I Terrorist

So it turns out I’m a terrorist.

Hokay, so: it started snowing in Vancouver before my plane took off, and we lost our place in the queue for de-icing so we ended up behind like 20 other planes, then they ran out of fluid for a bit, so we left over 2 hours late.

Arrived in San Francisco with 15-20 minutes to get from the N. American terminal to the gate for my Singapore Airlines flight. San Fran’s airport is not user friendly: one way the sign said “Gates A1-A10” or something like that, and the other way the sign said “Baggage Pick-Up”… there were only two ways to go.

I chose baggage, and luckily it turns out that in American English, “Baggage Pick-Up” refers to any part of the airport that is not a departure gate of the letter A. So I bust my ass to the other end of the airport, where my gate is, only to find out that my flight has been delayed 5 minutes. The ladies at the check-in counter take my passport and ticket, and upon reading my name both suddenly stop smiling and worry and pity spread over their faces.

They run into a side room and come back after a minute, then tell me things should be ok, but I have to wait a few minutes. “Sir, your name is on the TSA list. The police are on their way to interview you and then you’ll be allowed to go.”

Luckily, San Francisco Metro Police (at least the two I met) were quite nice and after 5 minutes of reading each and every one of my passport stamps and only asking me a couple questions, they let me go.

Run to the gate, where 200 people are lined up for security checks. I bypass all but 30 with a fast pass for the employees lineup. Then I called a security guy and persuaded him to let me skip past the other 30 to the very front since my flight was due to depart within 0-5 minutes.

Bust my ass to the gate, only to find that everyone is waiting – no one has boarded. 5 minutes later, a man announces that “the problem with the lavatory has yet to be remedied, and we will make the next announcement in half an hour.”

Get on the plane, turns out it’s not a direct flight to Singapore as my itinerary says. We stop in Korea for an hour on our way, with 45 minutes consumed by the security check (mandatory, even though we weren’t leaving the airport – and we had to leave the plane for cleaning).

Arrived in Singapore at 2am and was met by 4 kind young Singaporeans who paid for my cab ride to my hostel (I knew them from the internet).

And now I have to let the line of people waiting to use this computer have their turn.

2 Comments

  1. Anonymous January 9, 2005 at 01:24 #

    did this have anything to do with the suitcase of weaponry you smuggled into the country last time you returned? good story, although it was a little unsettling to read before i take off. i hope i make my connection. 

    Posted by kelly

  2. Anonymous January 9, 2005 at 19:22 #

    Reese and i are in the same English class. we were talking and she was like, i can’t believe Chris is gone. man we both miss you. have fun in asia. 

    Posted by jess

One Trackback

  1. […] I ran all the way onto the plane, sat down sweating more than if I were still back in Burma in the hot season, and tried to breathe. This was the closest I had ever been to missing a flight (out of 138 flights I’ve taken in my lifetime, the only one I ever missed a connecting flight missed because the first flight was massively delayed, so I had to wait in Frankfurt for a few hours until the next one). The second closest I’ve ever been to missing a flight was avoided because of a broken toilet in San Francisco (click here for that story). […]

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