China, England, Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland, Ireland, now New Zealand.
Fully prepared for my next expedition, I call Lyft and hand over my lime green backpack to the driver. Of course, he is a Sunday driver with no personal investment to get to the airport. He decides to take the scenic route and an oath to always drive in the slowest lane. What should have taken me <28 mins takes me a little over an hour. I had an urge every 30 seconds to say something but you must never piss off 2 kinds of people – a teenager who has the potential to spit in your food and a driver who would place your life in danger if he goes any faster than 37 mph. Even though I have global entry, getting to an airport with just 1:31 before the flight could be regretful.
Thanks to my almost hand-typed Indian passport, even the kiosk scratches its head, shows me an augmented reality middle finger, and tells me to go see customer service. While now standing in a medium length line and with 1:13 left, I slow down my heart rate thinking that my security should be quick, I’m not wearing heels, and I will still be able to spray some free perfume at the duty-free. 18 minutes later, she greets me with a cheek2cheek smile and tells me I have no clearance to board. My eyes pop and my mind says ‘what?why?how?fuck!’ all at once.