As I sit to write my blog for today, I am reminded of a quote attributed to the incomparable John Wayne: “Life is tough, but it’s a whole lot tougher if you’re stupid.” Today I made my life tougher than it needed to be. But I’ll get to that in a moment.
My morning visit had promised to be at the hotel by 7:30 am. I was ready, but taking into account the impact of traffic here, I didn’t expect her until closer to 9 am. Much to my surprise, the front desk called at 6:40 saying she had arrived!
It was pleasant this morning, so we went back out to the same table I used yesterday. We were able to visit for almost an hour and a half before she needed to get back on the road. I saw her at the Feast, but there were still some things to catch up on in her life, and she had some questions I did my best to answer, or help her find the answers to. Everybody had challenges they need to navigate in life.
After she left there was still time for me to go through the buffet line for breakfast before returning to my room to get some more work done. Yakub had called and offered to pick me up and take me to the domestic airport, which is very close by. I agreed and asked me what time my flight was scheduled for – and we set a time to meet.
I had checked out and was waiting by the time he arrived. We chatted for a little bit, and then I said something about the time that caused him to jerk his head up. The flight time was 14:40. But for reasons I’ll never be able to explain, my travel-addled brain took of the 1 and translated it – quite incorrectly – as 4:40 pm. This is a real rookie mistake, because if I’d even been hitting on two or three cylinders I’d have realized it was 2:40 pm, and we were LATE!
We rushed out to his car and he took off. Traffic was light until we were very close, and it delayed us a bit. He let me off at terminal MM2, we shook hands and I rushed inside. At the AirPeace counter I was told this was the wrong terminal for this flight. It left out of MM1, and was probably already pulling back from the gate.
MM1 is maybe 10 blocks walk from MM2. Defeated and angry with myself for not even being able to read a clock, I declined the offer of half a dozen cabbies to take me over – I wasn’t going to spend any more money on taxis for a pointless pursuit.
A little over halfway there, Yakub drove past me and pulled over! He had been going one direction after dropping me off, and then changed his mind. Seeing me walking along the sidewalk he pulled over. I explained what had happened, and he took me on to MM2.
As I expected, the plane was long gone, and unfortunately there are no more flights on any airlines out to Benin City this afternoon. AirPeace flies tomorrow afternoon, but Arik Air (another airline I have flown) has one at 7:30 am. Better to take that on and salvage as much of the day tomorrow as possible, so I booked it.
I called an Uber to take me back to the hotel, and the surprised staff checked me back in, just two doors down from the room I just left.
So now I sit here, licking my wounds a little, preparing to get some sleep, be at the airport EARLY, and then hit the ground running as soon as we land. Osas has said he will be able to meet me at the airport, so that will help.