, , ,

I haven’t written anything in a while as I write when I feel like it, it’s not my job, therefore spontaneity of frequency equals randomness of publish dates. I had a bit of a memory lane moment and thought I’d write about it as I find it funny every time I think about it, hoping you might find it an entertaining read?

You hear stories of people getting into all sorts of trouble when traveling from A to B, no matter what mode of transport; different stories about an incident, weird occurrence, etc. Here’s a few things that happened while I was going places (weirdly enough, jokingly attributed to my presence, and for a while I was referred to “a hazard to travel with”).

2009, city break in Granada, Spain
On a return flight Madrid to London Heathrow, after the plane landed and parked at gate, stewardess announced that everyone is to remain seated until instructed otherwise. After a few minutes, two police officers came aboard, walked all the way to the end and came back in view with a handcuffed guy guided between the 2 cops… after they left, stewardess “released” passengers from their seats thanking for cooperation.
I still don’t know what he did…?

2009, city break in Bansko, Bulgaria
Again, return flight, mid row by the window. Pilot made an announcement that we should be landing at Heathrow in approximately 25mins, what usually translates to very slow descend and a delay in landing due to amount of traffic. Suddenly, a lady in the isle next to me started feeling unwell – losing consciousness. We were on the ground in 10mins, suffice to say most efficient descent to Heathrow airport ever!, with paramedics on board the plane in an instant from the moment we the door of the plane opened. Don’t remember what exactly happened, but I am sure the lady recovered just fine.

2010, holiday in Chile
This was a planned nearly 3 week holiday in Chile around Easter time, about 2 weeks after the 2010 earthquake. The first leg of the journey was a serious of flights: Heathrow to Madrid, to Santiago, to Puerto Montt in the south of Chile. After getting to Santiago, we realized that the backpacks which were supposed to be arriving with us to continue onto the next flight got left behind in Madrid… As we only had a few hours stop in Santiago and flights from Madrid aren’t that frequent as you can imagine, we continued our journey and had to buy a few essentials until the backpacks arrived the next day (thankfully, as we were picking up a rental car to go to our next destination).
Oh, almost forgot, that’s also where my debit card got cloned and some tried to make 2 purchases, one for £400 and another for £1000… I had the perfect alibi that these were not my transactions as at the time when they were recorded I was on a plane to Punta Arenas (Patagonia). Still a bit of a headache… I won’t go into the detail, but suffice to say, card cancelled immediately and a bit of a faff to get some funds for our holiday to continue…

2012-2013, around the world
Considering this was 12 months of traveling, I didn’t do too bad. A few funny things happened:

  • Santa Marta, Columbia: I left a t-shirt in a hostel even though I have no idea where…
  • Cali, Columbia: while on the move, I usually an-clip my sleeping bag from the back of the backpack not to trash it and have it in my hand all the time. We flew from Bogota and jumped on a local airport to city center bus, where I an-clipped the sleeping bag and put it up on the overhead shelf. We arrived at the Cali bus station, took my backpacks,and while I am walking and swinging my arms freely, I realize I should be swinging my sleeping bag in one of my hands… I run back, but the bus was gone…
  • On a local bus to Popayan, Columbia: we were witnesses to a bit of an escalation between a teenage passenger (supported by his mum) and the driver who refused to stop on a bend having a big truck right behind us at speed and continued a few hundred meters to make a safe stop (if you don’t know, you have to ask a driver to stop, technically wherever you feel like it while en route from A to B to disembark). The angry teen pulled out a spring knife on the driver, who then proceeded to stopping as soon as he could do so safely and quickly, and getting out of his seat while grabbing a machete from his side pocket and walking across to the exit door of the bus, while the teen was still “barking” at the driver and the conductor tried to calm the whole situation down… With all fairness, the teenager was disrespectful and shouldn’t even have the knife on him anyway (there are metal detector doors at major bus stations, but people can hop on the way), but hey… no one got hurt…
  • Salta, Argentina: after I refreshed myself and shaved in the toilet, than had dinner. When we heard the announcement for the bus to Resistencia (to get to Puerto Iguazu), I simply took my backpacks leaving the great waterproof electric shaver on another chair…

Thinking about it now, I have since flown from Auckland to UK, to Tonga, and Vanuatu and nothing weird happened… so maybe it isn’t actually me…