MY FIRST PLANE INCIDENT. ..

MY FIRST PLANE INCIDENT:

Hi. This article is quite long so I suggest you take a comfy sit, grab a cup of coffee, tea or a glass of fruit juice and get ready to soak this in. Enjoy

MY FRIST PLANE INCIDENT:

It was almost September again! That time of the year for the start of a new academic session. Although I was excited I would begin another academic session I couldn’t take my mind off the fact that I was going to be far from home. I was not happy that I would have to miss my family members and also my mum’s food. O’ my! Few days before my departure my Blackberry phone got spoilt so I planned on getting another phone after my arrival at school. At first my dad agreed but he changed his mind and got me a phone two days before my departure. This was because he wanted me to be able to call him when I got to Lagos.

In no time it was the day for my departure. After putting my bags and boxes in my dad’s car and I bade my siblings goodbye. Afterwards, my mum and dad took me to the Port Harcourt airport which is a long drive from home. When we arrived at the airport we discovered a large section of the Port Harcourt airport was still under re-construction so the pre-flight procedures would be done manually. Due to this we had to join a really long queue. While waiting for my turn in the queue I met 3 other students from my school also headed for Debrecen. One of them was Shalom a close friend of mine. It was my first time to fly with Lufthansa airline and to me they had quite a number of protocols compared to the previous airlines I had flown with.

Let me give you the lowdown of the travel.
I had 2 flights and a taxi ride to my destination. The first flight was about 10 hours and was a 2 in 1 flight consisting of a local and an international flight. The local flight was from Port Harcourt to Lagos. However, we were not meant to come down from the plane in Lagos but wait for other passengers in Lagos to come aboard for us to continue with the connecting flight. The connecting flight which wasn’t just an international but also an intercontinental flight was from Lagos to Germany. The second flight was about 90 minutes and was meant to take us from Germany to Budapest, the capital city of Hungary. Shalom and I were meant to take a taxi from Budapest to Debrecen together. Earlier Shalom had contacted Mr. Leo a man in charge of a group of taxi drivers who are very good in transporting travelers.

After the long check-in procedure my dad reminded me to give him a call when I got to Lagos. I gave my parents goodbye hugs and headed for the plane. Finally, I was leaving Port Harcourt to Lagos. The ‘gist’ I had for Shalom had to wait since my plane seat was around the middle while hers and that of the other two girls were far behind. Not long after the flight took off I got a headache. I had some ‘paracetamol’ with me but felt I should take it after the plane food was served. I didn’t like the food served and so all I could take was a cup of fruit juice. I felt I would have to take the medicine after eating the food served during the intercontinental flight. I decided to go to sleep hoping I would feel better when I wake up.

I opened my eyes and all I could feel was the striking pain of headache. Still feeling sleepy I saw the ‘new’ passengers dropping their carry-on luggage in the overhead bins and others moving to their seats. By the time I was fully awake all passengers were seated and the connecting flight from Lagos to Germany was about to take off. Just then I remembered I was meant to give my dad a call immediately we got to Lagos. It was too late to turn on my phone so I couldn’t make the call. I decided to sit back and hope he wouldn’t get worried that my call didn’t come through. To my right was a man seated at the end of the row. The man and I were the only ones in that row. I used the plane toilet 2 or 3 times and the man seemed not to be offended at all. The next row was occupied by a family including 2 or 3 kids that kept the parents busy. I decided to take my mind off the headache by watching a movie. Except the bread and cheese, I didn’t like the next plane food that was served. I asked for a glass of milk and not long after drinking it I slept off.

When I woke up everywhere seemed quiet. I turned to my side and the man who was sitting next to me was no longer there. I felt he probably took a short walk. Looking at the next row I didn’t see the ‘active’ children who were seated next to their parents earlier. I felt their parents must have taken them to the toilet; skipping the fact that all of them couldn’t possibly fit into the minute toilet space at once. Due to my sleepy vision I thought I saw other people seated by my side and in front. Seconds later I realized there was no one by my side or in front of me. It was a very big plane since it was an international flight. Looking behind I also noticed there was no one seated behind me.

