Thursday, September 12

Just kidding!

it was all a joke!

This morning, Pastor Uncle came and sat down in front of me in order to tell me a story.
"Long ago, I witnessed a flood," he said.
"There was a man who had floated out of his house. He was on top of something that looked like a blanket. The villagers nearby were telling him to leave the blanket and swim to safety.
"This is not a blanket!" He said, "This is a bear!"
"What?!" The villagers were so alarmed. "Leave that bear right now and swim away!"
But in its own fear, the bear was holding on to the man as they both floated in the water. The man, with a shrug, shouted back at his friends,
"I want to leave the bear, but the bear does not want to leave me!"

Uncle laughed and laughed, and i smiled as i got his point.
I want to leave the bear, but the bear does not want to leave me.

You see, i went to the airport at midnight last night to fly away from the bear. I brought four bags: two to check and two to carry. That's hardly an unreasonable amount of stuff to have amassed over the period of a year, right? Well, because of different restrictions on the way to Africa, I was going to have to pay over $650 to take the one extra bag which exceeded their limitations.
That's the price of the flight alone.
I simply didn't have it.
After a series of events, we had found a way for me to consolidate my things, send one through international mail and one as the maximum baggage allowance on the flight. But then, the stewardess asked to weigh my hand luggage. My laptop bag was about 4kg over their standard weight for carry-on luggage. Because of that, they refused to let me board the plane.

I want to leave Delhi, but Delhi does not want to leave me.

I fought with the check-in staff for four long sleepless hours between midnight and 4:15 A.M. After numerous trips to a pay phone in a far corner of the check-in terminal of the airport, and after getting an afterhours message from my travel agent and a voicemail on my fiance's phone, i began to cry. The payphone operator had come to know me a little bit, as I had been back and forth with him several times he had asked in Hindi what was going on. He watched his lap carefully as i held my hand over my mouth and tears streamed down my face, and a few other people started to gather gingerly because my tears made them uncomfortable. The operator undercharged me for the two calls i'd just made and he began turning from person to person, telling my story to everyone around in simple, soothing and empathetic Hindi words. "Why on earth won't they just let her on the flight? Poor thing. For 20 kgs they want 40,000 rupees. What is this? This lady is so good and sweet. She has been in India for one year. Now she can't go home. And she speaks Hindi also so nicely!" Those listening to the story clicked their tongues compassionately and shook their heads. That man was the only person in the entire airport to care about me in any sense of the word, and he touched my heart.

I left them to find a cab and came back to my home in Delhi. I've had to convince everyone who has seen me so far that they are not dreaming, that I am truly still here.
Another day, another mango shake.

My Africa plans are done. I'll do my best to get any possible refund from the flights i'm missing and head home ASAP. My visa is also up on the 14th, so some way or the other i have to leave the country by tomorrow.
To tell you the truth, I sort of have a peace about Kilimanjaro. It was a little unsure and a little dangerous, and maybe this hassle is saving me from a much bigger trouble. Who knows? There's no point in being agitated about it anymore, and at the end of the day money is just money.

Moral of the story, you can plan your way in your mind but the Lord directs your steps.
Second moral of the story, maybe don't fly Qatar.

Love from Delhi still,
Julie: ready to leave the bear.

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