Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Bad Travelers

For two weeks we lazed around Bali, swimming in pools, eating food and curling into a bedridden foetal position after consuming something dodgy, possibly from the egg-station at the daily buffet breakfast free-for-all.

It just wouldn’t have been right to finish this trip in a calm, well-planned fashion. We’d been traveling for nineteen months, and after all the mad rushes for busses, boats, planes and trains, it would’ve felt a little inappropriate to just wander up to our final transport and slide on like we’d been practising it for a year and a half.

Not that we wanted to be late; wandering up like a seasoned traveler would’ve been great, but in retrospect, it couldn’t have ended in any other way than this:

I was positive that the ticket we had booked months earlier had us flying out of Bali at 11:50 that night. Rather than double check that time, like sensible people, we decided to enjoy a long dinner accompanied by some sickly celebratory cocktails and a spot of reminiscing about the last year and a half. Nine o’clock rolled around, and on the way back to the hotel, we checked the ticket times on the internet. I was a little startled to find our departure time was actually 10:10 pm; about an hour from now, meaning the brutally strict Jetstar check-in had just closed and we were half an hour from Denpasar airport.

The most stressful taxi ride ever followed; it wasn’t stressful due to the fact that we’d paid the driver to get us there in record time (twenty minutes), it was the gut-twisting, plain embarrassing feeling that we might miss our final flight, for no good reason other than laziness and incompetence.

In the end, our beaming taxi driver got us there in time for the flight (‘Very good time! Very fast!’ he exclaimed as we pulled up to the drop-off point, eyeing my wallet). In a hilarious twist, the plane was three hours late anyway, so really we had nothing to worry about, except for the fact that even after nineteen months, we still hadn’t learned some of the most basic fundamentals of stress-free travel.

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