the worse. When I first got to Mexico I told everyone that my first day in Mexico was definitely my worst experience in an airport, but I was proven wrong. It is almost as if someone heard me say this and said, “Oh, that’s nothing, just wait until you have to leave Mexico. Sucker.”

In case you have no idea what I am talking about, my first day in Mexico, I was coming in on a flight, and there was someone supposed to be there to pick me up. Unfortunately when I got there, there was no one to be found. I waited, and waited and waited for maybe two or three hours, and finally used my mediocre Spanish to buy a phone card to call the US and call my family. Oh hey, no one wanted to pick up the phone. Finally, I got my brother, had him break into my e-mail and then get the address to my host family. Using some more mediocre Spanish, I managed to grab a taxi and finally made it safely to my destination.

Everyone could agree, this is the situation from hell, being in another country and not knowing where to go or what to do, but hey, let’s try this situation on for size. After a long night out with no sleep, I was dropped off at a terminal and got in line, only to be told that I had to go to another terminal, which involved catching a bus. I have never felt so much panic in my life. I ran throughout the whole first terminal asking directions along the way, thank God I improved, because this was not so hard for me to communicate. I barely caught this bus, and then had to find my way to check in. Usually when people offer to help, I say no and find it myself, because I am cheap and don’t ever feel like tipping people. This time was different, and I was desperate. The man who helped me earned an extra 20 pesos today ($2). This should be the end right? Wrong. Freaking Jersey. My bag didn’t show up on the luggage carousel, so I am sitting in the Newark airport right now, typing this and hoping that my bag miraculously makes it back home with me. Epic.

I know that before I was complaining about all of my extra time in Jersey, but some of it turned out to be needed. Considering they lost my bag and I stood at the baggage claim like an idiot for 45 minutes looking at the same bright orange suitcase go around and around. I don’t know why, but when we are waiting, for baggage and looking at the same suitcases, after bout 15 minutes or so, we feel the need to move positions. Why is that? This isn’t like solving a life problem. Moving your perspective will not make your suitcase appear in thin air. At all. Unless you’re a magician.

It took me a while, but I am figuring out why this is all so confusing with the airlines and such. Continental and United are in the process of merging, so sometimes you think you are going to use United when you should really be going to Continental and in reverse. Hmmm well airport people, I have a suggestion. Put the two airlines in the same terminal! Did you ever think of that? No? Well it might be helpful for the next person like me who confuses the two, so there is no need to walk around with a panicked look on pasted on his or her face looking at signs and asking any and everyone what the deal is. Also, this would prevent one from spending the extra pesos for bus fare and tips to maleteros. Just an idea.

 

After writing this, I proceeded to get to my gate and then bought Tina Fey’s book, for way too much money, and settled in got the long haul. My bag eventually found its way back and all is right in the world.

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