Thursday, July 6, 2017

Almost Missing My Flight to the Rain Forest

Banksy Airplane
What am I going to do, I thought, if I miss my flight? Am I going to go back to the hostel? Am I going to argue with the airlines? Am I going to book a new ticket? The options.

Damn it. I knew I should have taken a taxi. I should have left 3 hours ahead of time, instead of two and a half. 

I'm going to miss my flight. I know I am.

The guy next to me says I'll be getting into the airport at 8:30PM. My flight leaves at 8:45PM. I'm going to miss my flight.

I've been looking at the clock constantly. And it seemed like each minute that passed, was passing faster and faster. Time was not slow to a crawl.

Then the conductor calls to me in Spanish: "Hey," she says. "This is where you get off. Airport is across the street."

I look at the time. It's 8:15.

I think I can do this. The gate will close at 8:30. I have 15 minutes to clear security and make it. 

I carry my luggage and put my backpack on. It's extra weight.

I then sprint as fast as I could to the airport. I'm wearing boots. Not the best shoes.

I feel like throwing up. I feel the burning and the sharp pains when I breath. But I make it to the front doors of the airport.

I probably did it in five minutes. Good time. I'm breathing hard.

I slow down. It's not good to run in the airport. I walk fast passed the escalators.

I look at the line for security. Not too many people. I start putting all my stuff in my backpack.

I walk through the security gate. I chuck my bags through the x-ray machine.

The metal detectors beep. Must be the change I have in my pocket. Must be my belt. I put both through the x-ray machine.

I walk back out. I walk back in. No beeping. Yes. Breath. Breath.

I grab my bags. I grab my change and stuff it into my pockets. I'm breathing hard. I feel a sheen of sweat trapped between my shirt and skin. I'm breathing hard.

I grab my belt. I hold it in my hands, while walking quickly to the terminal. My pants are really loose and below my waist line. I gotta go.

I see the line to the terminal. It's boarding. There's people.

I made it. It's now 8:25PM. I get to the back.

Belt still in my hand. I'm still breathing hard. I feel relieved. I can't put the belt on, because I have to walk forward while people are boarding. I just want to put my belt on.

I board. I loop my belt through my pants. I tighten it.

I sit in my chair. I check the time when they close the gate door.

It's 8:35. I did it with ten minutes. Not bad, today.

Don't do this again, I tell myself. But I have a feeling, it'll happen again.

I'm happy with myself that I made it. It feels like some big accomplishment, like running a marathon. (To be honest, I don't think I've ever got to the terminal in a large airport in 10 minutes, especially from the parking lot. That's pretty good.)

It's because I run a lot. At least that's what I want to tell myself.

I ask myself why did this go so wrong. For some reason, it was difficult for me to find the airport bus during rush hour traffic, which is one big mess in Lima. There's really nothing like it. Lima traffic is an organized chaos. It has a life of it's own.

It reminded me of a a person's arteries and veins that are clogged. Each car and bus was like different blood cells. And there was blockage and slow movement and a chaotic organization somehow. Lima traffic is like a living and nightmarish ecosystem.

I also wasn't expecting traffic, which increased the time to the airport by more than double. I wasn't expecting traffic to come to grinding halts.

Not knowing all this was a big mistake. I should have left 3 or 3 and a half hours from my hostel.

Anyways, lesson learned. And I made it.

I wondered, though to myself, if deep down inside, in my subconscious, if I enjoy almost missing flights - the feeling of my heart pumping, my minding actively thinking what to do if I miss my flight, and the rush of it all. (I have not always been fortunate and have missed flights, but somehow I talk my way out of such situations and get on the next one.)

Do I really enjoy it deep inside? I hope not.

I'm up north, near the rainforest. It's another concrete jungle city, like the one in Ecuador, called Coca. I was there last year, and you can read about it here. The Amazon Rainforest

I don't know why I came up here. I just made the decision and came. I booked the ticket the day before. I was bored of Lima and needed somewhere to go. Lima is in the middle of the country, and I wanted to travel in one direction: either North or South. I decided to start North and head Southward.

I told myself: You have nowhere to go. You have no one to meet. Let's keep it that way. I'm lost and don't need to be found.

It's not like I loved the rainforest last time. But, coming here made me think of my new nameless fish, who I bought a girlfriend for. They're both originally from South America. I hope they're both alive when I come back. I hope they're happy now with each other. Watching them swim so playfully was enjoyable.

Well, starting here lets me travel southward, until I make it to Cusco, later, which is the Southern city to see Machu Pichu and the Sacred Valley.

Write to you guys more later. 

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