May 13,2011 Friday. If you’re superstitious, I bet you won’t choose this day to travel because it holds to be the day of bad luck hmmm let me take you to my journey. As I was preparing to zip my luggage I was talking to my boss who doesn’t have any superstitious belief at all, his main concern is to keep the ball rolling on his side. “If anything happens to me, please take care of my children; give them what is due for my 24 years service in the clinic”. To make the story short, I’m off to airport at 6:30 in the morning. God forbid! I am ready to whatever comes to my way. Waiting to depart, I was invited to join (as a gold member of AA advantage) first class lounge, with free breakfast and Wifi ,ahhh friday the 13th this is a good start!
Well, as always, I felt all eyes turned on me, what is she doing here? If you’re a Filipina working in Saudi Arabia, you know what I mean, the stigma attached to women…. it’s either you’re a Nurse or domestic helper…or you’re married to a foreigner, oh my! We’re already passed millennium that was then! Alright, as I moved my eyes, true! There’s a Filipina traveling with his foreigner husband on a seat not too far from me…there’s another two blond lady reading a novel and mostly are business men (on their best suit) either busy on their phone, reading newspaper or just engaged in a conversation with another man. Only a few second look and everyone is back into their own business.
On boarding, mostly of women still wears their abaya (a black robe we have to wear over our own clothes when were in public) as the plane (British Airways) takes off, abaya is off too. My flight is about six hours and forty-five minutes from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia to London Heathrow. Heathrow is the busiest and biggest hub airport in UK, It has five terminals and I thought I have enough time to my connecting flight (AA –American Airlines) to Atlanta in terminal 5 to my dismay, there’s a long line for security purposes, they are scanning all passengers and hand carry baggage. The express train that will bring me to terminal 5 comes every 15 minutes and I have only 10 minutes left before boarding gate closes, Yes, Friday the 13th are you on me?? I approached the security and showed her my boarding pass and she called immediately the airlines to wait and Walla! I am on my way to Atlanta. If it wasn’t for her, I would have missed my first day of training.
It’s a nine hours flight from London to Atlanta…again a long line for security check but I was not worried this time because I have no connecting flight to catch on, as the immigration officer stamped my entry, I heard a call “Dr. Suarez please approached the customer service” now what??? Friday the 13th…come on…”Dr. Suarez, we’re sorry your baggage was left behind, we will deliver it to your Hotel tomorrow evening” Oh no! I only have my jeans and shirt and my training starts at 8:30 the following morning. I have extra shirt and underwear on my hand luggage but not decent clothes for my meeting. The officer handed me a debit card worth of US$50 (huh! What can I buy for 50?)Your guess is right; my next blog would be what to wear under such circumstances.
The weather is not as I expected, it’s breezy..a little rain shower along the way, as I went to my room and jump on to my bed, Friday the 13th was not so bad after all. I got my luggage after 36 hours of my arrival.