One of my favorite actors is Tom Hanks. One of my favorite movies starring Tom is The Terminal. He is such a genius actor and I just want to cuddle him; he seems such a nice person too. His movie had some resemblances to a recent experience of mine, which I didn't like so much.
Two flights awaited me after a successful tour through New Zealand, Australia, Hong Kong, and China. The guys had different flights that me, so I was all by myself. I'm used to traveling apart because I don't live in the Netherlands and have a different destination than they do.
The first flight from Shanghai to Chendu, Beijing was delayed for one hour. There was a time gap of two hours for me to get my second flight. My bags were checked through to Frankfurt.
During the first flight, I was so tired that I fell asleep. Shortly before landing, one of the stewardesses came to tell me to sit close to an exit to get out as quickly as possible to get to my second flight. Her act of kindness made my day. Shortly after we landed, another stewardess was waiting to guide me along the way. She couldn't answer my question about whether I had to leave the building in order to get to Terminal 1.
All the signs led me in the wrong direction. No one spoke English. The door that I thought would lead me to the other terminal, was closed. No person was found at the desk.
After numerous failed attempts to get a conversation going, a young guy told me to go out through customs. I knew then that I had to check in again.
The way to get to Terminal 1 was at one of the exits of the domestic terminal via bus. That door was closed and no bus was to be found. All the lights at the building were closed, and again, no one spoke English and didn't want to help me.
When I finally found an exit that wasn't closed, I asked a taxi driver to take me to Terminal 1. A young girl who spoke three words of English helped me. Stupid me gave the Yuan that I borrowed from Arjan back... I thought that bringing me to the Terminal was also an act of kindness as he showed me to out of the taxi. Was I wrong! He came yelling at me and made the coin sign with his hands. I dug deep into my bag to find some money and then gave him a €20 bill. He yelled some more at me. The bill was torn a bit. He didn't accept it. Luckily, I had a second one with me.
I told him that I didn't have any Yuan and that what I gave him was more than triple what he asked. Another young guy jumped in and told him he should take the money. The taxi driver then smiled and I had to run to check in again.
I was soaked and completely out of breath. Looking like a panda with red cheeks and mascara under my eyes, I finally made it to the Gate that would take me back home. Missing flights is no picnic, and even though I sometimes thought I wasn't going to make it, I didn't give up. Wanting to get home was guiding me through two non-English speaking terminals.
After I sat down at my seat in the plane, I had the bad luck of my neighbor being one of the smelliest people my nose has ever detected in my entire life! Switching seats was the only option, so I did.
I'm always happy to be back home, but this time, I felt that a little bit more.