The Story of the Girl Who Tried to Go to India Twice…and Failed
On Friday I woke up feeling calm and excited to spend a day doing one of the things I do best (or so I thought) – travel. Everything was packed. I stopped by my mom’s office to give her one last hug and then swung by the Jamba Juice around the corner for breakfast. At Jamba Juice I met a U of MN student from New Delhi, in fact her parents live about fifteen minutes from the campus where I will be studying. I took our encounter as a sign from the universe that all was in place, that today was a blessed day to depart and New Delhi was ready to welcome me.
However it was easy to see, as Tori and I neared the airport, that the storm clouds which were dumping sheets of rain onto the freeway had a different itinerary in mind. Indeed, my 1:50pm flight to Chicago had been delayed until 3:15pm, meaning I would miss my connection to Newark. So the ticket agent put me on a flight direct to Newark that was scheduled to leave MSP at 3:15, getting me to Newark 1.5 hours before my Newark to Delhi flight was to depart.
After wading through security I checked the departures board and, seeing that my flight was on time, headed to the French Meadow Bakery for something to eat – my airport tradition. After a delicious turkey wrap (Charmagne, you would’ve loved it) I walked to my gate only to discover that my new flight had been delayed, also due to weather, and was not scheduled to leave Minneapolis until 6:15 that evening. What transpired next was the following:
- Multiple calls to multiple ticketing/re-booking hotlines.
- Tried to get on a flight from MSP to Paris, Paris to Delhi – no dice.
- Walked around the airport 4 times.
- Lost my neck pillow 😦
- Found my neck pillow 🙂
Once it became clear that I was not leaving Minneapolis today and not arriving in Delhi tomorrow I pulled out my iPad, watched an episode of SNL, and pondered my predicament. I called my brother, the Czar of Calm, to plot my next move: call Mom & Dad to bring me home, again? or jump on this flight to Newark (now scheduled to depart at 7pm) and hang out with friends Teresa & Christian in NYC for the weekend?
In the end I opted to call the ‘rents for a pick up. Arriving in Newark around midnight and trying to get to Brooklyn would have been more stressful than fun after the day I’d had. So here I am, reporting once again from sticky Saint Paul, Minnesota. Despite the difficulty I’ve had actually getting on a plane bound for India I choose to believe that I continue to be in the right place at the right time. Even when I was at the airport waiting to get on a plane I was in the right place – I met my friend Sarah V’s family friends on their way to China to adopt two children and put my Spanish skills to work helping a man line next to me who didn’t speak English. Maybe this is just what I needed after waking up so unsure of this next big step on Thursday morning, a sort of recalibration that turned terror into excitement and excitement into impatience. Anyways, what are two more days of waiting when I have known for 12 months that this was coming?
I am now scheduled to embark on Sunday morning and, God willing, I will arrive to New Delhi on Monday at 8:15pm Delhi local time. My extra day and a half allowed me to spend time with relatives visiting from North Carolina for a wedding (so glad I got to see you guys!), sleep in my own bed for two more nights, and hang out with my darling parents who will miss me dearly – the missing will be mutual.
Thursday’s calendar mix up lent a feeling of levity to my departure for India. The most recent change of plans has made going to India for one year seem like a perfectly normal thing to do – heck, I’ve pretty much gone two times already. When I called my parents from the airport yesterday I said “please come pick me up, but let’s pretend like it’s just a normal weekend, I can’t handle any more of this good bye I won’t see you for a year business.” And normal it was. And lovely. Thanks, Mom & Dad.
So once again I take my leave, but I will make no promises. I continue to be grateful for your prayers, thoughts, and well wishes. As my host Rotarian signs his emails to me:
Jai ho (May victory be yours!)