After a month spent at the Uni, it was time for me to go home! I arrived early enough at the Sydney International Airport to check in my bags and roam around. At 12:30pm,I found this big kangaroo doll in one of the souvenir shops, so I decided to buy it, and some pasalubong for the family. Since I needed to be at the gate by 12:50, I thought I had 20 minutes to luxuriously check out the shops. I totally forgot that there was still the security checks for handluggage, and the usual stretch of floor space going to the gate!
True enough, this inexperienced traveler left the shops at 12:45, still relaxed that I had enough time. Especially since the announcement said that my flight was now boarding. Calmly, I queued for the immigration… then there was customs/quarantine counter… and then there was the x-ray machine! By the time I got out of the long line, the announcement board indicated that my flight was on its final call!
Then I started to get worried. But it became worse… The directions to the gates indicated that I was supposed to go to a gate midway to the other end of the building, which was an eight-minute walk away! I broke my gait and started to run… barely hearing the calls for passengers who were delaying their flights.
When I finally reached the gate, I was breathless from running (with the fear of being left behind). I was relieved to see that the passengers riding in economy were still queued. Apparently the business class and first class passengers were seated first. Whew! That was a relief!
I was more relieved to find out that the passengers being called over the speakers were for a different airline.
The flight to Manila was uneventful… I had to go over more data during the flight. When my computer’s battery finally died (thankfully less than an hour after the flight took off), I welcomed it as a chance to relax and enjoy the eight-hour ride.
Looking back at that experience on May 30, I felt like I ran a race in the airport. It was fun and exciting - NOW. And I have a good laugh every time I share the story to friends and relatives. But during that time, I was really scared and worried.
I’ve learned my lesson: no more shopping in airport Duty Free shops until I’ve cleared security and customs! Better yet, no shopping at airport… PERIOD.
The question is, will I remember it?