Dear travel gods,
I only ask to please be delivered to D safely, and hopefully with all my marbles in tact. I think I may be losing a few hour by hour. This is the worst travel between two destinations I’ve ever experienced.
You see, I started my journey at approximately 10 pm last night in Los Angeles. I was already pretty tired but still in mostly high spirits. After close to two months apart, I was going to rejoin D in Osaka in just another day or so! I was also excited because after a year and a half of traveling carry-on only, I had decided to check in an extra bag, filled with cute clothes and shoes. D and I are traveling at a much slower pace now and it’d be nice to not look like homeless nomads. I mean, just one extra duffle bag is not so much of a burden, right?
At the check in counter, I was told that my 1 am flight was delayed to 4 am due to typhoons in Taipei, where my connection is. Okay, no biggie since logically, it should mean that my 8 hour layover would be shortened, right? But I gotta admit, by the time I finally boarded the flight, I was more than a little grumpy. Especially when I saw that the window seat I had requested for the 14-hour flight turned out to be the dreaded middle seat.
But luck ended up being on my side when I got to the seat to find it being occupied by a man, whose ticket indicated a window seat. Somehow, he and his wife had window seats in different rows. I told him to go ahead and stay next to his wife and happily took his seat a row up. Being a shortie at 5 foot nothing, I struggled to heave my carry-on up to the luggage compartment, especially as I had to first do some rearranging. No one stepped in to help. God, solo travel really sucks for the vertically challenged.
“I got my window seat”, I messaged D. “But the guy next to me took off his shoes and it smells like sweaty feet.”
“You’re so cranky,” he replied.
“You would be too if you’re still awake at 4 am.”
But little did I know that my journey was just starting.
Upon my arrival to Taipei at 8 am local time, I was dismayed to see that my connecting flight has also been delayed… to 8 pm! Are you kidding me?! Not only did the first delay not help the situation, the second delay actually increased the layover time to 12 hours?! Efforts to get on standby for an earlier flight failed as my checked luggage could not be brought over in time and I didn’t want to risk losing it. Damn! I’m regretting that extra bag already!
“It should be ok,” I told D. “My flight is at 8 pm, so I should still have time to take the last train into town from the airport.”
“You don’t. Japan is one hour ahead so you actually get in just before midnight.”
Double damn! Panic slowly set in. Midnight. And then customs to go through still. This means no more trains into town. No more currency exchange. No more data stores. I saw myself stranded at the airport with no Japanese yen or a way to communicate with D.
As I write this, I’m parked on the cold tile floor next to a wall plug, watching the time slowly tick by. I’ve resigned to the fact that I will not be sinking into a fluffy bed tonight next to D. I’m thinking I’ll have to spend the night at the airport. Maybe I’ll even pay for a lounge.
So I guess all this rambling is to say that travel really sucks sometimes. So please, travel gods, all I want is to be delivered into D’s waiting arms, look up and see his smile, and know that all this hassle has been worth it.
Tired and slightly panicked,
Update: Flight delayed again to
midnight 1:30 am 5:00 am! Here is the moral: avoid flying in and out of Taipei at all cost! Those typhoons, man….
What was your worst transit experience? Again, thank you everyone for sticking with me through my blog absence. Talk to you guys again from Japan (if I ever make it…)!!