Today I woke up before 4am, I couldn’t sleep. I had to catch a flight at 8:45am, but there was a blizzard warning in NYC and Southern NY State with snow falling from 2am, and I was there watching the snow fall from my uncles apartment window as I refreshed the airline website over and over, to see if the green on time changed to a cancelled… and it didn’t.
Half an hour later my uncle and aunt woke up, I called the airline again to ask if my flight will take off, because a lot of flights were already cancelled, and I didn’t want to make my uncle go all the way to JFK airport just to get an I’m sorry in the check in counter. The website and the representative were on the same page, it was on time, as scheduled. So I drank my lovely aunt’s peanut butter banana shake and we left to the airport.
I drop-off my baggage, that big blue suitcase that has everything I have lived with for the last 6 months, and then headed to security check. In the security line I suddenly remembered I had to give my coat to my aunt, because I was going to the Dominican Republic, my warm paradise, and it was going to be just a bulky extra item I didn’t need, so I went back, and she thought the same, we met halfway through, I gave her the coat and said goodbye again.
After a couple minutes I was in my gate, I had an hour to wait before boarding time.
It was 8am, and we were still sitting by the gate. Our flight boarding time is delayed, we are de-icing the wings our new departure time is 9:05am, thanks for your patience, said the curly-haired announcer. And we waited, as we saw cars, machines and people working beside our plane.
She announced it was boarding time, for a moment I forgot the soon-to-arrive blizzard and felt happy that I will be in less than 4 hours in my warm paradise. I got in the plane, put my carry-on in the overhead compartment, my bag under the front sit, buckled my belt and waited. Sorry, take off is delayed, now we are leaving at 10:30am, take your belongings and go back to the gate.
Not long after that delayed flight turned into a canceled flight. And I realized I was stocked in an airport without telephone, internet or a coat.
I asked the airline staff for a call home, and lined to rebook my flight. I told them about my no-coat situation and they gave me a taxi voucher. And then I was sharing a taxi with a random Dominican man with a stop in Brooklyn before going to Manhattan. The taxi driver dropped the Dominican man a block away from his home, because of the snow accumulation, and then told me he didn’t know if he was going to be able to get to Manhattan. He called another taxi-driver to ask for advice, and the advice was not to go. He told me he will drop me somewhere I don’t remember because I have never heard about it, and I told to him to take me to a subway station where I can take the A train instead.
He didn’t know where subway stations where, and we were in a not-that-good neighborhood. He asked a person in the street, gave me an umbrella and dropped me off in the first subway station he saw, which happens to be an outside one.
Freezing, lost, and without communication I took my carry on through more than 1 feet high snow and went upstairs to the subway station. I asked the subway woman for a map, and to help me figure out where we were and how to get home.
Aren’t you cold? – Random man in the train station.
I sat in the train, with wet feet and trembling hands. And after two stops transferred to my train in another outside metro station.
After that, I was fine. If only I could tell my family where I was…
Subway stations in NYC are supposed to have Wi-Fi, right? I was soon to know that only happened in Manhattan… I asked a stranger for a phone call, but we were underground so it didn’t deliver. And soon after, the stranger left the train wishing me good luck. I had a few stops to go before being able connect to the internet and say:
Hello, I’m OK, I’m on a train home, don’t worry. Pick me up in the subway station, and please bring a coat. I’m fine.
I kept updating my cousin of my location every moment I was able to get online. I arrived to the cold subway station and walked to the exit, where my aunt was waiting for me with a bag full of good warm clothes. And after walking through almost knee-high snow I got in the car, and breathed.