#sol18- January 9, 2018
It was a case of bad timing- when I booked this trip months ago I thought I might be leaving Asia this summer and I was desperate to visit India again after 12 years away. I will be honest- it never occurred to me that it would be cold in the north, but it was! By the end of the trip I was feeling happy, but tired- so it was time to head home. My flight was to leave just before 10, which meant a 6 AM departure from the hotel, but all was well, there was zero traffic, so we made it super quickly.
Checking in was easier than anticipated (I had been told all bags had to be wrapped and carry on had to be airline tagged, but nothing like that was happening in my line). I double checked that my luggage would go all the way through, as I had a short layover in Singapore. The man gave me the traditional Indian head nod/bob, so I took that as a yes. I was thrilled to kill some of my time in a Starbucks and the whole airport was spacious and easy.
I knew the timing of the layover would be tight, so when the pilot on the first flight announced a delayed departure due to fog (surprise, on the cold days there the fog is thick until early afternoon) my stomach clenched. I had it all planned- I was to arrive home at the airport in KL at 8:45PM and then rest up for my catch up day on Sunday before returning to school.
I leaned in to the delay- only supposed to be 15-20 minutes, I could do that. “I will still make my connection,” I said to myself, as I opened my Kindle to catch up on some reading. Sure enough, it wasn’t much longer than that and we took off.
Fivish hours later I changed terminals and hustled to my gate with only a few minutes to wait before boarding, so I did not stop to buy a snack (why does travel make you so hungry?). A few minutes later the food cart rattled down the narrow aisle and imagine my surprise when the cart mysteriously stopped right by me and my name was called (sort of- she said Victor Erika, but I figured she meant me). She handed me a maple muffin and a small bottle of water- just enough to quiet my rumbling tummy. Only one other person on the flight had food delivered- I have no idea what I did to merit the food, and although I enjoyed the treat it also filled me with a strange sense of foreboding. Was this a recompense for my bag not making the second flight with me?
Immigration was busy once we landed and as usual, I picked the slow line even though I actually counted the number of people in a few lines and chose accordingly. I hurried off to carousel 8. The signboard flashed “last bag” but there were still a few more bags arriving while a helpful porter pulled off the bags. I looked at the bags in the lineup-no luck. Then I made small talk with the porter. “There will still be a few more bags to come, right?”
“Nope, that’s it,” he replied and I may have whimpered- after all I had had that premonition. In a shocking show of efficiency, he whisked me off to the lost luggage room and helped me fill in the required paperwork. It was too late for anything to happen by then he told me, so it would have to wait until the morning. “Take this number and call in the morning, he added. So much for my “start laundry once I get home plan”.
I grabbed a taxi and went home to pout.
Sunday morning I had a slow start (tired plus a bit sick). When I got out of the shower I had three missed calls from the same number. Upon returning the call a man identified himself as with the airline and said he was already on his way with my bag.
Sure enough, just after noon, I got a call from the lobby of my condo to retrieve my bag and we were reunited. Then I began my slightly delayed laundry. In the end it could have been so much worse- just over 12 hours delay and it was on the home end of the trip. I am hoping that has earned me good travel karma for the foreseeable future.
***Former student, Zhi Hong, still slicing!