I was beyond ecstatic on the day of my Amalfi coast trip. I was making last minute errands several hours before hand. And needless to say, I was all over the place. I couldn't focus on the gratification of travelling somewhere. At the 11th hour, I got it together and rallied. Tank tops? Check! Flip flops? Check! Gopro? Check! Toiletries? Check! This is going to be a glorious 9 days on the beach!
I locked the door to my apartment and walked out to my waiting Uber.
My travel buddy Lexi and I decided to meet 3 hours before our flight so we could have enough time to have a cocktail before boarding. On my way to JFK airport, I called my credit cards and my bank to notify them that I was going to be overseas. The last thing I need is for them to freeze my account because of suspicious spending outside the country. (It still happened. Side-eye) I also called my phone company so I could get an international data plan because I wanted to keep all of you updated on my travels;)
It was perfect timing. When I got of the phone, I was in the departure area for international flights. I said goodbye to my Uber driving and proceeded to walk into the airport. The familiar smell brought a big smile to my face. It's not necessarily the most amazing odor. But it was sterile and it reminds me that I'm going somewhere.
As I walk 15 paces inside, my heart sank. And disbelief came over me. I was shocked. I FORGOT MY PASSPORT!!! It couldn't have been more surreal. Lexi called and I picked up the phone. She asked where I was. I told her I forgot my passport. Realizing I was in front of her, she hung up and said "you're joking right?" Reality starts to set in when the word 'no' came out of my mouth. I had to go back to my house! She decided to go inside because she hasn't eaten all day. Which I thought was a good idea. She could stall the gate if need be.
Looking at the clock, I was just a hair earlier than on time. Which means, I was cutting it close if I went back home to get my passport and back. It was 35 minutes each way without traffic. I didn't even want to think about it. Lexi got a negroni during dinner because she was anxious for me. I got a cab to take me round trip. He said he was going to try his hardest to get me back on time. It wasn't easy. The U.S. Open just finished and it started to rain. The traffic was insane! All the powers that be seemed against me. I was having a heart attack. How could I be so forgetful and leave my passport at home! All I could do is try not to think too much about it and just be patient! All I could do is wait!
I got home 45 minutes later, rushed up the stairs and got my passport! I also forgot my Gopro stick so I grabbed that too. Don't judge me.
And off we go! My cab driver started to drive fast. I was torn. I wanted him to go fast, but I also didn't want him to get into an accident. If he gets into an accident, that would've been it for me. I decided to get my mind off of it by calling my parents. I talked to them for several minutes. I also texted Lexi to tell her I was on my way. In the midst of all this, she did mention to the person at the gate that she had a friend that was running late. They told her to keep them posted. That kind of gave me a little relief. It was working out well that I had somebody beyond security that was doing whatever she can to help me.
I arrived at the airport 50 minutes later. I rushed to the check-in desk and there was nobody there. I asked the adjacent airline where they went and they said check-in has been closed for the flight to Naples. It was like the scene in The 5th Element where the alien tried to pose as Corbin Dallas on a flight to Flohston Paradise and the attendant realized it was a perpetrator so she slams the metal window down and guns appeared pointed at the alien ready to shoot. I froze. I started shaking. I called Lexi and told her what happened. She was confused. There were 45 minutes left before flight departure. It had to be there somewhere. She went to ask the attendant at the gate and put me on hold. She came back to tell me, nonchalantly, check-in has been closed for the day. They can't do anything about it. I was confused why she didn't sound empathetic on the phone. I think she said it so calmly because she didn't want me to freak out. Maybe she was shocked herself. And to think that it couldn't get any worse, the gate attendant said the next flight is Thursday! IT WAS SUNDAY! Meridiana/Air Italy didn't have a flight scheduled to Naples until 4 days after. I was fucked! I crouched down, held my forehead with my right hand and my phone to my ear in my left. I couldn't possibly stay in New York for 4 days! I wanted to get out. I would go crazy if I stayed! I got really sad and it started to sink in. This trip that I planned was going to be the most epic. failure. of my life. ever!
Then Lexi put me back on hold for a minute. She came back on the phone and said "wait. hold on. I think the lady at gate is trying to do something." Like a football fan watching a quarterback throw a ball to a running back for the score, I held my breath. And Lexi was giving me the play by play like a sports announcer. (Did I make that analogy right? LOL) I was a bag of mixed emotions, I couldn't even understand the words that were coming out of her mouth. To our disbelief, the attendant told one of her colleagues to come get me from security and be prepared with my passport. I was overjoyed and couldn't stop saying "Oh my God!" over and over again. Lexi told me to look for a very pretty lady with short hair and great smile. Oh I did just that! Trust me! She was a sight for sore eyes.
Apparently, the lady at the gate called her superior about the issue and was told they absolutely couldn't do anything. But with Lexi's persistence, she felt sympathetic and "accidentally" opened back the check-in list. She called a different superior to close it but to add another name in it; MINE! Yay!!!!!
A very pretty lady named Jadelle with short hair and a great smile came over to me in front of security and asked if I was indeed Adrian. I said yes and hugged her. She was my savior! I couldn't be any happier that somebody was nice enough to help me out. My nerves were so wrecked my motor skills and brain weren't working in sync. I couldn't get my computer out of my bag smoothly to go through the x-ray. I was making noise through the metal detector because I had stuff in my pocket. I was just a mess. Thank God Jadelle kept me calm! She was guiding me because I obviously couldn't do it myself. LOL! She escorted me to the gate where Lexi was and I hugged her so tight and thanked her. I checked in with the attendant at the gate. I was gonna make it a big deal and thank her profusely but she didn't crack a smile. I thought a non-emphatic thank you sufficed. I know deep down in her heart she felt good because she helped a person.
The flight ended up being delayed for another 30 minutes; probably another reason why I let in. I used it to destress and grab a few brewskies with Lexi before we boarded. We talked about the different options if the worst happened. I probably would've found the next flight to Naples, expensive as it may have been. I would've been depressed if I stayed in New York. If not, I could've side tracked to Miami until that Thursday and I could've emailed the hotels we were staying at that she was checking in under my name. But we didn't have to do all that because I made the flight! #closecall
So the number one rule of travel is.... DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT! DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT! DO NOT FORGET YOUR PASSPORT!
Trust me, don't learn it the hard way like I did!