20 February 2009

The Unthinking Majority

Which is to say, me.

You can tell from the photos in the previous post that I did get to the airport, and I did get to say goodbye to my favourite Japanese person (actually, possibly one of my favourite people, period), but what a harrowing day.

I slept in, having already notified SRA of my absence (Heather was not impressed. Clearly, she doesn't understand how cool Nayuha is), and eventually got on my bike at about 9:30am.

Nayuha's inbound flight fron Christchurch was due to arrive at 12:20pm, so I had previously estimated that I needed to leave the Shore at about 11:15am.

I arrived home from my ride at 11:20am. Whoa, that just threw everything off-kilter. I still had to shower, straighten my hair, do my makeup... you know. I wasn't going to do it in negative five minutes. I checked the airnz.co.nz website, which informed me that NZ510 was going to be twelve minutes late. Which effectively bought me another seven minutes. Sweet!

Well, okay, not really. It takes me about 40 minutes to straighten my hair (I'm very particular) but this morning it took me about five. Yuk. Then there was the excuse for makeup, including about the worst mascara application I've done since I was about six years old.

By the time I stumbled out the door, it was 12:16pm. Did I mention that the new ETA for Nayuha's flight was 12:19pm? Yeah, I'm going to get to the airport, park on Leonard Isitt and walk the half-mile to the International Terminal in three minutes.

Frazzled, half-way over the Auckland Harbour Bridge, I actually came close to breaking down.
"I wish I could wake up and do this again!" I practically screamed. I kind of wonder why I got so upset about it. I mean, I've been late for things before. I think today it was just a case of extreme bad planning. Like, I know, I'll go for a normal-sized ride when I know perfectly well I've only got time for 20km? I'll purposely rub moisturiser into my skin while I'm still dripping wet, in a failed attempt to "save time"... just ended up with me being a wet, oily mess. Gah! Why am I so clueless?!

Anyway, at about the Mt Wellington exit, Nayuha texted me to ask where I was. "Domestic? International? Or still in bed?" It's hard to convey stress through a text, but I think the reply I gave him did it pretty well. He assured me that my lateness was not an issue, as he had some surprise well-wishers meet him off his inbound flight. Thank fuck for that. Yay for you, whoever you are.

"I kind of expected you to meet me off my flight" Nayuha said to me over a juice, later in the afternoon. "I mean, it's okay - it worked out kinda well because my other friends were there. But I thought you'd be there." By now, my heartrate had returned to normal, as had my stress levels. He'd already cracked me up when he told me Wagamama, my new favourite Japanese restaurant, actually means "selfish" in Japanese.

At 3:12pm, Nayuha realised that the 3:30pm on his boarding pass was the departure time, NOT the boarding call-time. Nice. From there it was me, like a harried old woman, rushing him along, calling him everything under the sun... and then stopping to pose for a photo (see previous post) right by the security gate. Stressed much?

I went upstairs to the "Sky Deck", where you can watch planes take off, and loved ones as they pass through the security gates into the departure hall. Then I saw the status of Nayuha's flight change from "Final Call" to "Gate Closed". Uh-oh. I literally felt my stomach drop.

"Oh my god." I said, catching the unexpected attention of a middle-aged Indian woman.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"Oh, no... my friend is on that Bangkok flight that just closed. And he's not on the plane. AND it's my fault." And then I ran back downstairs, having thoughts of my already very depleted savings fund being used to buy Nayuha a new ticket home. Through some strange and very welcome stroke of inexplicable luck, he managed to lightfoot it from security to gate three, all the while the airport's intercom boomed with "Passenger Matsumoto, your plane is now ready to depart. All other passengers are waiting...".

So Nayuha got on his plane. I watched sadly as the Royal Thai Airways plane flew away, then walked, even more sadly, back to my car.

I need some fucking time management skills. Seriously.

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