My few days away I had made the most of. I had sat and read my book. I had relaxed and not thought about anything deep and meaningful. I had not checked my phone, I had taken things at my own pace. Of course my room was always impeccably tidy and everything was in order, one day I brought shashimi back to my room for lunch and accidently squirted soy sauce onto the whiter than white sheets so left a note of apology to the room staff. I also left finished books for them to take with notes about how good they were 😄 I’m sure they thought me very odd.
The night before I was due to leave, I took myself to dinner. I thoroughly enjoyed my own company! As the evening progressed I felt very unwell. Headache and nausea. And no, I hadn’t drank any alcohol that evening! I thought it would pass with sleep. Unfortunately it got worse over night and the morning i was so sick I ended up vomiting. I felt like I hadn’t slept at all. I had a three hour drive ahead of me, which usually wouldn’t bother me but I felt so sick and exhausted I worried about my concentration. Fortunately I’d the presence of mind to pack the night before.
The first hour of driving I took so slowly and carefully, window down, freezing myself to ensure I wouldn’t get sleepy. My stomach cramping and desperate to curl up and sleep.
Sweet relief to arrive at the airport, the car rental drop off signs I followed took me to international but on checking with someone he informed there was a domestic drop off. I drove around and around. Getting increasingly fed up. Ending up in places that I shouldn’t have been, having to do 10 point turns in tiny areas in a bloody big rental (complimentary upgrade) with security watching me. I was beginning to feel increasingly more miserable and fed up. Plus being so tired and ill I didn’t want this shit to carry on. But being an airport I didn’t fancy dumping the car and chucking the keys at anyone either. In the end I opted for the first car park I saw, gave the ticket to Avis when I dropped off the keys and explained I couldn’t find their car park so I dropped it at another car park but the car was VISIBLE from their office. The first guy admitted it was badly signed. The second woman haughtily informed I’d be charged for this. Another man came out and asked me really sarcastically if I could read signs. To which I replied, of course that’s why I ended up an international drop off. And a fourth guy was equally as shitty telling me to go and get the car. I didn’t have time I was running late. And I’m not familiar with Auckland airport. Not to drive around anyway. I felt really stupid, stressed and quite ganged up on. Usually I would have told them where they could stuck their stupid car. But tiredness, sickness and the stress already of being watched like a wouldbe terrorist was too much. I made a lame arse comment about not expecting much from auckland customer service and walked out with my lower lip trembling.
Then I sobbed like a baby all the way through customs – realised I hadn’t bloody checked in. Had to walk back through the narrow crowd of pissed off people with my stupid case dragging limply behind me. It’s like I’ve never travelled before! Check in, drop off said case and back through customs, set off all alarms with jewellery, boots etc. head to departure gate. Sweating and trying not to hurl over the carpet I called my husband. He’s a preferred customer with Avis and wasn’t happy about the service and said he’d email straight away.
Then I sniffle quietly to myself and stare.
Suddenly, I panic, realise people seem to be lining up around me, I jump up to join the line and notice the computer says, Dunedin. What???? I look around in panic. Check the monitor. My flight had DEPARTED.
Literally my flight was called, everyone had boarded and the plane had gone and all the while I had been sat at the gate. Not in the loo, not stepped away, not listening to music, not in the wrong place. I had just zoned out completely. My first feeling was fear. I suddenly felt very vulnerable, very unstable. I stared at the screen, willing it to be wrong, that I was reading it wrong. Then action. I checked my phone apps but the next flights were hours away. I went to the desk and Air NZ had a flight 20 mins away to get me on! Relief! But then I had to run over to Jetstar to get my suitcase that had been unloaded. Back through customs and my name was already being called. I nearly left my ticket in the x-Ray machine.
By the time I got to the gate, the staff told me my case was so too big for hold on luggage. I just cried and said I’d leave it. They were lovely – as Air NZ always are and told me they’d run it down to cargo.
On the plane I had to call my husband again and tell him I’d missed my flight and had to book another one. I knew he’d be annoyed. I also knew that he’d known I was at the gate so wouldn’t understand how I’d missed it. How the hell do you explain that?!
After the call I fell asleep instantly, I was shattered.
It was the sweetest relief to wake up at landing. Walk through the airport I know, my case was first off, my car was waiting for me and I began my drive home.
Even needing to crawl into bed, I couldn’t until everything was unpacked, laundry was done and is sorted the kids rooms, unloaded the dishwasher.
My kids were thrilled to see me later on, as I was thrilled to see them.
My husband, I don’t know. I think he was happy to see me, but thrilled – I’m less sure.
I had to take an early night, I couldn’t keep my eyes open. He stayed up to watched television. But fell asleep on the couch.
Dealing with the kids this morning is like I’ve never been away. I woke in the night to finish off laundry, the dog had gotten in the rubbish so I tidied that and I still had terrible cramps. I was so tired I slept over. But I still got through my jobs this morning.
I feel miserable, tired, sore.
My husband thinks talking about Cambodia is what will cheer me up.
Its seems strange that I’m most cared about and most missed when I’m away.
I guess I was silly to assume a few days would make any difference to home life. Other than, I got to relax and not be on a schedule for a few days.
Now I’m back I can easily think about the trial, easily feel the strain on the marriage and feel the depth of loneliness.
I need to sleep again. I’m utterly exhausted.