After a fantastic visit to the States, I chose to schedule my British Airlines flight back to Kenya on a rather ill-fated day. More specifically, it was the snowiest day London had experienced in 18 years. Just my luck.
However, I was one of the more fortunate ones; I made it back to Kenya a mere day-and-a-half later than planned. Based on what I saw, I wouldn’t be surprised if other people were still stranded right now, almost a week later. People were either waiting in never-ending lines or sleeping on whatever surface was available – on counters, under chairs, even in the bathrooms. Some people even slept in the lines, since they barely moved.
Airline officials were handing out bottled water, toothpaste, blankets, and yoga mats. Wait, yoga mats? While at first I thought they were encouraging cranky passengers to meditate, I can only assume the mats were supposed to be used as mattresses.
However, meditation might have been a good idea for some incensed passengers. I’ve never heard so many people yelling in so many different languages. Others took it more in stride; I saw a German guy making an impromptu documentary with the videocamera on his cellphone. He was laughing, so either he was making the best of a bad situation, or he was thanking his lucky stars he wasn’t still stuck in line. Either way, he got some pretty nasty looks from those who were waiting endlessly.
When I finally arrived safely in Nairobi, my luggage was nowhere to be found. One day, two days, five days went by, and I really wanted some clean socks. After six days of partying with unruly suitcases from all corners of the globe and evading Heathrow luggage handlers, my bags finally arrived back in Kenya.
It’s good to be home.