Wha aat! Are you thinking what I was thinking? Was I left with the pilot and the cabin crew? I quickly ran towards the cockpit only to discover that the pilot wasn’t even seated there. There was no flight attendant around. Cold chills ran down my spine. The sight of all the flight instruments in the cockpit made me remember the movie I watched before I fell asleep. The movie had to do with airplanes and flights involving the death of several people. I was terrified! Things were worse than I thought. I was left alone in a plane! Home alone. .. not so good but I must say ‘plane alone’. .. is really horrible!

How come everyone left me behind. When and how did I become invisible? Why didn’t anyone check for me? Why didn’t the man seated in the same row with me wake me up. Was leaving me asleep his payback for all the times I disturbed him with my toilet-use-movements? What about the flight attendants that seemed so nice and friendly? What of the 3 other girls I boarded the plane with? Hhmn. .. I was so overwhelmed with fear that there was little or no space for anger. All I thought of next was; “What has this milk-induced sleep put me into and how would I get out of this mess?”

I remembered that he flight was headed to Germany. Oh gracious Heavens! My first time in Germany and I was all alone in a cold, dark and scary big o’l plane! It was like being the only person left in the city. I didn’t even notice when I burst into tears. The plane windows were completely sealed and the least I could do was see through. I started shouting and hitting the windows. Then I started to wave with the expectation that at least one person would notice. The airport was big and there was no one in sight. How then would someone hear my voice or notice my slim little arms waving from a very small window of a plane that people had exited probably a long time ago. Filled with fear and confusion and with hot tears rolling down my eyes I started pacing to and fro my sit. I decided to walk down to the end of the plane. Every step made me more scared. When I got the end I realized the back door was left opened. In shock and a bit less sad I ran back to my sit. I quickly opened the overhead bin to get my carry-on luggage. The luggage was quite heavy but the issue at hand made me forget that. With my handbag in one hand and my carry-on luggage in the other hand the teary eyed and scared little Bridget ran to the exit of the plane with shaky legs.

Finally out of the plane! I know you sense the kind of relief I felt. But that wasn’t all to it. Germany was not my destination. I was meant to stop at Germany to board my next flight to Budapest. The next question was; What was the time and have I missed my next flight? Would I even find someone that could speak and understand straight-up English? I kept waving and shouting; “Excuse me!” with hope that those English words would translate something in the minds of anyone including the Germans close by. Fortunately, a man driving a small airport vehicle came closer with ears ready to listen to the waving girl. I said to him; “Please excuse me! I was left in the plane( with my hands pointing in the direction of the plane).” The confusion he expressed made me realize he didn’t understand English or maybe the words I said. He spoke in German and I was more lost than I was when I first heard Hungarian language. I said to him; “Angolul, English!”
What next? Well I guessed I should start with something he could understand. I asked him for the time with my right index finger pointing towards my wrist. Aha! He definitely understood that. He showed me his phone. It was 6a.m. I thanked him and accepted the time without asking further if the time zone used in Germany was same as the one used to book my flight. The concerned look on his face and his demonstration indicated he wanted to know why I was crying. Then it dawned on me that I was still crying. His demonstrations also indicated he wanted me to stop crying. With his left hand pointing sideways and his right fingers moving in a curled motion I knew what he was trying to say. That is, he would go and come back with someone that could understand English. After I stood there alone for a while he came back with a lady. Soon she was joined by some other officials. They started asking me several questions. They asked for my name, my mother’s name, my age, my country, international passport and residence permit. They also asked for my destination and flight ticket. I gave them answers and showed them all they needed to see.

