I left the apartment at eleven this morning, because, thinking, "just in case," I figured this would ensure my not being Stuck, again. I got off the bus at Pearson, a little panicked because by this point I was noting what the Pearson announcements later chose to refer to as "extremely high customer volumes." For the non-airport-savvy among you, that's roughly translated as "WAY too many fucking people for one airport." Like, "we are bursting at the seams, people are lining up on the sidewalk" too many. It didn't help, I'm sure, that Pearson is already the most psychotically disorganized airport in the country, and there were even more confused and desperate people wandering around this morning than there were last night.
I made my way upstairs, tried to check in, got a cheerful "fuck off" from the automated check-in system, and after asking about twelve different Air Canada attendants (and getting approximately nine different answers) was directed to a line that stretched - I shit you not - along the outsides of five check-in islands. About two blocks. Really.
This is where the getting-there-early really didn't come in handy. I got there at half-past eleven, and at about one-fifteen, about the time I reached the real line-up - with the divider-thingies - the Air Canada attendants began prowling, asking people when they left, where they were going, presumably to whisk them off to a speedier check-in and boarding if they were running late. As a student, however, I am Scum, and since the machine wouldn't take my ticket number, I had to wait. The very anxious-looking attendant told me, as I stood in line, that there was no way I was going to make my flight, and that I would probably have to re-book for the next one, an hour later. This is where it gets amusing.
I got up to the counter, and the lady attendant exhibited very polite confusion when I explained how my flight had actually been re-booked - with the other nice lady attendant from the night before - that I had no luggage, because I had already checked it the night before and it was probably already in Vancouver ahead of me, and that the machine had refused to acknowledge that I exist. She checked some things, squinted at my ID, and told me, for the second time, that I'd never make the flight, now. She picked up the phone to dial the gate, to ask them to open the door for me, and when she hung up she told me that the flight had been delayed, but that I'd have to get there in ten minutes if I wanted on board. So I ran. I almost killed the guy in front of me in the security check - the irony struck me at the time, in the part of my head that wasn't gibbering - because he had a laptop, but had forgotten to charge the battery, so we all waited two minutes while they ran for a cable to plug it in and prove it wasn't a bomb.
I finally made it to the gate, with about a minute to spare, and wonder of wonders: the flight had been delayed another half-hour. I sat down. I waited half an hour. I got impatient. I got up to ask what was going on. That's when they announced they were switching gates - to one about twelve gates away. As one, two hundred people picked up their things and surged, like a very tired flood, down the corridor to the other gate, which was choked with Quebecois, who were waiting for the other flight that was supposed to be at that gate in the first place. We waited another half-hour, at which point we were directed to yet another gate, where we finally boarded, and imagine my surprise as we waited on the runway for half an hour for the controllers to clear us for takeoff. On top of that, at some point during the re-booking they lost my meal request, so I waited three hours (during which the woman next to me, whilst gesticulating wildly in Mandarin, sloshed half a cup of rather hot coffee on my feet) before they tracked down an ovo-lacto meal that hadn't been claimed, which was lukewarm and decidedly nasty. Tofu and room temperature just don't mix.
Got home two hours late, found my dad asleep at the foot of the stairs, discovered my luggage (See? The power of desperate and highly-caffienated prayer.) buried in a pile of Toronto-Vancouver luggage from twenty different flights next to the carousel that had been stacking up since that morning, miraculously unharmed, and came the hell home. Watered my plants, made tea, and collapsed onto my bed to watch DS9 for three hours.
I really wish I could blame Air Canada. It would be cathartic.
So much damn studying. So. Many. Boring. Things.