Day 1 in Cambodia....actually, not yet

We think of bad days as things not going our way, but when I think about what happened the sequence of things going wrong felt prepared. In an odd way it seemed as if it was going someone else's way.

My flight was scheduled for 1:15, so I arrived early to check-in except in truth I showed up 12 hours late. I mistook the time and was supposed to fly out at 1:15 a.m. and not p.m. When I asked when the next flight out was they said 4 days from now, but was told that the flight is full with no seats open. The next available flight after that was 2 weeks away, too far away. I asked to be put on the standby list and if anything opens up to call me. Mistake 1: Arrived at the wrong time.

Calling with no phone is hard, especially if you don't have any phone numbers on you of people you know. In an effort to pack smart I left my iPhone at home and packed another cell that I would use with a sim card that I was planning to buy in Cambodia. In my current situation I had no phone or numbers to call for a ride back home from the airport. There was never a trip I've done where I didn't have numbers written down in a notebook except for this trip. Mistake 2: Didn't have a back-up of phone numbers written down somewhere else.

I decided to use the airport's internet to find my roommate's numbers online. There were 4 computer stands that took cash or credit, but only 2 computers were available to use. I soon discovered that neither of their card scanners worked so I had to go get change for dollar bills. I lugged my bags to the lease crowded restaurant in the food court to break my $5. I returned to the computers and saw that there were no longer any computers available, but there was a kid banging on one of the keyboards so I requested for me to use it instead. When I put in my $1 it was rejected. Apparently, all the computers couldn't take cash because they were all broken. In a growing frustration I decided to return to the check-in point and ask if I could borrow their computer (if they allowed me to). Mistake 3: Wasted time.

The lady who tried to check me in earlier was nice enough to lend me her blackberry to go online and find a phone number. For a while I waited for her browser to load, but it moved very slowly. I continued convincing myself that it was important to get the phone number, so I waited. And waited. Mistake 4: I should've borrowed someone's iPhone instead.

I went back to the computers to try again. One that I didn't use had a credit card scanner that worked, so I was able to go online for about 5 minutes. Unfortunately, I was charged $12 for it. I succeeded in getting 2 of my roommate's numbers so I searched for a payphone where I used the few quarters I had to get in touch with the both of them. Both of them were unable to pick me up from the flyaway, an airport bus station close to where I live. There is no mistake here.

I decided to take the bus back to the valley. The workers at the flyaway recognized me and gave me confused looks. I asked them about bus routes, but no one knew because not too many people take advantage of public transit. I ended up taking a taxi because I didn't want to ride an hour on the bus to go 5 miles. The taxi ride ended up being over $20. Mistake 5: Didn't save my money to ride the bus.

When I got to the door of my apartment I remembered that I had accidentally given my sister my house key. I was home, but locked out. I left all my bags at the door and knocked on all of my surrounding neighbor's doors. No one answered. I went to the laundry room and one of the maintenance guy's lended me his cell to where I called my roommate again and asked if she could leave work for a few minutes to unlock the door for me. Fortunately, she was able to do that. I went inside towards my computer and phone to make some calls and e-mails. It was four hours later from when I left to go to the airport. Mistake 6: Gave my house key away.

The rest of the day I was very frustrated, worried, and down. Yes, I can say this on my blog. Candidness can be good so long as I don't indulge you too much. Anyway, I'm very lucky to have friends and family who have the gift of encouragement and can be sensitive to the situation. Might I mention, too, that this is a story with a good ending?

This morning my airlines called with news that a seat opened for me, so I will be flying out in a couple of nights to Cambodia. It's for the same 1:15 a.m. time and I will be on that plane. :)

On that note I included a photo of my bags. I will be gone 5 weeks and have succeeded in packing light. Or at least lighter than some. Below you'll see 2 check-ins and 2 carry-ons. The blue backpack has my clothes, items for personal hygine, and small miscellaneous items. The black suitcase has my student's cameras, battery chargers, photo paper, and awesome donations. Then there's my purse with my camera, wallet, and other important stuff like a hairbrush and snacks to eat on the plane. The other bag has my laptop, a notepad to plan things on, and a book to read. This time I will be bringing my iPhone for emergencies.

God is good and maybe I'll eventually know if there was a bigger reason for missing my flight.



Anonymous said...

WOW Jen you had a very tough day.. losing a plane can be very stressful, i know how it feels. but you did have a happy ending and soon you´ll be on your trip!! not so bad anymore huh? haha ...and YES you should always carry your phone with you even though you won´t use it, eventually sometimes you´ll need it...
good luck and have a safe trip. Isabella

feleciacruz said...

awwww well done Jen, i once read an article about travel that said plan for things to not go your way and accept it, youve done well at that. Have fun...Cant wait to read more of your blogs..

Meg said...

Aw, what a rough day! But I'm so happy you'll be on the next flight!

Gray Photography - Zach and Jody - Nashville Wedding Photography said...

Just came across your blog today and wanted to say hi! Wow, what an amazing trip to take. God is going to do something awesome, I'm sure! Blessings, JG