This is the last post I’m writing from my computer, in my country, for a month.
Tomorrow I leave for New York to see my Best Friend, Tina.
But first, I have a 10 hour layover in Santiago de Chile. I remember the last time I was there, the only time I was there. It was April 2013. I traveled alone, but was supposed to meet my friend Carla in Santiago, and we were going to the Lollapalooza music festival.
Except that after I landed in Santiago, both my debit card and my phone failed. I was penniless, stuck in that airport with no way of contacting my only friend in all of Chile.
Or at least, that’s what I thought. After a long hour of struggle with the ATM and the payphone, I took all the money I had in me (in Argentine currency) and went to trade it for Chilean pesos. The guy in the counter noticed my despair, and offered me his cellphone to contact my friend. He helped me, a stranger, for nothing in return.
Finally, I could reach Carla and was able to meet her. I had landed 2.5 hours before.
Flashback to April, 2012. I was in Austin, Texas visiting a friend, Ethan. He was supposed to drop me at the airport so I could catch my flight to Baltimore and meet my friend Charlotte.
We left his house early in the morning. On our way to the airport, I saw a Denny’s by the side of the road and said out loud, “I’ve never been to a Denny’s.” He took it personally and parked right away. “We have time – he said – you should try their pancakes before you go.”
So we went inside. Their menu was insane, and we order too much food. (You know how people say you should eat light before a plane ride? Well, I’ve never followed any advice that includes “eating light“.)
At one point, (after the coffee, pancakes, bacon, eggs, omelets, potatoes, etc) I grab my phone and I see the time. We were 15 minutes away from the airport. My plane was leaving in 10.
I started running towards the car while Ethan dropped a bill on the table, and we raced frantically towards the airport.
I barely made it, buy my luggage didn’t make it until the very next day. I even had to skip the security line, and ended up boarding barefoot holding my shoes in my hand, sweating. Everyone on the plane stared at me as I arrived running, looking like the crazy person I am.
It’s a hot November morning in Cordoba, Argentina. I feel a pulsing headache. I wake up, or at least I try to. I recall events from the night before, they involve a birthday party in a rooftop and too much Honey Bourbon. I feel the hangover. The headache improves. “What time is it?” says Maxi, my boyfriend, from my side. I grab my phone and then it happens. Again.
Three missed calls from my dad. The notification from Google. The flight leaves at 7. And it’s a quarter to 7.
I get off bed yelling at Maxi to wake up. Our first flight together! Not a long one, only 45 minutes to Buenos Aires, but we had to make it to attend a music festival that afternoon… and we were so excited about it! And he had warned me about going to the party, but I had insisted. It was my friend’s birthday and we weren’t coming back too late. We didn’t. But that bourbon wanted to keep me snoozing until noon.
We grabbed our half-made suitcases and rushed downstairs to get a cab. We arrived to the airport in a record time of 10 minutes – when it usually takes 40 minutes to get there.
By the time we made it, the airport was empty. We ran to the counter and I asked the girl there if our plane had already left. She looked at me with the most “DUH” expression I’d ever seen, and I felt so embarrassed! Luckily for us, she was kind enough to relocate us in the next plane, only one hour later, and we made it to Buenos Aires right on time.
Then, I believe it’s normal that I feel a certain anxiety before flying. But don’t get me wrong. It’s not about the flight per se, it’s the airport adventure what keeps me on the edge of my seat. Will I make it on time? Will I meet Tina in the right gate and will I be able to communicate with the outside world? Will one breakfast be enough?
Stay tuned to Kilo India Delta to find the answer to all these questions along with me.
Oh, & please, send me all your suggestions for my airport adventures and my month in NYC!