It was quite the experience going to Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day. Like any great adventure, I was running late. When I say late, I mean LATE. With the original plan, I was supposed to meet my friends at 7:30 in the morning and be at the airport by 10 a.m. The only problem is that I didn’t wake up until 10! In a panic, I called my friends and found out that they did the only reasonable thing and had gone to the airport without me. I had to find my own way now! So much for the non-refundable bus ticket I bought the night prior! Without data, I was unable to call for a taxi without it costing a fortune, so I called my friend and asked her to call one for me. The only problem is that she accidentally set it up so I had to meet the taxi driver all the way on the other side of campus because that’s where she’s used to calling taxis to!
To make matters worse, I knew that I was out of cash and would have to stop by the ATM on campus, which would only take me longer. I inserted my card into the machine and waited for it to wake up. A long message popped up on screen warning me that my bank may charge me a fee. Oh well, I had to do what I had to do. Unable to comprehend which button I was supposed to click, I accidentally picked the button for £300 in cash. Wait! What?! That would convert to about $420! I don’t need that much, especially when I was about to travel to a country where the currency is different! No, wait! CANCEL! Right then, a confirmation screen popped up. Thank goodness! No! Don’t go through! I had to start all over at that point, wasting more time. Finally, I was able to complete a correct transaction and make it to the South Courts where the taxi driver was waiting for me.
I calculated the details in my head. Given the time that I’d left Uni, and knowing that it would take about 50 minutes to get there, I figured that I would arrive at about 11:20. This gave me 30 minutes to get inside, find my friends waiting for me, get through security, and find my gate before it closed. Except that when I did get inside, I spun around unable to find them. I couldn’t go through security without my boarding pass that my friend, Tiffany, had with her! I hectically paced back and forth trying to connect to the Wi-Fi. Ten minutes had already passed and I gave up on trying to connect and looking for my friends. Only 20 minutes left to get to the gate now! I decided I had no other option but to ask for help from someone who worked there. Thankfully, even though I couldn’t get full sentences out of my mouth, I was able to communicate the situation well enough. She understood and took me to the front of the service desk line. They printed out my boarding pass for a £20 fee. Ridiculous!
I dashed to the security line, but I only ran into more trouble. There were so many people and, although the line was moving pretty fast, it was still moving really slowly. At last I got to the front of the line but, because I was rushing, I forgot to take off my wire choker and got flagged. I had to wait to go through the heavy-duty body scanner and be pat down only to realize that my bag was also flagged and had to be further inspected as well. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. I painfully waited for security to double check my bag. They could not have moved slower even if they were all sloths! The time was now 11:00. The gate had most likely closed by now and I was going to miss my flight. Great! About ready to cry, they finally let me gather my items and go. I headed in the direction I could only assume was the right way and realized that the airport was designed so that people couldn’t get to their gate without walking, or in my case, scurrying, through the middle of gift shops that were trying to sell over smelly perfume and other unnecessary junk. At one point, I took a minute to figure out which way to go and the sales lady who was standing there, looked at me quizzically and asked if I wanted a brochure. I gave her a face that I can only assume said, “are you serious right now?” and continued going in a direction that I desperately tried to convince myself was the right way. Thankfully, it was.
The muscles in my legs were burning, but the adrenaline in me wouldn’t let that stop me! Finally! After 10 minutes of awkward power walking, I could see my friends! They hadn’t left yet! My flight had been delayed by 30 minutes because of the same snow that I had been cursing earlier that morning! God had heard my prayers! I just barely made it in time, even with the delay. At last, I could relax.
Tip of the day: If you’re taking an early flight, make sure that you don’t go to bed the night before WITHOUT setting an alarm on your phone to wake you up!