November sixth. That's the date. The day I move out of my home, my country, my old life. Which is pretty....well, BIG. And the airline really did their best to make the magnitude of the occasion hit home. I mean, if the length of time it took to actually book the tickets is any indication, this is the most monumental of all moves in the history of the world.
Let me take you back in time:
Last March My Guy was out to visit, and on the day of his departure my sister nicely offered to lug us and his suitcases to the airport. Only to have to lug us back again the next day after the airline offered My Guy a stay at a four star hotel and a voucher for future air travel if he would only consent to go through the hassle of staying an extra day. Well, let's see... we get a free night in an incredible hotel, free food for My Guy, an extra whole day together...
Sure, I think we can make the sacrifice. Just so long as you realize how much you're putting us out.
So, a trip to the Imax, dinner and movies in our room and some giant King-sized bed fun later, we were once again in the airport saying goodbye. Mollified slightly in our parting by the $200 travel voucher sitting warmly in my pocket, we made our tearful farewells.
Fast forward several months, and I am on the phone with the airline armed with a list of questions and every intention of booking my one-way flight to the first day of the rest of my life. I had a moment of tongue-swallowing hysteria a few minutes in when I found out my one-way ticket would cost twice as much as big sis's round trip ticket. (She is accompanying me to England, sleeping in an airport hotel, then turning around and flying back to Canada the next day. Cuz that's what sisters are for. Also, I am not getting any birthday, Christmas or anniversary gifts for the next thirty seven years or so.) Now the woman I was speaking with was abrupt, kept interrupting, and had no patience for my clearly idiotic questions. I could hear her rolling her eyes at me. This woman was obviously having a "hormonal" day. Either that or she was a bitch. One of those. Anyway, pre-menstrual ticket agents aside, and keeping in mind this phone call had already taken up fifteen minutes of my precious life, the whole thing came to a screeching halt when I was informed I could only use that wonderful travel voucher if I actually went to the airport and purchased the ticket at the airline's ticket counter. Okay then. Click.
So big sis once again hauled me to the airport so we could buy our tickets in person. We waited our turn then went up to see the very friendly man at the counter who looked remarkably like John Denver. In a wig. Only worse than you're imagining. Trust me.
I handed over my precious voucher then had another moment of tongue-swallowing panic when he asked me for photo ID. Now, the only photo ID I posses is my passport. Which I only got a few months ago for the express purpose of getting my Visa and moving to England. It had never been used. It had never been needed. It didn't occur to me I would need it now. It was 45 minutes away, tucked safely in an envelope at home. Great. I had visions of having to brave the airport a second time. Luckily, Mr.Denver accepted big sis's driver's license as proof of ID. Even though the voucher had been signed over to me, not her. But I was not about to argue the point.
In the end I wound up with not the one-way ticket of my dreams. I couldn't afford it! So I had to go for the return ticket, even though that leaves me with a ticket back to Canada that a) I have no use for and b) leaves me feeling a little nervous. I don't want to tempt the Fates. Or worse, the British Immigration people when it comes time to get my next Visa six months after I arrive there.
"Well, it says here this TeDiouS girl wants to stay for another two years."
"She does have that ticket back to Canada, though. No sense that going to waste."
"True. And how badly can she want to stay if she came with her getaway already planned?"
And then the big red stamp comes crashing down: DENIED.
But I'm trying not to think about that.
By the time the tickets were purchased, the seats were reserved, help was arranged to get to my connecting flight, and the counter guy had sung us a stirring rendition of Leaving on a Jetplane, almost an hour had passed! An hour of standing in a sweltering hot airport on a thursday night in August, watching John-Denver-wannabe's hair tilt a little more to the left. Fun.
And then came the kicker. The one that literally made me want to kick something. Or, more to the point, someone. Our friendly and pleasant counter guy with the interesting taste in hairdos suddenly says " You do know you could have done all this by phone, right? They could have gotten all this info from you, saved it, then you could just have come down here with the voucher to finish up. Would have taken five minutes."
Sorry, that was me dropping my purse. And my jaw.
Now, if you all will excuse me, there is a woman somewhere in an Air Canada headset with a bottle of Midol on her desk that I need to go have strong words with. Or beat around the head with blunt objects. One of those.
23 hours ago