After the magical Saturday that i had noting that a lot of the things i planned and how i imagined would go went pretty much as planned. It was beautiful.. You'd know by now that after that Saturday, the next day i should be continuing my obligations as ALSA's 4th DCA. My plane is once again the all-time famous emerging rookie airliner; AirAsia!!! I've been using much of AirAsia's services; my annual holidays to Malaysia and Singapore have used this airliner the past 2 years. So far in my eyes they have a clean slate of record.
Sunday, 18th April 2009. I woke up at 7, and promised to myself that after updating the blog, facebook-ing, and checking KasKus, i would start ironing my clothes. Fido spent the night in the house as he was consulting with me for his ITP TOEFL test, so by that time he's already left for FE UGM to do this test..
At that peculiar morning i was busy interacting with people thru the world wide web. Called my dear friend Nonie who was in a sorta crisis, then had a chat with Gabriel and challenging him to a LAN Company of Heroes duel once he lands from the US, it was very very productive morning laaaaahhh hahaha..
You should know that my plane, as it says on the e-ticket (e-ticket means you copy paste the itinerary shown on the website after you've paid for them, then copy into word and print it all by yourself.. they say "e" stands for internet related, i think it states for "economic" or in javanese it would be "elek") is at 1245 hours noon, so i'm pretty laid back, no rush, i thought. At 1000 hours i started ironing my clothes, and since i'm a big guy, ironing makes me feel like those guys who warm and smooth the ice on a hockey ring.. At 1100 hours i was packing, made sure my music player was charged, and i bought a book with me for easy reading (actually to help me doze off on the plane and later on the bus)
You should know that I'm typically a punctual guy, and that means i have this nerdy fashion of calculating distance, traffic density, and the time necessary to get to a place. I believed that if i reached the airport by 12 i'd still be fine (usually so). I spent the last 15 minutes checking whether i left something. So Heru took me to the airport; stopping in a supermarket to get myself some undies (i've no idea why but my undies are always dissepearing, my suspicions lie with Adi, it seems to make sense if he had these kind of fetishes) and perfume (the entire UII delegation boys only had 1 perfume, and i refuse to smell the same like them, its just horrid)..
We reached the airport around 1205 hours. At that time i still had time to joke around with Heru. Shortly after i said my goodbye, then he left. 2 seconds later the announcer at the airport shouts "AirAsia flight to Jakarta has just departed" i misunderstood the word "departed" with "landed" for about 3 seconds until i realized what was going on (sheepish, i know, but it happens at times). What goes thru my mind is that i run inside and steal one of the cars in the landing strip and somehow throw my shoes at the cockpit windows so the pilot can stop and let me in. Overacting, I know, but in emergency situations come emergency state of thought..
Immediately i ran (panicked) through the entrance doors, the security there was very astute, they idenfied the signs of frantic/insane passenger on my face (widened eyes, weird facial expression, sweating like a cow, and most obvious i was running) so they let me thru directly. Now normally i'm a good samaritan, an obedient civillian, so i usually pass the x-ray whats-its-name gates with calm, cool and confidence.. But this time I can't relax, my bloody plane's starting to taxi down the runway.. I in the future will propose to the FAA that in cases of emergency, the suspicioun of terrorist passengers should be lifted (let's face it, if you plan to bomb a plane, you'd be well planned, and there's no way terrorists would be in my position, only a lousy one would be late for a plane) and that priority should be given to the careless and obnoxious passengers like me.. But noooooooo, i still had to pass my bag thru the x-ray thing (look, i know that in some movies you see terrorists assembling the bomb in the plane so they can pass the security with raw harmless looking tools, but seriously, i will slap the person that tells me you can make a bomb using 2 clothes, 2 shorts, a pair of sandals, 1 perfume bottle, 1 body splash bottle, and 3 underpants!!!!).. so that just took 10 seconds of my precious emergency right there.. touche!
Once i finally reached the check in desks, no one was there, apparently AirAsia has a policy to leave late passengers alone and fall to their doom.. Nice! This view is even worse than the view of the butts of the baggage loaders you get in T3 Soekarno-Hatta, and no the toilets in this airport has nothing to be proud of --"
Frantically i texted Heru with the last drops of energy in my mobile (i left the charger in Jakarta T.T) telling him to take a u-turn and come back to the airport. I felt lost with anger, loneliness, and despair. Heru came 10 minutes later and helped me ask around. Two notes on this information gathering;
1) The clerks in the AirAsia desk are such bums, the locket says "closed" but there was a guys there, and because this is urgent we thought he'd have some solidarity. But noooo, he ignored us while pointing to the closed sign. I'm pretty sure he was probably playing solitaire or something..
2) The ladies manning the information desks are real cuties aren't they? It's a good strategy to grow the habbit of asking within Indonesians, although it seems a little unethical but it works. I promise to myself to always prepare a question for the ladies in the information desk everytime i have bussiness in the airport..
Okay, so all hope is lost. Although the plane left about 30 minutes early, every passenger is supposed to be in the airport 2 hours prior to the flight, and my mobile was dead remember? So even if they called there was no way i could've known.. From any point of view this was my bad..
To make things worse, I called my CA in ALSA.. She was understanding, but she also told me that even if i get to Jakarta by train, I'd arrive on Monday (10 hour trip), and I'd be no use since apprently if i didnt judge the preliminaries, i'm not eligible to adjudicate in the elimination rounds..
7 years.. For 7 years my career in debating hardly has any taint in it, and now it does. I realize i was unprofessional; i didnt help out a lot prior to the competition, i skipped 2 days of the competition to return to Jogja, and now i can't even make it till the rest of the tournament. I know now how lousy I can be professionally. I suppose i try to see it on a positive note, I still think this is all worth the trouble. I blame no one but myself.
Apparently, the Pathetic Traveller not only finds travel stupidity in the journey, but it can also be in the form that even before the journey starts i manage to make a fool of myself.. hahahahaha