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Airport Fiasco

NEPAL | Tuesday, 24 April 2007 | Views [1261] | Comments [1]

So, since last I wrote, things changed... I never did go paragliding much to my chagrin, because the guy who I was going tandem with (don't get any dirty ideas) was suddenly sick in the morning (read: hungover), so it was cancelled.

I flew back to Kathmandu, had one last breakfast at Helena's restaurant in Thamel (try their egg and cheese crossiants- they're my new favorite food), and sent home all the souvenirs I accumulated over a two week period- which was a LOT! I'm usually not a souvenir-buyer, but there are some amazingly unique things here, and I found myself more than once handing over money for things I don't really need, but damn it, I wanted.

On Monday morning, I headed over to the international airport to catch my flight to Bangkok. I arrived 3 hours early (at 11 a.m.) and found that the part of the airport that I needed was still locked! When the doors finally opened, I rushed to the counter to pay the departure tax and convert my leftover rupees to dollars, so that I could get to the check-in counter before the crowds arrived. The rush turned out to be completely unnecessary, since the computers were down, and we had to wait another hour and a half before the check-in counter attendants decided to start checking people in manually. Each attendant had a long list of passenger names and was handwriting tickets. By the time I got to the front of the line, the attendant at the counter was obviously stressed and flustered. To put him at ease, I was as sweet and smiley as I could be, and I made sure I had everything in order for him. He looked at my name in my passport, he looked over the list, and then he shook his head.

"Not on the list," he said, shoving my papers back at me and waving me away. He was already nodding at the person next-in-line. I wedged myself in between the counter and the person next-in-line, and said, very calmly, while inside I was panicking, "What do you mean I'm not on the list? I paid a lot of money for this flight. I called to reconfirm it."

He didn't even look at me. "Not on the list," he repeated, this time more forcibly. He reached over me to grab the next person's papers. "Let me see this," I growled, snatching the list from his hands. I found my name within a second. "I'm right there," I said, pointing out my name on the list and then showing him my name in my passport one more time. He didn't apologize, or say anything for that matter. He quietly wrote me a ticket, still visibly stressed by the ever-growing line of impatient people and his task at hand.

I was just happy to get on the flight.

The gates at the international airport in Kathmandu are interesting. There are no speaker annoucements, no boards that say what flight departs when and from what gate, and no airport staff to answer questions. All the foreigners that were waiting for flights were walking around saying, "I don't know. Do you know? Nobody knows. What's going on?" I was sitting beside a friendly (aren't they all?) Nepalese man who explained that when it was time for me to walk out to the plane, I would just know. Alright, then... no need to stress. I tried not to. It would have been really nice to know where to wait or what time to expect boarding to begin.

I was lucky enough to see the Australian bikers that I had met in Pokhara, and whom were on the same flight as me. I went over to them, and realized I was really lucky that I did so, because my flight was halfway through boarding from the place that they were standing.

Again, I was just happy to get on the flight.

When I got on the flight, I was pleased to notice that I would have a window seat- my favorite of all seats... or so I thought.

When I got to my seat, 32A, there was a crowd accumulated around it. Turns out 2 other people also had a ticket clearly saying that they were seated in 32A, and three people also had a ticket for 32B. I sat down in the closest empty seat, which was in the middle of the plane. Luckily no one ever came to claim it--- strange, since the plane was completely full.

Thailand, here I come!

Tags: Airports



Hi! I think you're really spunky to be globe trotting all by your lonesome! And really cool at the way you just wave away the discourtesy and reluctance to help a foreign visitor. We do live in a beautiful world; it’s only the few who make it difficult for us all. Have a wonderful journey, a wonderful life, be happy!

  Captan Howdy Mar 13, 2009 11:08 AM



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