This is a long rant. The day in question was so hectic and frustrating that I had to put everything in writing so one day I can come back to this post and laugh.
Last week Irm and I traveled to Cambridge, MA, on a business trip, and probably had the most hellish traveling experience you can ever imagine. This included a train that went out-of-service in the middle of nowhere, a plane that was delayed, and a taxi cab driver who needed a GPS to drive a 5 mile trip. I told Irm that I must share this story with everyone because there was a point during our trip that I literally with had to look up, lift my hands up in the air and laugh. There was just no other way to vent out my frustration.
It All Started Early
The day started with lots of excitement at 4:45AM. We had an 8:30AM flight to board, and needed to catch the early train to get to the airport on time. The train arrived on time at 6:27AM, and our journey officially began. This, unfortunately, is also where our chaotic experience began.
Allow me to continue. At 7:14AM our train, and in fact all of New Jersey Transit line, stops. Stops as in “no power”, no electricity, service-is-suspended-until-further-notice kind of stop. What! Wait! What!! I need you to imagine a train full of people on rush hour, traveling to NYC, on a Thursday morning. Yes, you get the picture. Lots of frustrated, angry, pissed off people. In all this absurdity, we still had a flight to catch, and we only had 55 minutes (or less) to catch a cab, get there in rush hour, and pay an absurd amount of money to get to the airport. Oh, and there were also about 500 people searching for the same cab. Good luck!
Drive! Faster! Faster! Watch The Red Light!!
We finally managed to find a cab. There were 6 of us who were going to the airport, so we divided the $120 (!) charge between the 6 of us ($120 for about 6 miles of ride!). Now, it is rush hour traffic time, mind you, and we needed a taxi driver who knows how to drive like a New Yorker: basically with out-of-my-way-mentality. We found one, but now it was 7:45AM and our time was running out (we had an 8:30am flight, remember?). I have to say that although I thought I was going to #$%^ in my pants at least twice during our ride, this Formula 1/GTA5 driver managed to get us to the Airport by 8:19AM, only 11 minutes before our flight was scheduled to depart. We ran like cheetahs in the wild, jumping over security lines, cutting through people just to get to our gate. But wait, there is TSA and some undressing to do before we can go farther. Sigh. We arrived at the gate one minute late. We missed our flight. Double sigh.
And So It Begins
This is where things get really interesting, and by interesting I mean frustrating, aggravating, and by the end of the day (or should I say beginning of the next day, but you will have to wait till the end to read why) laughable.
So where was I, oh yeah, we missed our flight by one minute. The next thing we quickly tried to do was to find out if there are any available seats on the 11:35AM flight. We had to get to Cambridge by 1:00PM no matter what (I had a 2:00PM meeting), so it was imperative that we will find a flight. The Jet-Blue customer service was great, and they managed to find us two available seats on the next flight. I thought to myself “this is great”! We can actually make it! This flight will land us in Logan Airport by 12:15PM which was plenty of time before my 2:00PM meeting. Things are good, right? Wrong.
It is 11:35AM and no airplane is docked outside the gate. I start worrying. 12:00PM and still nothing, and my panic mode is at the point of no-return. 12:20PM, and the gate is still empty. I look at Irm, and my face said it all. I was annoyed, and I was laughing inside me as if someone, or rather something, had played a very bad joke on us. Finally, at 12:30PM, a small Airbus plane arrived at the gate. At this point, different calculations are running in my head, trying to estimate the time we’ll arrive at Logan Airport. It is 12:50PM, and we finally take-off for Boston.
Welcome to “Six Flags”, Have a Nice Flight
Small planes are a fast way to travel from point A to point B, but when it comes to traveling on a windy day, they can make your flight feels like a “six flags” roller-coaster ride, which is exactly what happened during our flight. We sat at the very back of the plane, which meant feeling every small turbulence during the flight. Unfortunately for us, the turbulences were not small. Instead, they were BIG. You know the ones I am talking about, those type of turbulences that force you to pray. Although the flight lasted only 35 minutes, it was probably the scariest flight I have ever been on. Let’s just put it this way, I would have kissed the floor upon landing if only I had time, but I didn’t, it was now 1:20PM.
Wait a Minute, Let’s Turn-On My GPS
It was 1:35PM, and the bus shuttle to my destination was out of question. We needed to take a cab, and we needed the same Formula 1 driver who knows every corner of this city, and could get us there in no-time.
Me: “Hi, I need to get to 25th first street in Cambridge!”
Me:” I need to get to Cambridge, and fast.”
His hands made there way toward the GPS, trying to click the number. GPS(!), I thought to myself. How can you not know how to get to Cambridge!
Driver: “45 you said?”
Me: “NO! 25, 25 First street!”
I couldn’t believe this was happening to me. Of all the cab drivers in Boston, I had to choose someone who didn’t know where he was going. By a miracle, we arrived at the office at 1:50PM, which gave me only 5 minutes to calm myself down, wipe off the sweat from my face (90% humidity on that day in Cambridge didn’t help), and go up to my meeting. Okay, this is where I have to stop and tell you that I was not really angry at the poor driver, but more angry at the whole situation from the time the day started at 4:45AM. He actually got me there faster than I thought, but since it is a rant post, I take nothing back. What? Don’t judge.
Meeting is Over, it is Time to Fly Back home…Not So Fast
The meeting went well, and I was ready to meet Irm to go back to the airport to board our flight. Our flight was scheduled to depart from Terminal C, Gate 30, at 6:20PM. If you’ve ever been to Logan, you probably know that the gates on Terminal C are divided into two sections, which means two different entrences, and two different TSA checkpoints. We were at gate C-30.
We got to the gate around 4:45PM just to find out that our flight got delayed by two hours. Instead of departing at 6:20PM, we were now scheduled to depart at 8:34PM. Crap! Not again. But wait, there is more. Remember gate C-30? It had now changed to C-12, which was on the other side of the terminal. Yes, we had to go out, stand in the TSA line again, and go through pornographic X-Ray machine all over again! ugghhh.
Our flight didn’t leave at 8:34PM, nor did it leave at 9:34PM or 10:34PM. Our flight left at 11:30PM! We arrived to Newark airport at 12:10AM, and had the choice of the last train at 12:29AM back to Princeton. We made it to the train (barely), but it doesn’t end there. It so happened that the train platform over at Princeton Junction was going through some constructions, and the only exit from the train was in its front. This meant that if you sat in the back or middle of the train (like we did), you had to walk all the way to the front in order to get off the train.
At this point we didn’t really care. We had gone through so much that another obstacle didn’t make a difference.
How can you even begin to conclude a day like this? The fact is, you cannot. We experienced almost every traveling nightmare that day, but we still had our smiles. I want to thank Irm for keeping me sane during this trip. She did a great job!