Vacation – One of my favorite words and something that I have been nagging my poor hubby about for quite some time. The last one we had was to Penang in Malaysia in the second trimester of my pregnancy. Now my little one is a few months away from his third birthday and a vacation was long overdue. Somehow we could not plan one earlier due to some reason or the other.
This time we had a long weekend and so we decided to go somewhere, any good place where we could get tickets to. We decided upon the Phuket one of South East Asia’s most preferred tourist destinations. This post is not about my trip. Its just about making it to that trip.
Well, our flight was at 6:30 on Fri evening. I had to go to work and my husband was working from home that day. Somehow the days you have to leave on vacation would be the busiest at work. Mine was no exception. To add to it I ended up late at work and also missed an important last-minute meeting as I had not checked my mails or messages. So it was work, work and more work. My husband had warned me to somehow be back at home at 3:30. I had a critical meeting at 3! What was I supposed to do! Somehow I wrapped up the meeting fast, caught the next available cab and rushed home. I checked my wallet and I had some change which would not be enough for a bus ride back home leave alone a cab one! I called up my husband and asked him to wait for me in the lobby with some cash.
After all this when we entered home together it was almost 3:45. That is when my husband’s colleagues decided on a conference call at 4 and called him up. He did not attend it ofcourse but the explanations ate up some of our time.
In our hurry we forgot to dial a cab and went down to the street , the way we always did if our destination was somewhere local. Most cabs that went by had ‘HIRED’ in red displayed on top. At last , one came with a green ‘TAXI’ sign. That sped past without stopping. We realized that was an old couple on a drive, using a taxi for personal use and had forgotten to switch off the sign. We waited for some more time.
Then another cab came in the opposite direction. It also sped past without stopping. “Damn!! It’s that same old couple! Guess they are trying to figure out their way” my husband exclaimed with exasperation.
Finally one cab guy stopped. When I peered in to tell him Airport I noticed he had a squint in his eye and his expression reminded me of the aliens from ‘Men in Black’. That did not matter then anyways. We waited for him to open the trunk. A whole minute sped by and no reaction! I went back in front to check and our man was slowly counting some change. Twenty, Forty!!! Finally got him to open the trunk, put our luggage in and started on our way to the airport.
I guess this person had a fear of speed whatever phobia that’s called. The road ahead was pretty empty and other cars were way ahead but he drove as slow as he could. After some time ‘Heavy Traffic ahead’ board came looming into our vision and then he could not go faster even if he wanted to.
The road to the airport is a highway and has boards displaying the distance to the airport. At 5:15 we were at 23 and a ½. I decided not to get obsessed with those boards and instructed myself to check again at 5: 20. I listened to myself but at5:20 the board said 22 & a ½ which was not of much solace to me. Soon the traffic cleared and we came to the taxi drop off point at around 5:35.
That’s when my toddler regurgitated his entire afternoon meal in a projectile angle. I was beginning to notice that he was getting a little restless but did not expect this. There was absolutely no sympathy from the cab guy. ‘Oh No! My Car!! That will ruin my business’ was his reaction. Anyways with all the wet tissue that I had , I cleaned it up to the best extent possible and repeated my apology n times . I signaled to my husband that we should pay him something to make up for the mess we had caused. When my husband handed over a 50$ bill he accepted it, did not give us any word of thanks or any other feeling and got back and sped away. Basically he helped himself to the extra money to make up for the mess by not giving us our change back.
We came to the check in counter at around 5:50 and there was a pretty long queue. There were people going back to some cities in India and their flights were much later at 8 or so.
My husband left me and my son in the queue and went to one of the impeccably dressed airline personnel trying to explain to her that our flight was in half an hour and try to push us ahead in the queue.
That is when the lady smiled and uttered one of the best things we had heard the whole day, a statement which would have normally evoked a long groan from us. ‘Sir! Your flight has been delayed to 7:40. You should not have any problem’. We both heaved a huge sigh of relief and proceeded to await our turn to check in. The vomit had cleared all the indigestion in my little one’s tummy and he was now happily playing with the tapes they use to channel the passenger queues.