So here it is, the dreaded day that has been looming ahead for a while. I am currently at Sydney Airport, where I am waiting to take my flight back to Belgium.
It's strange. I knew this day was coming, and still it came as a shock. I realized I don't actually want to leave. Not the life in New Zealand, and not the life I have with Alex. I guess the next adventure is waiting around the corner ...
My coming here hasn't been very smooth though. Of course, what did you expect.
Upon arrival in Christchurch Airport, the lovely lady from Air New Zealand informed me that my flight to Sydney (flight number EY 6049) didn't exist. "Excuse me, what?" Yes, yes, it didn't exist. Not in the computer, not on the screens, not anywhere. OK, I did not want to leave in the first place, but what with all the sadness hanging around Alex and me, there was really no more space for extra stress.
The lady then informed me that that flight was actually scheduled for Friday 30 September instead of Thursday. Once again: "Excuse me, what?" And even so, I was not booked on that flight. So basically, I was not getting out of Christchurch, officially.
Lastly the lovely lady informed me that Air New Zealand did not have any other flights going to Sydney today, "but maybe we can try somewhere else. There is nothing more that I can do for you, sorry."
So, Alex and me wended our ways to the Jetstar desk. "Nope, sorry. Maybe try Qantas."
Qantas it is then. Stress slightly increasing.
"Nope, sorry. Maybe try Emirates."
With a thumping heart, we arrived at the Emirates desk, where they - hallelujah! - had a spare seat on their flight. I would arrive in Sydney after all. Obviously I didn't book this flight after getting in touch with Etihad (who is the main operator of my flights) to ask if I was actually booked on my ongoing flights.
Dear Alex Ramish needed about half an hour to explain to me that yes, I am booked on both ongoing flights, and no, he doesn't know what could've gone wrong, and if he was me he'd take it up with his travel agent.
So, finally, check-in, and a tearful goodbye (although I was not crying, it was just raining on my face ... Insider :-)).
When I arrived in Sydney, they told me to go to the transfer desk. I wanted to have a hearty word with someone. Unfortunately, nobody was there. How do airlines work?! So once again I called a number to ask Etihad where I should get my boarding passes and to explain the problem. Luckily, the second lady was very friendly and listened to my 'hearty word' and, after telling me that they'll have to investigate as to what could have gone wrong, she was nice enough to give me extra leg space and a window seat. I was hoping for a business class flight, but ah well, this will do for now.
So, my departure was not easy. It seems that I am getting back in one piece, although I will still have to pick up some pieces and try to get back on track soon, with no clue as to what to do now. But I guess we will see that in due course - first I'll have a hot bath, a good night's sleep and a lovely wedding to go to. After that, we'll see what the road brings. This is not the end.