Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Here I go...

Welcome to my very first blog. This is very exciting. You should first of all understand that I attract drama like there's no tomorrow. That just comes with the territory of being a foreignor anywhere. I am the luckiest girl on the planet, because I go to BYU here in Utah, but I also get to travel back to England a few times a year. It's kind of weird having two separate lives, but you'll soon see that it's actually awesome!

Okay, so I have a truly excellent story to tell from Christmas. I try not to tell stories that happened ages ago, because no one wants a sob story from the days of yore... but this one is pretty crazy!

Here goes...

So this past Christmas I was travelling to the Salt Lake City airport to fly home to London for Christmas. I left on the Saturday before Christmas, and planned on being at home for 2 weeks. So I flew to Chicago first, an hour or so later than scheduled, but made it there in one piece. I got off the plane, poised to book it to my next gate. I then looked up at the departure boards, and all I saw was "cancelled, cancelled, cancelled" the whole way down for every flight to Europe. That was pretty scary. So I panicked. Understandably. I went to the desk to try and find someone to help me, but no one knew what was going on. That was also pretty scary. So then I went to the loo and cried a lot. I couldn't call my parents because my British phone wouldn't work, so I resorted to texting them about my crisis. I finally went back to the desk, and they told me that they had no idea when the next flight to London would be. They wouldn't give me my suitcase, or a hotel room, or anything. So it was just me, and my handbag. I soon regretted learning how to pack lightly. I literally just had my debit card, passport, phone, and a bottle of water. Yeah, I pack really light.
By this time it was about 9pm, and the airport was getting quieter. No one at the info desk knew anything, except that every airport in Europe was closed. So, I was stuck, in Chicago airport, at night, by my lonesome. Obviously, the first thing that popped into my mind was the movie "The Terminal". Tom Hanks survived in an airport. It could be done.

Yeah, I wasn't so keen on that idea. So I bought a sandwich while I decided that I wasn't going to die. I was just going to be really smelly, really tired, and probably very cave-womanesqe by the time I made it to London. The sandwich booth guy thought it was a great story, and offered me his couch for the night. I also decided then that the headline "stranded cavegirl murdered by Chicago sandwich man" wasn't the best.
Saved by the bell (or my phone ringing). My dad was texting me with a plan. He's the man. He had spent the last 2 hours contacting the local Bishop to see if he could come and rescue me. The frighening thing was that my parents were really worried. You know they're worried if they actually tell you.

So I was rescued by this really kind family, and I spent the night at their home in the suberbs of Chicago. It was then that I realised that a close friend of mine lived in Chicago, so I called him, and crying down the phone, asked him to pick me up. He did. He is also the best. So he picked me up on Sunday morning. I was looking really gross by this point. So we went to his ward, I sang in his ward choir, and pretended to be his fiancee to boost his ego. So I then spent the next 6 days at his house, calling every morning and night to see if I could get on a flight back home before Christmas. I was an honourary member of the family for this week. I even had a family t-shirt to prove it. O even got to see Chicago. It's pretty cool. You know what though, people are so nice. I now had fresh underwear, clothes, deoderant, and shampoo. I was a new woman!

So the story continues a week later when I finally get on a flight which is meant to leave. I get to their airport, fill out the form to have my luggage restored back to me, and sit in the gate. I then hear that my flight (stopping in New Jersey) will be delayed by 2 hours due to windy weather. Well that meant that I would miss my connection to London. So, having spoken to my dad, who had found another flight, I ran up to the info desk, determined to be the most assertive person for the next 20 minutes, and demanded to be put on this flight. The woman at the desk then told me to be queit. Well that was just plain rude. She then told me that the just booked me on the very last seat on the very last flight before Christmas. So I was praising at this point. She was an angel disguised in a green suit and a pillbox hat. Yes, I could feel the floodgates opening. I was tearing up. She told me to leave my luggage in Chicago or I would miss the flight. So I did. Now, queue the slow motion dramatic running.

I ran through the gate. Ran to the next terminal. I was shaking at this point, and my eyes were filling up. I ran to my gate and sat down, all dramatically next to 2 English guys. They were speaking like true cockneys, and then I could feel big fat tears rolling down my cheeks. That was exactly where I wanted to be. Scheduled to leave the airport this time, right next to smokey English men, who, let me tell you, had some serious "builder's bum" issues.

Okay, where was I? Shaking, tearing up? Now boarding the plane. I sat down, called my dad, and told him I was going to make it back for Christmas.

I finally arrived in London the next day. Christmas Eve. I can't tell you what a pleasure it is to be greeted by so many British Indians. I loved being told "Velcome to UK madim". That really felt like home.
So I filled out the form to get my suitcase back. This Indian man was so excited to hear my story. So I told him, gave him the "Sian-Amy half-wink" and then he promised to deliever my bag on Boxing Day. So that was settled. Now to meet the parentals. I rushed through arrivals. Still in those jeans from a week ago and my trusty handbag. Then I saw my parents. Yep, as you can imagine, there was plenty of crying. Even my dad teared up. I always feel truly loved when I can break my dad. Trust me, move to the other side of the world, and I'm sure your parents will love you more!

Long story short, I just about made it home in time. It was a Christmas miracle. Moral of the story, girls, never pack light!