I’ve travelled a lot.
Yeah I just realised that when I was talking to my cousin. I have travelled more than the average person. But not as much as seasoned travellers. So I thought I’d seen it all and there was nothing bad that could happen to me (except the plane falling out the sky with me in it).
So I was going to my homeland Rwanda and it was a two part journey with a stop over in Belgium. I’ve had layovers before, I wasn’t worried. I should have been worried, I shouldn’t have been so chill. And boy was I chill. I took my time getting from one part of the airport to another. I looked for vending machines where I could get food. [Side note: get some euro coins if you have a layover in Belgium, you can get nothing with pounds.] I was listening to music and lounging on those cool chairs that recline.
Then I gazed at my watch, alright it’s time to board my flight, let me find my gate. I got there and it was like a desert land, there was no one and that was odd for such a big flight. I then went to the lady and was like “Where’s the flight, am I in the right place?” she replied “Yeah but it’s gone [no duh]” [Her face said the no duh]. But I was confused, “the flight leaves at 10” but she was like “yeah and it’s now 11.. oh you’re still on British time”
Moment of silence
I can’t believe I missed such a big flight! And to Africa? Where my family was waiting to see me but I wasn’t going to come? I couldn’t stand that thought, I had to get another flight.
She must have seen my world crashing down around me because her face softened and she started to help me and tell me what to do.
I’ve missed flights before but that was when I was in Australia where flying on a plane was like riding a train, and it was never my fault. But this time it was all my fault and I knew it and it crushed me.
I had to buy another ticket, exchange my pounds and then stay in the airport a day and night because the next flight was the next day, a Tuesday. So I got to know the Belgium airport VERY well… I was bit embarrassed to sleep in the airport but when I saw others going at it I was like cool, you sleep I shall sleep too, with my backpack attached to my body so it didn’t get stolen.
Thank goodness for my iPod and thank goodness I was going to see family because I looked haggered by the time I got to Rwanda, Tuesday…. night.
But even amongst all this bad luck I thank God because I had money to buy another ticket, my mom soothed me via my phone, my flight was long but it was beautiful because I had a window seat and the sky was clear, I could islands as we flew over them, I saw the beginning of Africa as we began to fly over the continent.
So moral of the story? Make sure you pay attention to time differences.