Hello, Bonjour and Ni Hao!
Yeeeees, I am well aware my last post was over a year ago. And yes, I did fall into a metaphorical grave for bloggers who have lost inspiration. But apparently, it only takes one wild travel experience to bring me back. You know what they say, “blog about it or it didn’t happen!” So this is my attempt at making sure this memory is cemented somewhere for me to read about again in the days and years to come.
It all started at Taipei Taoyuan Airport on the 14th of March, 2017. I was on my way back to Montreal and all was going well until I came up to my first hurdle. We were about 10 minutes from the airport when I looked at the time and realised we were cutting it really close. I’m usually a little neurotic when it comes to getting to the airport on time so this was new for me. Maybe subconsciously I had a feeling I would be stuck at one point or another due to the intense snowstorm battering parts of the US and Canada.
All was going well at the check-in counter until I was asked for my eTA (Electronic Travel Authorisation) for Canada. I had received an e-mail about this a couple of months before leaving for Taipei and from what I understood I was supposedly issued one when I got my working visa. I couldn’t have been more wrong *face palm*. Anyways, we all fussed over it for a good 10 minutes until we decided I could take the chance and take my flight to HK. At this point, I was reminded that this was only the beginning of a looong journey home.
After I passed customs I was full of adrenaline and ready to make a dash for the departure gate. With my heavy ass rice cooker (I really regretted bringing it at this point), I ran like a mad woman and made it to the gate only to find that it had just closed. But I mean, what was I expecting?
“Sorry ma’am, gates have closed. Please take a seat and I’ll call a staff member to escort you out”.
Only the amused staff members could tell you what the expression on my face was but it was probably not pretty. True to his word, a staff member rocked up and escorted me out. Defeated and quite frankly out of breath, I glumly followed her to the transfer counter to fill out some paperwork until my mum called me to tell me there was another flight boarding in 20 or so minutes, and the staff at the check-in counter say that I’ll be able to make my connecting flight in HK because it has been delayed. Another chaotic dash to the departing gate and I found myself sitting on the plane in disbelief. But it wasn’t even close to over yet.
A few minutes before landing a flight attendant came up to me and asked me to gather my things and follow her to the front. The amazing staff who helped me in Taipei had contacted the flight attendant and asked her if she could help me get off the plane faster. Honestly, I was so touched by all the hospitality and will never forget how kind everyone was. Anyways, I got my stuff ready and for the remainder of the approach to HK, I envisioned how I was going to get to my next flight on time. Was I going to hold my rice cooker like a baby or carry it by the handle? What was going to allow me to run faster?? None of the above. Because I would’ve had to turn into Usain Bolt to make any real difference LOL.
I’ll spare you the details and just go straight to telling you I didn’t make the plane after all. But I’m proud to say it wasn’t because I didn’t make it in time. In fact, the lady at the gate asked me how I got there so quickly. Who knows. Maybe there was something in the iced tea I was sipping on.
The eTA proved to be a real issue and I had to register for one on the spot. I must’ve lost some brain cells on the way to HK because I accidentally registered for one through an agency instead of the government and was sitting around waiting for it to be approved. I registered for it again on the RIGHT website but it was too late. Adios plane. See you never.
Fast forward 16 or so hours ‣‣
After much-needed rest, I was moved to a new seat closer to the front of the plane. After returning from the bathroom, I could tell the girl sitting beside me was itching to ask me what the hell I was doing there. Luckily she did because it turned out to be a really pleasant encounter. We landed in Toronto and it didn’t look like the snowstorm was that bad. WRONG! It wasn’t bad there, but in Montreal, it was a different story. Now here’s where things get really fun. Just as I landed and connected to wifi, I received a text from my bf making a joke about hearing me land. I asked him where he was and turns out his flight from San Fran was diverted to Toronto! Even though we were in different terminals, it felt nice to know he was nearby.
As you can guess, no one was flying out of Toronto that night. At least not to Montreal or any other city affected by the snowstorm. Most stranded passengers were chilling in the lounge area waiting for more info when they basically said there would be nothing happening until 4:30 am. That announcement calmed some but it also really agitated some people. Yoga mats and blankets were handed out and it was like a scene straight out of a wildlife documentary. “Don’t touch me!” one man exclaimed. “I’m not touching you, sir” replied the employee. Oooooh, this was going to be a crazy night I thought. However, as 9 pm turned into 2 am the jungle went quiet. Alex joined me and we marvelled for a moment over how we ended up in Toronto together while we scoffed down our sandwiches and juice. The adrenaline wore off and we knew it was time to recuperate before morning.
A huge delay and lots of waiting around later we finally made it home. So yeah, safe to say this is forever in my noggin’. At least until something equally ridiculous happens to top this. If you’re as excited as I am about my next
disaster adventure, don’t forget to follow my blog and stay tuned!