I’d been blissfully unaware of time for the last two weeks of my India trip. Chillin by the Ganges in Rishikesh and watching the world go by, inbetween yoga classes, Reiki sessions and eating apple cake. I didn’t care what time it was or even what day it was quite frankly. Actually this had been my mentality for the entire time I’d been in India. And this had worked out fine until I had a flight to catch, from Delhi to Bangkok, where I was supposed to be meeting – at the airport upon her arrival – my scared to travel alone, never done it before, buddy from London. “Don’t worry!” I’d said… “I’ll be there to meet you as soon as you land.”
So it was really important to me to get that flight. So important that I booked a room in Haridwar (the nearest city to Rishikesh with all the main transport) for the night before my train journey back to Delhi. Just to be on the safe side because I didn’t want to miss my train because then I might miss my flight. Everything was rolling along smoothly although I didn’t sleep well that night because I was worried about not catching the train the next morning. I’m a worryer, ehh worrier? Warrior? That’ll do.
But I did catch the train, and it was a lovely journey, excitement building up thinking about seeing my London pal for the first time in months. It was lovely… until the train conductor came along to stamp my ticket. He told me it wasn’t valid. I told him it most certainly was. Then he told me again, no it isn’t, it’s a ticket for yesterday.
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It took about 10 seconds for the realization to sink in, and for my face to turn deathly white in shock that oh my gawd if I’m on this train a day late, it’s not the day it’s supposed to be, which means my flight, may quite possibly have left yesterday – no TODAY, it’s leaving today, and I’m going to miss it. I scrambled around for my diary. The thing that I was using to keep track of the days. How could this have happened?
Turns out I must have missed a day in the diary some time during my 2 month trip, so I would have at some point started believing it was this day but in actual fact it was the next day, or the day before. See how confusing this sh*t can get? A page at some point got stuck to another page, sticky business backpacking in India.
So yeah let’s just nutshell this: I missed my flight.
While I was sitting on a train praying I would be able to get on another flight that same day, my buddy Aimee, now alone abroad, was cursing me out and crying down the phone to her mum in England. Her mother confessing that she knew all along I was trouble and that she should never have left and should fly home immediately before she somehow ends up in a ping pong show.
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So I arrive at the airport a hyperventilating mess. No change there then. I spend hours running back and fourth, begging random check-in people, getting sent to this end of the airport, then the other end, running here, running there, begging this person and then that person. I was sweating like, I dunno, like I had 50 grams of crack up my, anyway, turns out there were NO available flights. I was told ALL flights to Bangkok were fully booked FOR WEEKS.
I imagined myself killing time in Delhi for two weeks, with Aimee all alone in Thailand (or worse, having a great time without me). This SUCKED. I tried to email her to say, look I’m coming, but I couldn’t figure out the weird wifi computer thing in the airport and I didn’t have an iphone at this point, nor a mobile phone that worked. I was a f**king hippie ok.
I was coming in and out of the airport so much at one point, the guards standing at the entrance with big rifle type guns crossed them on me to block me from coming back in. I think they just considered me to be a giant pain in the butt. I was like are you serious, just let me in already. So they did, but I didn’t go out again. I’d made peace with the fact that my life was about to become The Terminal movie. Maybe I’d make friends with an asylum seeker in limbo. Maybe marry them at the airport, make a home under some airport chairs and start a family? Who knows! Anyway all I knew was, there were no flights for weeks so I got out my Awakening Kundalini and Chakra Healing Crystal books and did some reading.
Then I got bored and started traipsing around the airport begging for a flight again. This time proved slightly more fruitful and I had to follow this senior looking airport worker into his almost plush office. He closed the door behind us and sat down behind his desk. I sat down too and explained that I’d missed my flight by a day and was desperate to get to Bangkok to meet my friend. I started rummaging around in my fanny pack for a half eaten mint because I was assuming my moment that may just rival the Fyre Festival Confession was erm, coming. (You know, in the Fyre Festival Documentary when Event Manager Andy King confessed that he was fully prepared to suck dick to get Evian water through customs). Anyway…
Mint not needed… he said pay 40 quid for a business class upgrade and I’ll get you on a flight tonight. Ahhh and the flight was bliss! I kind of just wanted to stay on the plane forever, is that normal? The seats in business class were so big and soft and they gave me a lot of alcohol. I was exhausted at this point but I did allow myself a little smile when we were up in the air… like hey… I just got sooo lucky. 🙂
I arrived into Bangkok at 7am and got a cab straight to the hotel Aimee had booked for us. It was super fancy and I turned up looking like a god damn hobo. A concierge walked me up to her hotel room and knocked on the door a few times. We waited and then slowly the door opened a little bit and there stood my rather disheveled friend, in her nightie, in the dark, looking like the blonde version of that chick from The Ring. She wanted to hate me but once I’d explained the hell I had just been through and that I was prepared to do an Andy King to get to her she gave me a hug and Thailand was ON.
Check out the Jetset Bunny Guide To India including the basics, things to do, eat, stay and plan: India Travel Tips