Travel

The Terminal: The Sequel

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Now I know what they mean by the “wet cold” of Vancouver that you can feel all the way down to your bones. Of course, when properly equipped with appropriate clothing – a heavy winter jacket, maybe an oversized scarf – you’re fine. And at those times with those tools, I still say I prefer it to the painful dry -30 temperatures I’ve grown up in in Alberta. But sitting in the Vancouver airport, having been awake for an hour already after spending the night curled up with only a hoodie, lulu’s and a thin cardigan draped over my feet, I can’t seem to shake the cold chills shivering down my spine. Despite my best efforts witting in Starbucks with warm oatmeal and a hot tea. Hot enough to scald my poor tongue in my haste and desperation to feel warmth at any cost, but not hot enough to warm the rest of my body.

My plan: Sit in the cozy Starbucks chair for the next three hours until I have to change back into my “business casual” dress and heels and sculpt my greasy hair into something pretending to be presentable and make my third attempt at flying stand by to Hong Kong.

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Flying standby. For those of you who don’t already know, I work for an airline. So that means we get ridiculously good deals on our airline as well as other airlines, flying pretty much anywhere in the world. The catch: we fly standby. As in, if there are seats available in the final hour, we go. If not, we don’t get to go. I have been flying standby for almost five years and have had pretty much perfect luck every time. So I didn’t even entertain the idea I wouldn’t make it in my first shot on the 2pm flight yesterday. And then the 2am flight as well…. I didn’t consider where I might sleep or how warm I might be stranded in the middle of winter in Canada. I guess I thought I was practicing “the power of positive thinking” or something like that. Which, on the upside, I suppose is a testament to how far I’ve come from the anxiety-stricken, itinerary-in-hand girl I was when I left for South America just two years ago. But, in this case, I think a little “what if?”‘ing may have been very beneficial.

So anyway, here’s the scoop. (ooo PS my third Venti Vanilla Roobios Tea Latte seems to be helping a little… finally). The Cathay Pacific people in their pressed red suit jackets and navy blue pencil skirts (they really look so sharp) have informed me that the next two flights are overbooked and therefore my chances are low… but that the 13th looks better. But what… I can’t not try. I need to get to Bali! And besides, what if I miss a chance adn then those better-looking flights on the 13th overbook as well? This could go on forever. I can’t not try. So that means I have resided myself to the life of Tom Hanks in The Terminal for at least a few days. On the agenda today, assuming I don’t get on the 2pm flight (wait… is that my positive thinking fading before my eyes?) is to buy a blanket. Maybe a few blankets. And continue with this tea at Starbucks plan.

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I do have something to be very thankful for though…. So I finally got a new iPod after surviving for five months without one (yes, it was hell) and because I was stuck in Vancouver all last week (grounded with an ear infection… I know, what the hell is with me being stuck in Vancouver), I didn’t have time to get my computer fixed with my 15,000+ songs. So essentially I’m heading out for two months of travel with the smallest music collection known to man and the biggest iPod Apple makes. But, when I frantically texted my Vancouver friends yesterday in search of company, Melanie and her boyfriend, Jodi, invited me over for an evening of rock band to break up my day. And… turns out that Jody has an insane music collection – remarkably similar to mine. I have uploaded it all to my new iPod and am now able to play a soundtrack to my solitude in the YVR airport. So thanks to Mel and Jodi – BIG TIME!

Okay… my Starbucks has run out. Must go re-fill…

***

Jan 12, 2011

Day three of the standby game.

The family washroom has become my dressing room. Sliding into my tights and my pale blue dress. Buttoning my cardigan closed to try and distract from the wrinkles in my skirt. A spray… or three sprays, of perfume to mask my less than pleasant body odour and another sad attempt to tidy my ponytail. Blot some make up under my eyes in attempt to hide the greyish bags forming just beneath them. Well, that’s as good as it’s going to get.

And if I don’t get on this one, it will be another afternoon of waiting for my favorite oversized Starbucks chair to free up so I can enjoy a Venti Vanilla Roobios Tea Latte and read my book in it’s cozy embrace.

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