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I knew I should have worn those black pants! It started out as a simple habit, a small way of easing the millions of decisions one needs to make when they travel … I always wear black pants and a white top on the plane. “Why?” someone asked me last night at dinner on the Silver Spirit cruise ship. “Because then I don’t need to think about what I’m going to wear!” Simple. But not so simple at all.
Because eventually a habit becomes a talisman, a lucky charm. And then one day, like this morning, when I decide to break that habit by wearing jeans … all hell breaks lose.
Before I’ve even put on the stupid jeans things start to go wrong. They started going wrong at 5:40 a.m. when I couldn’t sleep because I knew I had to report to immigration in the conference room at 8:00 a.m. and I started worrying because I wasn’t fully packed, and then I started thinking about how nice a cup of tea would be and maybe I could check the Internet before I left .. and so I got up waaay too early.
I peeked out my veranda – Halifax looked grey and the ocean looked gloomy. Too bad I couldn’t stay in my cozy suite all day long, but it was time to disembark and catch the plane back to Toronto. I thought about wearing a beige and black top with the jeans, but I didn’t dare stray that far from my custom – I’d stick with the white top but instead of the black pants I’d wear jeans. Big Mistake!
First of all, we get through immigration – ‘Welcome home!’ said the immgration officer, which I thought was kind of sweet, and then we leave the ship. Our driver is waiting, but our luggage still has to come off the ship. While we’re waiting, our driver decides to open the hood of the van. It falls down on his head. We look over to see him reeling around holding a hankerchief to his head and blood drops splatting on the sidewalk.
“I’m okay to drive,” he said. But the cruise organizer decided that he should get some first aid and got us a taxi. The bleeding driver was pretty mad because he wanted to drive. We drove away as he was stomping around and another taxi driver was haranguing the cruise organizer because he wanted to take us to the airport.
Then we get to the airport and they put me on standby. “Why?” I asked, as the clerk put a big bright yellow sticker saying STANDBY – which is code for you are not a qualified passenger. Even though your ticket is confirmed we might just knock you off – on my luggage and another yellow sticker on my boarding pass. “We’re oversold,” she said.
I then went through security and after the third time I went up to the desk to explain to them that I really did deserve to catch a flight home, I dropped my donut. Now this may not seem like a bad thing, but when you’re happily thinking about your double double chocolate donut, it’s quite depressing, especially when you’re really tired and you’ve dropped a big section of donut that looks exactly like a poo log on the floor. I would have picked it up, but I didn’t realize I’d lost my partial-pastry until I was back at my seat and I opened my donut bag and it was gone. It wasn’t until much later when the PR woman, Kate, spotted it – and the people carefully avoiding it – that I had any idea where it had gone.
Finally came some good news. Not only was I on the flight I had a window seat! Yay! I love window seats. “But what about my luggage?” I asked the man, who was very nice in a brusque sort of way. “It has a big standby tag on it. How will they know to put it on the flight?”
“Stop worrying,” he said – possibly being very tired of me at that point, although luckily he couldn’t see the poo log donut that I had deposited in front of his clean and shiny desk.
Then I get to Toronto, and yes, you guessed it – no bloody luggage. At this time I am in a very bad mood, made worse by the loss of donut calories. I vented mightily on the man at the service desk. “They told me to stop worrying! I told them my bag had a standby tag! All my toiletries are in that bag. I can’t even wash my face.” And then I started thinking about everything in the bag, like my black high heels I just bought at Harrods in London. “My new shoes from Harrods!”
The man was very nice and let me rant. And he apologized, which really goes such a long way in making a person stop and shut up, because how can you rant at someone who is on your side. “Thanks for being so kind,” I said, as this kind of behaviour should be rewarded at all times, especially because it’s so rare.
And because I only had my hand luggage I caught the long bus and subway home. And the subway was delayed. A woman beside me was reading a book and for lack of anything else to do I kept sneaking peeks at it.
FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE said one heading. Well, I could try that, I thought. The positive is that since I have no luggage I am saving $56 dollars on cab fare. And then I was bored again so I read over her shoulder again. It was a quote.
For the person who does not know where they want to go there is no favourable wind.
Well I knew where I wanted to go. I wanted to go home, unplug the phone and pull the covers over my head. So maybe a favourable wind will be coming my way – and with any luck it will blow my beautiful black shoes from Harrod’s home.
And I’ll think twice about wearing anything but black and white on the plane again.