(Ed. Note: This is one of the only posts on this journal that has not been written by me. Technically, it was penned by me, but it’s all a figment of Crayola’s vivid imagination. Actually, it’s more of a cross between her cutesy way of articulating her insecurities, and something of a test for yours truly—one that I expectedly failed miserably. It’s unbelievable how vulnerable one can be; even during restful pillow-talk.)
So there I was, stranded in an airport for what seemed like the millionth time. I braced myself for more of the usual: The pointless arguments with the airline people, the decidedly-crap, exorbitantly-expensive airport cuisine, the rarely-interesting sight of so many people bustling about, my sore body yearning for a comfortable place to rest… and much such negativity and perturbation abound.
I hadn’t the slightest inkling things were going to be so different.
Perhaps I should have realised it earlier, but from my first “conversation” with the sweet-old-lady in the airline counter, things were anything but normal. Through her ouis and her merci beaucoups, and my arbitrary nods as if on cue, I’d communicated the essentials to this stranger in a strange land:
I was heading home for the holidays, connecting via Paris. My original flight being delayed, I missed my connection and I was stranded for at least another day as I waited; painfully missing home. I wasn’t looking for monetary compensation. I wasn’t looking for a fight. I just needed a sympathetic ear, and wanted to go home.
While there was little she could do for me that morning, through her smiling and her empathetic nodding, she’d managed to guarantee my spot in the corresponding flight the next day—the morning after Christmas. She simultaneously—the efficient little darling that she is—arranged for a day-long French visa, so I could step out of the airport and catch a few sights around Paris. I would also get to spend the night at a ritzy hotel—all at the airline’s expense!
As much as I missed being home at the time (not really that much), I jumped like a little girl in a (pink) pony store at the chance to run around such a romantic(ised?) city, even if alone. And so, with a warm hug and my fair share of merci beaucoups later, I was out; out to have one of the most enthralling experiences of my life that crisp Christmas day in Paris.