Song to listen to: If I'm by Sea Oleena
Thursday, September 13th:
How silly would it be for me to expect smooth sailing (don't get my metaphor mixing you up, I am actually flying) on my journey into Australia? Extremely silly. I have already spent the night in an airport and haven't even left the United States.
First of all, check list's are important. If done correctly, something I am working on mastering, they will save you a lot of time and money. Sadly, I have discovered in certain contexts that time = money and money = time... remember that math can be multidimensional. Both time and money are social constructions and are often figments of our minds something cruel, often strange games. Don't stay angry, though, because I sense that with practice we can play these numerical games with grace and ease... it will just require some perseverance on our part and a strong sense of community belonging.
Acceptance. Maybe thats the first stage. I am grateful to have a heart that can override my mind when a roadblock pops up. Here's the quick stitch: I fly into San Francisco, California from Vancouver B.C. (cheaper flights than Seattle) with no problems what-so-ever. I am already questioning how my American Passport influences boarder relations. I land firmly in San Fran, check the flight board and it all looks straight forward. Flight 1597 to Sydney, Australia at 10:45 pm.
I think to myself while looking at my itinerary: "Yup, this is the one. Gate G100, International Terminal." I head in that direction. I have a 4.5 hour layover and I am delighted to sit, stretch, read, journal, and mull over the moments passing on the landing strips glowing with fluorescent greens, reds and oranges. No biggie right. About an hour in I go downstairs to ask about printing my boarding pass for the flight to Sydney. No one is at the counter. I wait until later. Time weens on and soon it's an hour from my flight, boarding in 12 minutes.
"No worries... right?" In reflection I am sensing something iffy (ding ding ding I am always intuitive learning!).
I go to check in. A small, discomposed desk attendant with toffee-colored skin, short hair and frazzled eyes asks for my passport. I hand it to him.
"Your ETA (Electronic Travel Authorization a.k.a. temp Visa) isn't active. You can't travel without your ETA."
I try to explain myself knowing nothing will change. I ask what I do. He goes to "figure it out" for me. After 5 minutes of perusing and mumbling over their computers I am told that I am also at the wrong gate. In fact, I am in the wrong terminal altogether. I need to go get re-checked outside of security. I am already sensing I won't make it. After leaving the terminal to head to terminal A and from the long granite walkway, I see the security is long at the other end. I go to check in. Same thing: "Your visa isn't active" I show my confirmation. Doesn't matter. "You'll need to reapply online," the host replied shortly. "Who long does it take?" I ask. 30 minutes to and hour I am told. Yep, no way I will make my flight. I accept defeat. I will be flying out tomorrow. Airport slumber party!!! (yikes)
If you ever have to sleep in an airport, check out: www.sleepinginairports.net
When long-distance traveling bring a large scarf or blanket, eye mask, ear plugs, and your favorite sleep music. Always worth the trouble.
(present moment) I slept decently from 3am-6am. I will need to take another long nap. I brushed my teeth twice at the same sink in the same bathroom in terminal 3. My lack of hair supports any tidying that is usually required as to not look like a fledgling bird attempting to pass as an elegant eagle.
Don't worry about me. I am pretty good at being where I am even when it is extremely uncomfortable- i'll let you know when I am a bit more challenged, which is extremely likely.
BELLINGHAM ART PLUG COMING IN HOT HOT COLD HOT WARM !!
I will be featured in this amazing a show put on by my dear friends Zoë Hernandez and Savanna Kuhn. Though I am not present for the opening itself, I feel a part of me that is. Please check it out. If I know anything of the essence and inspiration of my community back in Bellingham, it will be transformative.
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Tips and Tricks:
Writing? Thesauruses are fun and fine! frill yaself up with some fancy jargon and poetic prose!
Music? Download a new playlist on the plane. It is exciting and keeps your mind listening for new ideas and sounds.
Grumpy humans, grumpy you? Breathe until you drop into a better feeling. Say your please's and thank you's. Remember: You usually don't take it as personally if a 5 year old child bails on you emotionally or socially... treat your fellow stranger as such.