Also known as Knewbuntu, Pneubuntu or Gnubuntu depending on your preference of silent letters.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

GYLC Episode I: The Phantom Baggage

On August 2nd, I had the great joy of waking up at 4:30 AM. The reason that I woke up at 4:30 AM is that when I told my mother I need to be awake at 5:30 for my flight, she construed that I meant 4:30. But regardless, I was mighty chuffed to be awake, since at 8:14 AM of that day, I would be flying off to Washington DC for the trip of a lifetime.

I was to attend a conference known as GYLC, the Global Young Leaders Conference (it is impossible to say that without sounding exceedingly pompous), wherein I would be able to meet a lot of young and old leaders from around the world, visit some pretty cool places and otherwise basically have a blast. Since so much happened in those 11 days, I've decided to split the days up into 6 episodes, which, naturally, bears absolutely no resemblance to Star Wars whatsoever. In addition, the titles of my posts will bear absolutely no resemblance to Star Wars whatsoever. The main reason for this is that I, unlike them, will be smart and actually start with Episode I, as opposed to Episode IV.

My flight to GYLC was nothing if not...interesting. My first interesting experience was while going through airport security. In front of me was the world's most stereotypical Rastafarian (he literally reeked of weed). While walking through the thing, it beeped. The conversation that followed went something like this:

Customs Guy: Sir, could you step aside? I'm going to have to search you.
Rasta: Think about it, mon. Who is it that you're searching?
Customs Guy: Er, what?
Rasta: Should you really be searching me if you haven't even searched yourself?
Customs Guy: Well, sir, I do have to search you.
Rasta: Ok, mon, Have a rad-i-cal search. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Customs Guy: Sir, you do realize that I am looking for illegal goods on your person, right?
Rasta: No, mon. No you're not. You're looking for him *sweeps arm in arcing motion in the general direction of the sky*. I hope you find what you're looking for mon. *Pats guard on cheek* *walks away*

I can honestly say that I had not laughed that much in a long time. This laughter was soon stopped by the cruelty that is air travel. I was supposed to fly from Toronto to Newark, and then from Newark to Baltimore. This plan was intrinsically flawed, since 3 days after I booked my non-refundable flight, the GYLC people decided that they wouldn't be sending a shuttle bus there anymore.

So anyway, Toronto to Newark went pretty well until I decided that it would be fairly nice to board my next flight on time. Apparently Mother Nature did not agree. Newark was pelted with a rather furious rainstorm that lasted some time, causing my flight to be delayed a few minutes. Continental decided to be nice, and shoved me on a plane that was supposed to be leaving before my plane, saving me a valuable hour or so. At this point, I was thinking "Wow, Continental is pretty awesome!".

I'm also a very misguided person. You see, while Continental was nice enough to put me on that flight, they decided that putting my luggage on the same flight would be a pointless. So my luggage came to Baltimore with my other flight, killing that valuable hour or so. At this point, I had to figure out how to get from Baltimore to Washington DC. A friendly lady told me just to take the train, which turned out to be $6.50. I was overjoyed since that was cheap. So I bought myself a train ticket and waited for a train. Which never came.

What the rail station people had very helpfully not posted was that the rail track was undergoing repairs , and since the airport station was the last in the line, it received no more rail service. So after standing around for 45 minutes, looking like a complete idiot, I was informed by a helpful, hourly PSA that I would not be receiving train service on that day. So then I got to find a taxi.

Holy hell, taxis are expensive. Not only that, but my first taxi driver took me to the wrong Sheraton. So then I got to trek around Washington trying to find another taxi, which thankfully wasn't too difficult, and I managed to find my way to the correct Sheraton, only about an hour late. So that was day 1/11!



lyrical charlatan said...

Lmao, tsk tsk, it's not nice to laugh at others. :P

Shiying! said...

You wouldn't happen to see a girl named Lexy there will you?

She's also in Washington for GYLC...