The Worst Journey Ever. The Best Vacation Ever.
Our hero breathes a huge sigh of relief. It looks like he is going to India after all! Now all he needs to do is get a stamp from immigration in Frankfurt.
“What do you mean I can’t get a departure stamp?!”
“Well, you don’t have a Visa and so I can’t give you a stamp.”
“Um… well anyway can you just… you know… give it to me anyway?”
“No. That would be illegal.”
Another phone call to India.
“Hi Acha. Me again. I couldn’t get a stamp from Frankfurt… looks like I’m back to square one. But I don’t have a choice now anyway…”
“Well don’t worry mone, fly into India. We’ll take it from there.”
Our hero makes his way to the gate and sits down on a chair. He wonders about the inordinately high number of things gone wrong. He almost can’t believe it, except for the fact that it all happened. He checks out his surroundings and sees a small bar. “Nothing a few German beers and some Frankfurters won’t solve!”. An hour and a half later, our inebriated hero makes his way to the airplane. Many hours later, he is in Kochi, India. He walks up to immigration to see almost all of India’s 1 billion people in line for immigration. He picks one at random and stands in it. An hour and a half later, he realizes that his line is moving at 1/10th the pace of all the other lines. This is mainly because the immigration official at the desk wants to know everyone’s life history. He finally makes it up to the desk and wearily hands his passport over to the official. His mind wanders as he thinks of the different things that could go wrong at this point.
“No stamp?! You have to go back to the United States! Unfortunately we don’t have a direct flight, so you will have to spend five days in Eritrea!”
“No stamp?! And what’s this? A US Military ID? Explain yourself! Are you a spy?!”
“No stamp?! This is clearly illegal! Please wait while I shred your passport.”
He is snapped out of his reverie by a question from the immigration official.
“Veedu evide? (Where’s your home?)”
“Sheri… poyikkolo (Ok, go ahead)”
Our hero walks past the immigration desks and blinks. “I can’t believe it was that easy…”, he says to himself. He hums a tune as he makes his way to the baggage claim. “I’m almost there!”
“What do you mean you don’t know where my luggage is?!”
“Well Sir, it appears to be missing. Perhaps it is still in Frankfurt, or maybe Dubai where you stopped in transit?”
“I can’t believe this!”
“We apologize Sir, but you know… sometimes things like this happen. Please fill out this form. If we find your lugggage, you can expect it the day after tomorrow if it is in Frankfurt, or tomorrow if it is in Dubai.”
Our hero fills out the form, and as he’s doing so he realizes that quite literally, he has nothing but the clothes on his back. Oh, and his laptop, camera, and camcorder too. Fuming, he walks away and toward the exit. The dark clouds in his mind evaporate as soon as he sees the smiling faces of his family. After having started his journey on the morning of the 8th. Our hero is finally with his family… on the 11th.