At times it is almost impossible to not to believe that a plan is a near- reality. One is encouraged and often forced to make future plans, small and big. From ‘when should i set the coffee machine for the next morning’ to ‘what should one do for life.’ And for some bizarre reason we are constantly encouraged to build this fictitious frame of reference for the paradigm that does not exist in reality: the future (cue dramatic fanfare). however, life, being much larger than a will of a pathetic individual, often ends up crashing over the poor person who had his house of dreams built with the twigs of ‘plans.’ Though it could be quite maddening for awhile, the ‘foiling’ process can also be hilarious, even spectacularly entertaining. All because of one simple fact: plan/future involves life and reality, however, they do not equate to life itself.
Such grand introduction, monkey. Where are you going with this?
Well, as i am writing this in my laptop (notice the unusual guest appearance of capital letters? Microsoft office, like a well-behaving school boy, believes that the credential and the meaning of this document lies in its use of capital letters. And instead of vanquishing each capital letters, i am going to calmly enjoy the fact that i justve been defeated by... protocols. Yay. Go you, protocol. Ooh wait. That’s right. You cant even enjoy your victory, how silly. Then there’s no reason for me to waste my life in anger is there?
Planned a bit while ago, i was supposed to board flight from yyz-man, departing at 1905, arriving at 0705. I paid my bills and printed my ticket. Got to the airport in a cushy airport shuttle (see, this may have been the problem to begin with! More on that later) and lined up like a good-law-abiding-monkey. Then came the lady with clipboard, eyeing people with half caution and half dread. Then she asks me:
Airline lady: are you heading to Manchester?
Monkey: Oh, why, yes?
A: there may be a possibility that we may have to redirect you.
M: urrr okay, can you expand that idea? (where am i going? Hell? Shit.)
A: the flight to Manchester has been overbooked and we are hoping we can redirect people without seat reservation to Birmingham.
M: hmm (so this is why people pay extra to have their seats pre-booked, in case... someone did not keep their words. Alright, fine)
A: the flight may not be full so let’s keep the fingers crossed.
See, i wonder if i would have had less trouble by taking the rocket to the airport. After the thank you letters, a consistently difficult shoulder pains has been accompanying monkey everywhere she goes. I am wondering if it’s been tight enough to dislocate itself while yawning (you think i am stupid but i have dislocated shoulders while stretching. A long story for another day)- anyhow, so i was being decadent and taking the airport shuttle. What i have not realized is that downtown traffic is a mess because there are massive constructions all over the places. So the bus was about half hour behind the usual mark (they usually overestimate by 15 min and i usually underestimate by 15 min, which makes for that half hour. Darn it) and by the time i was in line, there were three of us, a bombardier executive, me and another Indian girl. If lucky, we all get to board the flight. If less lucky, some of us will be put on Birmingham flight, then the company would pay for cab ride to our destination, which would have been okay, considering then minnow may save a trip to Manchester to pick monkey up. And yes, i will just show up on the door, expecting a british fryup and a great coffee. However. There are more options. Such as: both flights are full.
Five minute to six. I have spoken with the bombardier executive man. Nice guy. Has two kids, 7 and 9. Have been working in Canada since early 2010 and going home so they can wrap up school and move to new market. Okay. The Indian girl was on the phone/or off the phone, getting aggressive by the seconds. Then came the lady with clipboard and she says: there’s only one seat left for Birmingham.
The executive looks at monkey. I can see that he can be totally pushed over the edge to yield the seat. Crap. I should have told him that i really miss minnow. I should have spoken about how my brother recently died as well, for that extra sympathy point. Come on, cry monkey cry. Cry like the day you cried in front of the cops to avoid ticket for going at 100+ miles in 75 miles zone.
Instead, this monkey says: hey, great. You will get to go see your kids’ soccer game tomorrow morning, your wife will love you for driving to the game.
Executive man: are you-
M: -kinda sure. Now, go and have a safe journey, before i beg you for your seat.
E: ha ha (with hint of wobbly cautiousness), okay then, sorry, but i am sure they can work something out for you-
So he leaves. Walking with dancing steps. I think: your kids better win that damned soccer game. So there are two girls left. Nice. Okay. The other girl is getting nuttier and nuttier. We are taken to the service desk.
They can transfer me to flight to Gatwick, then transfer from there with BA to Manchester, the flight will get to the airport around four. I say it’s too late. I suggest if they could reimburse me in case i book a train journey from London o Manchester. The three ladies behind the desk says: we cant book you a train, oh no, we aren’t capable, just like the greek theatre chorus. Ha ha. Okay. Minnow’s on phone saying: oh no, what are they going to do? They should compensate you! Terrible! Indian girl keep saying: me too, im screwed! Whatever option she chooses, i want that! I have to be there!
And monkey thinks: i can either lose my mind and be one of those people who screams their heads in public places. Or i can really try to be witty. Funny. Anything but angry. So she goes on.Okay, minnow. Chill out please. I am close to losing it. Don’t be a help in turning me into a rabid animal. I will figure something out and will call you asap.
2. Okay , three ladies. I can book my own ticket. I will buy an internet access once i clear the customs. No worries. I can send the bill to whomever. Can you repay?
3. Okay, Indian girl. Please chill.
And i flash a big smile and say: this could be so unpleasant! But it is not! Thank you guys! Lets find a way! So the clipboard lady takes me to the transfer counter, gets me on flight to Gatwick with specific instruction: give this small 5’5” girl the biggest seat you can find! (girl says: well, the first class is full, but yes, i will put her in emergency exit aisle, which is wide enough to do yoga). The girl on the phone offers to get me a cup of coffee as she’ll go get one anyways. The older lady with glasses who led the chorus: oh we shall not book you a train, says she’ll get on the vouchers. VOUCHERS? COOL.
So i go get my ticket for the flight to Gatwick. Come back, receive a great apology and even greater vouchers (400 CAD worth, woohoo). Ladies are also nosey and wants to know about minnow. Minnow calls back, i apologize for being a demanding cruel monkey (i was pressurized!) and the three ladies are laughing their heads off. Minnow is fine (And even happier when i say train bill is covered and i recovered about 60% of my travel cost in vouchers) as long as i get my ass in uk before the terminal Mahler 10 erupts, much like a long-awaited pimple that have turned into a boil.
Indian lady is still on the counter, phoning and getting upset.
So after the entire discussion of minnow being a violinist, monkey is a doctor of music, the inevitable death of... well, Mahler and everyone else, i was sent off to my gate with blessing of the airline staff. One of them even yelled from the back: ‘be nice to (mr minnow), he sounds nice!’ ha, lady, i know. Grin.
So instead of having a regular 6-7 hours flight from Toronto to Manchester, i will be doing a bit of somersaults. From Gatwick, monkey will be trailing to Victoria, then Victoria to euston with the world famous tube, then euston to Manchester Piccadilly on virgin train, then finally be picked up, only to have a wee bit of stop at the bridgewater hall. Only AFTER Mahler, i shall dream of being back at home. How silly is this? But then i think: oh boy. It could have been lot more unpleasant. The voice of reason will also say, ya, but it could’ve been much more pleasant as well, only if you could cry at will!
Well, i think i still can jerk a tear or two if necessary. But if all is well and i have more than half of my flight cost covered, it’s not a total loss? And yes, i will get there, which is more important than anything else. If i wanted things to be easier, i should’ve stayed where i am. Simple, isn’t it. Love to you all and next time you are stuck at an airport, see what.. you could... make them... do... for you! Ha ha.