I travel fairly often, enough to know that things are frequently out of your control, and you need a lot of patience sometimes. So when it got to be Wednesday early afternoon and I still didn’t have my plane ticket for Miami-Habana (which I had paid for the week before), I figured it was perhaps characteristic of charter flights that things happen more at the last minute. I’ve never flown charter before, so I took a deep breath and gave them the benefit of the doubt. How exciting it was, then, to get an email Wednesday late afternoon telling me the ticket was on its way via FedEx! The problem? They sent it to Austin without checking with me first, and by the time it got to Austin, I would be flying to Miami. This is when I reached for a paper bag.
Luckily I got through to the agency before they left for the evening, and they agreed to re-issue the ticket and FedEx it to me in Miami. I had it sent to my friend’s house, because her school recently changed their mail policies – I was a little concerned they wouldn’t leave it without a signature, but didn’t really have any other options, so I crossed my fingers. After a flurry of texting, her incredibly kind fiance went home after work to see if it had arrived and if it was all the correct info. This is what he sent me when I asked him to check if it was for MIA-HAV leaving X day, returning X day:
Awww. It’s Habana, not Havana. That sucks. Everything else is the same.
It was the first thing that made me laugh all day. : )
My laughter was short-lived, however, due to the voicemail I got from the travel agency about that same time (yesterday late afternoon). The agent assured me that if the ticket hadn’t arrived, it was no huge deal – they could re-issue it and have it at the counter at the airport on Saturday morning – but the visa, which there was only one of, had to get to me before I left, or else. He said FedEx was returning the package to him (the Austin-bound one) and once he got it, he would turn around and overnight it in a second mailing to Miami once again. This was the last news I had before boarding a plane to LA, “on the way” to Miami.
This morning I got to Fort Lauderdale perfectly fine, on time, lovely weather, not too gigantic a rental car, and gadded about running errands and buying donations to take to Cuba. Since yesterday’s package arrived around 9am according to the tracking, I hoped I would get to my friend’s house to find an envelope waiting for me. Not so, but the tracking said it was out for delivery, so I trusted it would be ok. It was only 11:30am, after all. After going to get my friend’s key and having some lunch, I came home optimistically hoping to take a nap to catch up on last night’s missed sleep (and tonight’s, since tomorrow I have to head out around 3:30am!). But I couldn’t sleep, because I was worried FedEx would come and I wouldn’t hear them. So I got up and put notes on both front and back doors telling them I was home if they needed a signature, and to knock loudly. I didn’t really sleep, just zombied out a bit and checked the tracking screen obsessively every 20 minutes or so. And I got up to check the front mat every time the dog barked. She barks a lot.
Finally one refresh of the tracking screen around 4pm showed the following message:
I couldn’t believe it, I was there, I was awake, they didn’t deliver it! So I had to call FedEx national, figure out where the heck the North Miami facility was, and go and retrieve it myself before they closed. So relaxing sitting in rush hour traffic, edging my way towards the vital envelope. I have it now. But it was a true comedy of errors, the past 48 hours. I’m thinking of it more as a telenovela, given the context.