One of them was taking notes and it seemed to be getting quite serious. I asked them if they were going to air it because I didn’t want my dad to be worried if he found out about the incident. The lady assured me they wouldn’t. They went further to ask me what happened and I briefed them on how I was left in the plane. My conversations with them took a while. Due to how enormous the airport was two men who were dressed like Police officers came to take me to where I was meant to take my next flight. We entered the car and I was taken to the departure unit.
After taking a good look at my flight ticket they led me to a queue which I was advised to join since it follows a faster route to the boarding unit for my flight. When I got to the airport gate for my flight this is what the lady at the counter said; “I am sorry. The plane just left. You have to go and reschedule for another flight.” Whaat! I was in extreme shock and anger. Left twice? How could life give me such a painful slap. I felt so angry, lost and alone in Frankfurt airport. The fact that I was able to travel alone while returning back home for the summer holiday gave me a bit of peace and composure.

I was told to look for a particular information gate where I could reschedule my flight. After asking several questions and being directed by a few strangers I found the gate. The man at the gate was surprised that I missed a flight that took off 2 hours after the arrival of the previous one. I was lucky that I didn’t have to give extra payment for the next available flight that he rescheduled me for. He said that my luggage would be loaded to the plane for my rescheduled flight. I thanked him happily and felt a bit of relief. Just then I remembered that my friend Shalom was the one who contacted Mr. Leo who had informed the taxi driver that was meant to pick us up and take us from Budapest to Debrecen. I was with a new phone so I didn’t have Mr. Leo’s number. I really needed it so as to make a call to reschedule my pick up since I would be arriving later than planned. I recalled that I saved it in my contact list on my online Nonoh account. Aha! That was it! All I needed was to go online and get Mr. Leo’s phone number.
I walked to the information port close-by and asked the lady for the password of the airport Wi-fi. She asked for my phone in a bid to connect my phone to the Wi-fi. She discovered I had a different SIM card in my phone. She asked me to insert a T-mobile SIM card since that was the line needed for connecting phones to the Wi-fi in range. I removed my Airtel SIM card from my phone in order to replace it with my T-mobile SIM card. Unfortunately, I couldn’t since the SIM card slot on my phone was designed for micro-SIM cards. My Dad took my Airtel sim along with him when he bought my phone and it was cut into the required shape. I explained the situation to her and asked if she or any one around could cut my T-mobile SIM card into the shape of a micro-SIM card. Her reply was ‘No’. I decided to cut it myself and so asked her for a pair of scissors. She said she didn’t have one and she didn’t think I was going to find one any where around. Yea Right! Pointing to her right she said I could use the airport computers to browse online but I would have to pay for it.

I quickly walked down to the computers hoping to contact Mr. Leo as soon as I could. One look at the computer screen was enough to put a frown on my face. Right now I can’t remember exactly how much the internet fee was but I know it was in euros and was quite pricey. That is, especially based on the fact that I expected the airport internet to it be free. I remembered I had some euros left from the exchange I made before returning back home for the summer holiday. I put in some of the euros in order to get internet access for 15 minutes. The trackpad of the computer felt a bit different from all the others I was used to and the way the cursor moved was just depressing. As soon as I went online on Nonoh I quickly copied down Mr. Leo’s number. I tried calling him with my Nonoh account but for some reason I am not sure of the call didn’t go through. I decided to send him a message. Since I was not the one who contacted him previously I had some explaining to do. I also knew I had to include details of the departure and arrival of my next flight. Before I could finish typing the message the internet access was cut off. I put in more cash and bought some more time. I was still yet to finish when I noticed the beep notifying me that my internet access would be cut off soon. I highlighted the text and tried copying it but that didn’t work. I quickly took a picture of it with my phone. Immediately after, the internet access was cut off.
Then I thought I could type on Microsoft and then I could quickly type that when I go online. I still don’t get why I didn’t find Microsoft Word in the computer. I was pissed! I think I had to write the message down on a paper. Wondering why I didn’t think of that first? Yea, me too. I bought more time and was able to send the message to Mr. Leo. In order to ensure that he would send one of his drivers to come pick me up, I included in the message that I wouldn’t mind paying more due to my reschedule. I wasn’t sure that Mr. Leo would get my message so decided to send Shalom a message. The time of her arrival to Budapest was 3 hours before the boarding time of my next flight. I felt she might connect to any Wi-fi in range and so I sent her a message on Facebook. I waited online for Shalom’s reply but didn’t get it so I had to leave the computer spot after my internet access was cut off. Did Leo get my message? Would Shalom read my message anytime soon? What if no one comes to pick me up? Mmnn. ..

