The trip back home was rather uneventful. The only things that went wrong were that I could not fit in things into my sling bag that I intended to carry as carry on luggage and had to change to my big handbag at the last moment. In the process a couple of my spectacles and my mobile phone ( local number) got left behind. My husband dropped me at the airport and I went along confidently to do my check in. There I found that I was not a “Gold” passenger as I expected with all the frequent trans Atlantic flights but an ordinary one. Spirits dampened a bit, walked to the Gate where the Boston flights were scheduled to take off from, only to find about an hour later that the gate had changed. Had to run to the new gate and the queue there was to be seen to be believed. I was swabbed, examined and submitted to a thorough examination like a harbinger of microbes and sent to the check in gate. There an announcement on the public system greeted me that I needed to contact ground staff. Duly reported to ground staff and found my husband had alerted them that I had left my phone behind- he didn’t know I had a separate phone with my US number with me and it was only the local number phone I had left behind. The ground staff verified with me that I had a phone and said pass on- never mind the announcement and so I went on. Altogether disgruntled by this time, I did not think of asking for a local number to let my husband know I was ok and had a phone.
With all the tensions before the trip about flight routes over disputed and unsafe territories, we managed to fly relatively uninterrupted over the Persian Bay and entered land over Basra in Iraq- a totally new flight route for me. The long 15 hour trans- Atlantic flight took me to Boston a full one hour later than scheduled. A mad scramble followed to catch the Silverline to the South Station bus terminal for my onward journey.
Reached the bus terminal around 4:30 pm with an hour to spare before my bus ride to the college. Waiting for the bus, I encountered a person whose position seemed even worse than mine. By this time, I had activated my cellular network for the US phone and was able to let near and dear ones that I was ok and had reached terra firma safe and sound.
The lady who seemed to have a huge amount of baggage said her phone had cracked and she had no way to contact her father who was supposed to pick her up- she seemed about my age. I allowed her use of my phone, after which she proceeded to call up a number and lambast whoever was at the other end in a loud voice asking them to pick her up as she had no money. The person on the other end, hung up. Then she asked me to dial another number and contact someone else. By this time, I had a call from my husband and so moved away from all the noise and bustle to explain my stand to him.
The bus came by at 5:30 and we reached the Union Station in two hours flat- there was a half hour wait before I got on the College shuttle to get to my room. Did I mention that we had to return back home to pick up my college ID and room key which I had left behind at home – so I could open my door and rest my feet after a full 24 hour on the move.