My son’s final exams for the session (class 3) were over. Summer vacations were also approaching. My husband was away on his job, sailing somewhere in pacific ocean. I was sad that we won’t be able to go on any family trip this time. Was Planning ,if I could come up with something that will make my son’s vacations enjoyable. Unconciously, was waiting for the phone call from my husband. He calls us almost 3-4 times a week when he is onboard but I am always waiting. And he called…asked our howabouts, about our plans for the holiday and other things. After some chit chats, he told us to pack our bags that we are going to join him onboard. I was like, “what?” “how come?” “where?” ” when?” “I don’t believe that” and all.
“Yes Dear, you guys are joining me at some port in Seattle,USA and will stay with me for around 2 months”, that’s what he said. We ( mom-son duo) started jumping with happiness. We’re super excited. Got a call from my husband’s company about the same. The company my husband works for, makes all the travel arrangements for us. So, I sent them the passports, got our US visa renewed ( was already working on that) and started planning and packing for the trip. Clothes, personal effects, toiletries, medicines and money are all that needs to be packed n taken. No Food items….the best thing I like about being on ship is that you don’t have to worry about the food and daily chores. You don’t have to worry about cooking, you don’t have to worry about buying groceries, you don’t have to worry about cleaning n all that. Someone is there to do all that.
Went to the shipping comapny’s office in kolkata,India (An overnight journey from my place), collected our passports, air tickets, agent details ( who’ll come to receive us at USA), insurance papers and other things. But OOPS! I forgot to bring our yellow fever certificates with us. We need to carry that while traveling abroad. The company had a copy of those in their records, so they gave me a copy. I was worried that I didn’t have the original one. They assured me and asked me to carry on with my journey.
We were all set for the journey. Flights were like this: Kolkata-HongKong-SanFrancisco-Seattle. Long journey ahead. Flight was at the ungodly hours after midnight. Stayed at a hotel, rested well, reached airport at proper time for our flight. At check-in counter, the airlines people said that they can’t issue us our boarding pass. What? Why? B’coz our visa category and ticket category don’t match. By mistake, our tickets were booked in the sailors category ( valid for C1D visa people) and we had H1B visa. Damn these Visa types. My heart sank. Called office people in the middle of night and told them about my situation. God bless those helping souls and Thank God for the internet. New tickets were booked and mailed to me….In proper visa category. After seeing n verifying, airlines issued our boarding pass. We were the last ones to board.
Settled in our seats, listening to the flight n seatbelt instructions, waiting for the flight to take off, my son slept. I was also sleepy n tired. But… hey..why this flight is not taking off? The waiting grew longer. Other people also started asking about the delay. Heard that some technical problem about flat tyre is being taken care of. Food was served…finished with that too. And no sign of take off. I was again worried like hell. I was going to miss my connecting flights. Shit! And the announcement was made that the flight has been canceled due to technical reasons. It will be rescheduled again and passengers will be informed. OH NO! Not again! (been in such situation before…will share that story sometime). I knew the drill from my earlier experience. Among the chaos, Airlines gave us a 5 star hotel stay. Scared again!!!! ships run on a very fixed schedule. If I don’t reach timely, she’ll leave the port and there is no point in taking the journey. Doubtful night…scaring too. With Luggage and sleeping kid, came to the hotel. Thank heavens…at least hotel stay, pick-up n drop was given. Preference is always given to women, elderly, and family with kids. What should I do now? Whatever has to be done, will be done tomorrow. No point of waking office people and my relatives at this time. Thought to get some sleep but sleep wasn’t there in my eyes. It’s already 5’o clock in the morning. I was worried about my son that he’ll be so disappointed. What lies ahead? Will I have to cancel the trip and Go back?
( Long post, it has become. Adventure n Unceratinty is not over yet. Stay with me for the Part 2)
Inspired to write this experience after reading trablog’s travel post. Would like to read others’ travel stories too.