Chapter #3: Mom and Dad’s 60th Wedding Anniversary
After the accident debacle, as I mentioned before... I was planning for my India trip which was on 14th. The day was here. I was all set to go to the airport to catch my flight to India. I was anxiously waiting for this day. I wanted so much to be with my parents on their 60th wedding anniversary. WOW!! 60 years!!
I prepared everything. Bought everything on the list and packed it in such a way so all the stuff can be included in it somehow. Almost every week ever since I bought the ticket, I was checking to make sure I have all in place. Finally, the day arrived.
My daughter took half a day off from her work to take me to the airport. We were about to get to the car with all the stuff.
Just before locking the door while dragging the big suitcase she asks me….”Mom, do you have everything?… Passport, money, ticket and Visa?” I immediately answered…" of course I have been checking every week…let me just recheck it".
While opening my bag…what she asked suddenly got into my brain…Passport, money, ticket, and Visa….HUH!!!??? WHAT??? WHAT visa???
That is when, I realized, I never checked for Visa. Then I remembered I took a 10-year Visa a few years back. So Visa stamp should be on my old passport. Immediately I started digging into boxes to get the old passport. Finally, I checked and my Visa just expired in July of 2013. Well, I guess it wasn’t just a few years back then. It expired and I never bothered to think I needed that.
Recently when we went to Japan I didn’t need it. So it never occurred to me I needed one for India ☹ ( I only go there every other year for the past 36 years Ke Ke Ke!!!)
My flight was at 3:45 PM and we were planning to leave at 12:15 ish…that was when the whole fiasco started. We were on the phone trying to talk to people at immigration, airlines, etc. for the next 45 minutes.
The Indian embassy immigration guy (the voice sounded like it could have been a gal too) said…” you just need to come to San Francisco right now and get the Visa and then you can leave to catch that flight”. FUNNY huh? Okay…I just thanked him/her and hung up. Now what?
My daughter suggested, “Okay let us just go to the airport and talk to the people there. Since you only have 2 hrs and 40 minutes left, you have nothing to lose. So let us go”. I was in a daze while she was driving. We reached the airport at around 1:25 PM.
Spoke to the Singapore airlines people. They were extremely nice. They said as far as going to India, I must have a VISA. If I don’t then I will be stuck in the airport there.
Once again as per my daughter’s suggestion, since I already have the ticket and took the days off, at least go to Singapore, tour around, site see and enjoy the vacation and come back on the day I am supposed to come back.
Sounds good right? Wait but there is a catch!!
Airlines person said…’ I am so sorry, unfortunately, you can’t use the same ticket to come back to LA since it was a sequential ticket. Ayyayayyayay!!! What a situation.
So finally we decided, I go to Singapore and my daughter will book another ticket to come back to LA by mailing the Confirmation email to me.
Great!! To make a long story short…( sorry it is already long!!) the plan now is to go to Singapore by 16th, tour around and leave for Japan on 19th site see there and come back home on 22nd instead of 23rd as originally planned.
Somehow I got through the security with my carry on, since I asked my daughter to take the big suitcase back. No reason for me to carry that along when all it had was gifts.
By the time I passed through security and walked through, to get to the gate, People were already boarding.
Finally...for now...I reached Singapore around 2 am on 16th. Did not have a single shut-eye since the time I boarded the plane.
Now comes the other fun part. The next chapter is about how I got stuck in the airport for 30 + hrs.