They say that three time’s a charm… that’s exactly what I thought when I was on my way to the international airport on Monday evening. I said to myself: “This time it can’t go wrong. No, it won’t go wrong. By this time tomorrow you will be in Holland. On Friday you will be standing first in line in Poppodium 013, in Tilburg. Just as Dominique said to you: ‘By Wednesday you be smelling the Dutch air’. Everything will go according to plan.”
Sadly, all those self-comforting words have all been in vain.
The way this trip went – or maybe I should say ‘the way this trip did NOT go’ or ‘the way it ended’ – sounds like the script straight out of a movie without a happy ending. Seriously things like that don’t happen in real life, right? Apparently they do.
Maybe it would be best if I start at the beginning. However, part of the story you may have already read in a previous blog post: “A new kind of traveling drama”, so I can skip that part.
Day 1: Wednesday, march 7
After checking in and waiting to board the plane I was called to the information desk, along with a few other passengers. It was announced to us that they would have to cut a few passengers of the list, because they had too much cargo and the airplane was too heavily-loaded to leave the ground. I was one of the 15 “lucky” ones that were cut of the list for that flight.
I think maybe they just wanted to tell me that I’m fat and sugar coded it with some lame excuse. *sarcarm*
Day 2: Friday, march 9
I was suppose to go back on Friday to see if I could leave, but it was not certain that I would – which in the end I didn’t – because the flight was already fully-booked, the other stranded passengers from Wednesday and a few passengers that needed to fly to Holland for a funeral were all on the list to leave.
I honestly didn’t have much hope when I saw the line of stranded passengers, but thought to myself “maybe, just maybe”. In the end I didn’t get to leave after all. None of us did. By “us” I mean the group of 15 stranded passengers. The next flight to The Netherlands was on Sunday evening.
On Sunday I did NOT even go to the airport, because I had already heard that the flight for that evening was also fully-booked. Good thing I didn’t, because I wouldn’t have left; more people for the funeral in Holland had to leave.
Day 3: Monday, march 12
In the morning I called to see if it would be okay to try to fly to Europe again. They told me yes, because it was finally okay for the stranded passengers to leave.
At the airport I still had to wait along with the group, but as soon as the people that were actually scheduled for that flight checked in, the rest of us got to check in. I was very relieved. I let out a deep sigh and was rushing myself to the immigration as soon as I had my boarding pass in my hand.
Finally, finally…. Yes, yes… Epica… my Dutchie friends…. Fun… vacation… Damn, can’t this line go any faster?…. Epica…. Holland here I come… Yes….
When I handed out my passport to the woman at the immigration desk I got slightly irritated when she asked if I was going on vacation or if I lived here (in Suriname). I was starting to get irritated, because isn’t that sort of information written down in my passport? I put on my friendliest face and said that I was going on vacation. She said: “I’m sorry sir, but your passport will expire in 3 months”. That didn’t say much to me and I lied and said: “I know. I’m not going on a long vacation. I will be back in a week.”
She said: “Yes, but your passport needs to be valid for at least 6 months in order for you to travel!”
She turned to her superior and he said: “I’m sorry sir, but you won’t be able to leave the country!”
In my head: “ARE YOU FAWKING KIDDIN’ ME??!!!!!”
In reality: ……………………………………………. <silence> …………………………………..