A stressed out, tired and doubting Bridget boarded the plane for the next flight. My next flight wasn’t bad. My seat was part of the row next to the emergency exit. I wasn’t even in the mood to go through the details to be known by the person closest to the emergency exit. Hence, I was happy I was seated farthest from the window. Closest to the window was a lady I like to describe as ‘bubbly’. The guy in the middle was ‘something else’. Describing him with just the word ‘handsome’ would be an under-estimation of his appearance. He wasn’t just neatly dressed but also really tall and really good looking. Yea I know, I had to use the word ‘really’ twice in order to lay emphasis. He sounded so calm and gentle. He looked so kind and caring.
How could one’s appearance alone say that much of him? I thought so too until I saw this innocent looking guy. Looking at him closely I knew his appearance fitted the role of a man meant to play the character of ‘Jesus Christ’ in a movie. Perhaps his presence was God’s gift for my annoying plane incident. I hoped his character was as stunning as his appearance. He talked with the lady for a quite a while. She talked about where she was from and she commented on his height. He talked about why he was traveling to Hungary and how he was about to start off a his Sports career in Budapest. He also talked about the nature of the sports contract involved and the many benefits like a good house and car he would get. I was happy for him. Not long after he folded his long legs and fell asleep with his head resting on the top rail of his chair and faced in my direction. He looked so peaceful while sleeping. I couldn’t help but stare at him. I tried to take my gaze off him for a while but couldn’t help but look on. The presence of this good-looking stranger was the highlight of my flight. Finally we arrived at Budapest. I took my luggage to the trolley park to get a trolley which annoyingly had to be paid for.

As I moved to the outward arrival section I wondered what my fate was. Immediately I stepped out I saw a paper raised in the air which read; Mr. Leo. I smiled and quickly moved closer to the guy with the paper. He moved towards me and helped me with my trolley. I was joined with two other girls to be taken to Debrecen. The drive was quite long and quiet. Finally I got to my apartment in Debrecen. Although I rescheduled the    pick up time the guy still collected the former price. That made me smile.
I took my bag and boxes into the apartment. I used a pencil to trace the line of my Airtel micro-SIM card on my T-mobile SIM card. Using a pair of scissors I cut the T-mobile SIM card into the shape of the micro SIM card. Next, I called my dad to let him know of my arrival. You might be wondering if I told my Dad about the plane incident. Well, I didn’t because I didn’t want him to be worried. I was yet to know why Shalom and the other girls didn’t check for me. However, I was grateful to God that I finally I reached my destination intact (with body inside cloth) and even arrived on the same day.

LAST WORDS:
Yea, so that was my first plane incident. You might be wondering; “Did this actually happen to you? Yea, it did! It might sound quite fictional but this actually happened to me. I am thankful to God that it wasn’t worse than that. Thinking of it , something worse could have happened. Imagine if I slept off much longer than I did and I was joined in a flight headed to God-knows-where. ..
 I didn’t title this “My First Plane Incident” because I hope for more plane incidents. Actually, I hope it isn’t just my first but my only ‘plane incident’.


PLANE ALONE? This is a remake of how I looked when I discovered I was the only one in the plane.

This is a remake of how I looked while coming down from the plane.

These are my flight tickets.
These are the micro-SIM cards. The one on the left is the Airtel sim while the other one is the T-mobile sim I cut into shape with a pair of scissors.

Thanks for reading! Hope you liked it!