Wednesday, December 23, 2015

The madness getting to Myanmar

All seemed well. Then it all went wrong. 

For a year and a half we had been dreaming of and talking about going to Burma. We kept postponing it for different reasons. 
Finally we decided no more excuses. We would booked the flight to Burma. 

Then it happened. $900 I had saved up for the trip to the 23rd poorest country in the world. But 3 days before our flight I had a grape-sized, painful lump swell up in my mouth. 

I had to make an emergency trip to the dentist. A $500 bill later, I found out I was going to be alright but I would have to have a root canal when I get back from my trip. The lump was the result of a shoddy past root canal. 

I was stressed knowing I now only had $400 to spend on the trip, but was quickly reassured it was enough because of how poor Myanmar is. 

We arrived at the airport, Dawn had 2 checked bags, I only had a carry on. We got through security, and arrived at the gate just in time, only to find that the flight to Denver was delayed an hour to San Francisco. 

We told them we may need to rebook our flight from San Francisco to Korea     As we had only had an hour and a half layover in San Francisco. They assured us that we would make it on time. The plane didn't take off for 2 and a half hours. 

We missed our connecting flight and got told to go to the help desk to be rebooked. We were  greeted at the desk by a massive line of others also waiting for help. Talk about the slowest line ever, we only moved about 3 feet ever 30 minutes. By the 3rd hour Dawn and I both felt delirious. 3 and a half hours later we get called to the desk. 

The woman informs us that since we bought our tickets separately, we could not be helped at the same time and she shooed Sawn to get back and wait for the next help. 

The woman then informs me that the next available flight isn't for 2 days, and there's only room for one person, so Dawn will have to fly separately. Before I have a chance to ask any questions, she says she has to clock out, and leaves me standing there confused and speechless. 

Dawn was called up to the counter next to me, and the woman was nice enought to help get us on the same flight. She handed us a pink slip and said it was for a hotel. I asked if that meant the hotel was free. She laughed and said no way are we getting a free hotel in the most expensive city in America. The pink slip was for a discount. 

We got told to go down to baggage claim to get Dawns bags, and that it would take up to 2 hours to do, and after there would be a free shuttle to the hotel that came ever 30 minutes. 

  2 hours later we finally sat waiting for the shuttle, an hour of waiting later we figured it wasn't coming. I turned on my Lyft app and it said at that airport, pickups are required to meet at the departures level, not arrivals. Cause that's not backwards at all! 

I quickly learned just how expensive San Francisco was, when a mile drive that would have cost $3 in Tulsa, cost $17. 

We got inside the hotel, only to learn that we were 4 blocks away from our correct hotel. So we took off walking deliriously , mentally and physically exhausted, and dragging 2 suitcase and 3 bags. When we got to the hotel I am certain they thought we were on some kinda drugs. 

We found out we could only stay in the hotel 1 day with the discount. We went up to our room and we were both asleep by 7 pm. 

Later in the evening we woke up hungry, and walked to a buffet. Oh the magical number 17. What would have cost us $9 in Tulsa, cost $17 each here. On the walk back to the hotel, we had the perfect timing for a massive down pour of rain. 

We knew we would have no money left if we spent that much on every meal. So the next morning we resorted to stealing free food from the continental breakfast.   

We ended up getting a rental car and agreeing we would sleep the 2nd night in it, or go to the airport to sleep and take turns watching our bags. 

Our trip took a refreshing turn when we were able to get out and explore. 


This made me miss my dog. 

While talking about where to go to sleep, I was surprised by a text from my childhood best friend, Emily. She informed me she was now living in San Francisco and invited us to spend the night at her place. 
When we got there, Iaughed  and pointed out that we were both wearing 10 year old Breakthrough Conference sweaters. 

The next day we made it through a plethora of madness that I dont have enough room to write about. 

We finally made it through to our terminal, just to again be told there were computer issues and our flight was delayed 2 hours. We got hungry, and I checked to find I only had about $100 left. 
Dawn reassured me that she would loan me money off her credit card if I ran out of money. 
2 abd a half hours later we took off to Hong Kong. We got there to again be told wemissed our connecting flight. The only way to not have to wait 2-3 more days, was if we flew to Thailand and then to Myanmar. 
We had to spend a day in the Thailand airport. 4 days now we had been traveling trying to make what had originally been a 23 hour trip to Myanmar. 

This is when I made the horrifying discovery that someone in Claremore, Oklahoma had been on a shopping spree at Walmart that morning, and my car was declined for getting breakfast because I was over my $200 overdraft limit. 

I still haven't been able to speak to my bank as it is very hard to find a place to make an international call. 

I cried my eyes out and felt this whole trip was a mistake. Dental emergencies, delays, and now theft, it was all too much for me to bear. I went to the bathroom and was inconsolable as I wept. 

Dawn tried to tell me everything would be worth it once we got to Myanmar. But I couldn't process it because I was too distraught. 

But sure enough, things have seemed to get better as the adventure has FINALLY begun. 

Dawn got blue eye contacts. 

The sun and the moon collide. 

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