An Unforgettable Arrival

You always think it can never happen to you. That nightmarish experience where everything that can go wrong, does. The types of stories you only ever hear about. Well, here’s another story for you all.

My flight was supposed to be from Orlando to DC (a two-hour trip), and then from DC to Buenos Aires (a ten-hour voyage).  Well, the latter was supposed to be from 9PM Wednesday night to 11AM Thursday morning.

I get to the airport, and don’t see my gate number on my ticket. I run to the board to look it up—nothing. Finally, I got a hold of a flight agent, who kindly informed me that my flight had been delayed till 9AM the next morning, and that I should visit the customer service desk for more information. Sure enough, we had been delayed by 12 hours due to technical issues on the plane.

The only thing running through my mind was about the airport pick-up service that the company I was studying abroad with (CEA) offered, and arriving outside their limited hours. At that point, I had no way to contact their agents to consult them because all I had with me was my international phone.

Funny enough, on the way to the hotel that we would be staying at for the night, I bumped into two other students doing the same exact study abroad program. Thankfully, we were able to contact the program director, who assured us that we were still eligible for pick-up, and then called it a night.

From then on till our actual arrival, us three students remained together, meeting and talking with several people along the way at the airport gate, on the plane, and on our way to our residencia, which is where we would be staying during our study abroad experience.

Believe me, guys, a 10-hour flight quickly loses its appeal, even to people who are usually excited about doing outlandish or daring things. We all arrived at the Buenos Aires International Airport exhausted but apprehensive. Went through immigration and customs together, pulling out our first few words and sentences of Spanish.

Finally, we got to our building at about 11 or 12 at night, and said quick hellos to the other residents there. The woman who owned the residencia—Eldita—rushed to the door to hug and kiss us. I can’t tell you how good it was to encounter that kind of affection in the midst of being tired, hungry, and sleepy.

Well, the tale continues on. We sat down to eat dinner, and what do you know? The electricity shuts off.  The candles came out, and dinner just got a whole lot more romantic. We had to take candles into the bathrooms to shower as well, and navigate through the narrow halls of the building. The only thing that bothered me about the power going off was the fact that I couldn’t contact any of my family or friends to let them know that I had arrived safely.

The funny thing is, regardless of how horrific-sounding these mishaps may sound, the actual experience of going through them was not that bad at all. Moral of the story: stay calm and carry on. It’s been amazing ever since.


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