The Airport Chronicles

June 12, 2018
If you don't follow me on twitter....or snapchat....or Instagram, then you probably don't know that I have a pretty bad head cold which I should've taken medicine while I was still in the states but nope! I decided to go through with the aches and pain of traveling with this cold!

First of all, I had to drive 3 hours to the Chicago airport which isn't so bad except when your mom is bawling her eyes out in the backseat with you. I thought I would never get out of that car alive without taking extreme precautions on hiding my wallet from the world, making sure I ate and drank a lot and not forgetting my passport. I failed 2/3 of these instructions.

As soon as I walked into the airport, I knew I was in trouble. I didn't know what line I was supposed to go in even though my airline was basically the only one open. I just got in behind some people and kept to myself until I went up to check in and found out the line I was in was going to UAE and that could've been a mess.

So again, I went back into line with even more people and waited another 40 minutes. When I finally got up to the check-in lady, I realized I had forgotten the most important item that would let me leave the country without hassle. My Amercian passport was nowhere to be found. This is the moment my flight or fight response kicked in.

I found my passport in what seemed like years but in reality was maybe about 5 minutes. It was stuck in my suitcase, and like the idiot I am, I forgot it was in there. I could tell the other people in line were getting impatient, but our flight was at midnight, and it was only around 9 pm, so I didn't feel bad.

Now, I started getting hungry as hell because I refused to eat or drink in the car cause I have to use the restroom every 10 minutes. After the struggle of getting my laptop out of my bag for security, I walked into the smallest food court I had ever seen and started looking for my options just for the woman at the Chinese food stand to tell me they were closed and the only place open was the bar. I was already embarrassed enough to try to look around, so I just sat down and stared at a dude who was laughing really loudly while eating chips. I did though finally get a ham and cheese sandwich for 14 bucks at a Panera right by my airline doors. I ate that bland sandwich promising myself I would never spend 14 dollars on a sandwich again.

Being on this flight from Chicago to Korea for 12 hours wasn't so bad. Probably because I was sitting next to Filipinos who thought I was Korean because I'm extremely pale and was wearing a face mask. I remember pretending to understand the Korean hostess because she kept asking the same thing in English to other people and then spoke Korean to me and that went on until she realized why I kept responding in English.

Also that Filipino family had a son who had to be at least 2 or 3 because he talked exceptionally well and knew what was going on. This kid starting screaming when the plane took off and somehow got out of his seat and just cried in the aisle grabbing onto other peoples bags. I wanted to laugh because he looked so funny just crying in the middle of this plan. He got passed to his dad who was sitting next to me, and this toddler did not care I was right there he just kept kicking me. I took my sleeping pills and passed out until we had three hours left on the flight.

The Incheon airport is actually pretty nice and clean. It was 3 am so nothing was open, and there wasn't a lot of people. The only problem for me is that my gate was so far down the airport and I was so hungry plus my phone was going to die. I walked for 20 minutes to the entrance and then saw there were charging stations. I almost fought these kids for a seat right next to the USB port but they moved, and I sat down in peace.

I waited for four hours until they were calling us to start boarding. By this time I started feeling sick, and I didn't have any tissues to blow my nose so what did I do? I just kept sniffling and used my face mask to hide that my nose was dripping. Now looking back I probably annoyed the guy next to me, but he didn't say anything. He only tapped me to tell me I dropped my immigration card on the floor.

I had one more flight to get on which would finally be my last one. Manila is very humid which makes everything worse because the airport is already packed with bodies trying to get to the next place. I had broken the handle on my suitcase from being too weak to pick it up and had someone else help me.

For me, the flight to Davao was the worst because for some reason they kept lowering the plane at different times for absolutely no reason, and all my sinuses kept being pushed up and I swear I could've had an aneurysm right then and there. I survived though and got off the plane as fast as I could to find my bags. That took about 10 minutes but seeing my family took about 30 because no one told me who was actually coming to get me. It didn't help that there were 100 Filipinos around and all of us are under 5'6 including my cousins who are also in that same category.

It was strange because as soon as I saw my family, all that pain and stress from traveling with a head cold suddenly was gone. It was like when mothers say all the pain from labor went away as soon as they see their baby. That's a huge stretch to compare those two scenarios, but you get the picture. I've been separated from them for 15 years and finally after those years of me trying to figure out why we are so far apart and the tears I cried from loneliness were now over. I would do this experience a 100 times over and over because being with my family is that important.

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