I've never been very good at telling time with the 24 hour clock. Maybe because it involves adding and subtracting, I don't know. What I do know is that 1600 is 4PM (because 4x4 is 16) and that 1PM is 1300. That's about it.
Anyway, I had just taken a HELL-iSH plane ride from Italy to Toronto and totally underestimated how long the flight was going to be. See, going to Rome, I flew Vancouver to Frankfurt and that only took 8 or 9 hours because of the whole arctic circle route and the going with the wind thing. Then from Frankfurt to Rome was just a quick hop.
But my return ticket was brutal. I didn't find out until I sat down on the plane (in front of a woman who was coughing up a lung the whole time which might explain why I have had the flu since Saturday) that the flight from Rome to Toronto was TEN hours! And then the flight from Toronto to Vancouver was FIVE! Holy crap, why didn't I just fly to New Zealand if it was going to take this long?
To make matters worse, I had the middle seat in the middle of the plane. Lucky a nice Torontonian wanted me to switch seats with his wife who was seated by the window at the back of the plane. SCORE! Other than that though, the flight was hell...as most flights are.
We were even late coming into the airport ("I'm sorry, there is a slight delay, some plane is in our gate"...WHY are they in our gate? IF they know we are coming, why are they there? JERKS!) which made me worry abit about catching my connecting flight. But as it was 430PM and my flight didn't leave till 1725, I figured I had PLENTY of time.
Time to go through customs. Time to get my backage. Time to cram my duty free lemoncello back in my luggage. Time to check that luggage. Time to go through security again. Time to find my gate. Time to buy magazines. Time to go to the bar?
I just about had a drink and some bar food when I decided that I should plug in my cell and charge it, in case the plane was delayed or something and I had to text my much-missed boyfriend (he volunteered to pick me up from the airport, which was very nice). So I went to a gate that had an outlet, sat down and plugged in my phone. The phone showed the time as 530. My boarding time for plane was 1725.
"I have plenty of time!" I thought.
A few minutes later I looked back at the clock. "Wait...if it's 535PM now. And I board at 1725....and 1600 is 4PM...which would mean....OH MY GOD!"
I yanked the phone from the wall, jumped to my feet and ran down the hall towards my gate. Luckily they were just calling my row, so I composed myself as if nothing had happened and strode on to the plane.
That was freebie.
Eventually the plane did land, and I couldn't have been happy to run out of it. I made my way to the baggage claim area (after ducking into the washroom to pretty myself up...hello, I hadn't seen my man in two weeks and I was definitely in need of a little something something).
I, of course, had been up for 30 hours or something retarded and my Italy-synched body thought it was 5AM, not 8PM. So, I was a little out of it.
Luckily my boyfriend was understanding of my scary dazed state and we drove back to his house, stopping by my parents place on the way to drop off some bags.
My family friend Rick came running out of the door as soon as he saw me (my parents are away and he is looking after the house).
"Do you have your passport?" he barked at me.
"Yeah, it's in my purse."
"Is it really?"
What was he getting at? Of course, it was in my purse, "It's in the car, do you want me to go get it?"
"Well, it's just that some man from the airport phoned, saying you left your passport in the seatback pocket. Does that sound like something you would do?"
Actually, that did sound like something I would do. I didn't even bother checking my purse.
The man had left a number so I called him. He was in charge of checking the planes afterwards and had stumbled across my passport (luckily I had my address and tel number written in there). And even more luckily, he happened to live 10 minutes away from where I was and was happy to drop it off the next morning.
At the time though, I was too out of it to really comprehend that I had nearly lost my passport for the umpteenth time, but judging from the humourously exasperated looks that my boyfriend and Rick were giving me, they totally got it.
That, also, was a freebie. The man upstairs really loves to give me a break sometimes.
Next time, I tell you how I lost a pair of 200$ boots on an Italian bus!