Help - I'm at the wrong airport!
Sunday was not a fun day
I woke from my nap with the nauseating realisation that I was on the wrong bus to the wrong airport and helpless to do anything about it. Still sleepy I heard in Danish "something-or-other to Billund?" No. Not Billund, Aarhus - I'm going to Aarhus! Except I wasn't. Idiot (*points finger at forehead with utter disdain). Inside head swearing began - use your imagination.
I frantically searched my handbag for the screwed up bus ticket, a tiny piece of me still believing I had misheard the driver. Wretched ticket, silent as to destination. Off I went to the front of the bus where the driver confirmed yes, our destination was Billund and no, he couldn't drop me in the nearest town so I could grab a taxi and still make it to the right airport in time. Marvellous. I would now definitely miss my flight. The walk of shame back to my seat was accompanied by whispers between the driver (who I now irrationally dislike) and the front row cronies. I hoped he was being sympathetic and sweet but suspect he was saying "what a muppet". Well, that's what I was saying to myself.
It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it is. I wanted to continue the day as per the plan: fly at 14:30, land at 16:10 and home to my babies around 17:15. Now that plan is off the cards. I called Hugh and explained my error. Ever patient and understanding (poor guy) he will check flights once he has finished making lunch (really?). Let's be clear, I'm not normally pathetic and incapable, I can book my own flights, but the Wi-Fi and data roaming on stupid bus of errors is hindering my progress.
Can I cry now?
I decided this wasn't the time for tears. Those who know me know I'm a crier - I cry when I'm happy, anxious, sad and hormonal (sometimes involuntarily when I wake up) - I always cry. Not this time, for goodness sake, get a grip. Options unfold via Hugh and the Internet at home - everything will all be fine once I check in at Billund.
As I arrived at the incorrect middle of nowhere Lufthaven I put on my sunglasses and best Scandi smile and proceeded to the ticket desk. One ticket home please. "Oh, it's very busy on Sundays, let's hope there's space. " S***! Fake Scandi calm evaporates and panic ensues. Alert, hot stingy eyes but thankfully the panic is over as quickly as it arrived, "there are two seats left, please, you must book online." Well, it's a good job this is so easily fixed. Maybe my blasé attitude to travel got me into this mess? Cue self loathing followed by flood of empathy - what if you're in this position and don't have cash / credit card? Imagine how you'd feel? Left alone, stranded. My catastrophising skills are strong. Nicky, stop!
To add insult to my error I messed up security by leaving my oh so healthy coconut water in my case - bye bye expensive drink, hello potentially expensive 8 hour wait at the airport (one tiny sandwich and bog standard 500ml non-coconut water set me back roughly £9).
My plan: purchase a book, find a quiet corner to read and wait patiently.
The airport activity passed me by in waves: it filled up, the final call to wherever was announced and then it emptied again. I walked around the same shops and cafes, and found a new comfy spot. I repeated this 5 times. WhatsApp videos arrived of the children making Meera Sodha's Bengal fish fingers (the lunch I so rudely interrupted), the ping on my phone breaking up my new routine. The pictures of newly baked cupcakes and grinning faces followed. I fear the kids may well ask that I mess up more often - Hugh did well. It’s lovely to see them enjoying themselves without me while I get to devour a good book. Silver linings - I'm all about the silver linings.
I thought over my trip. I loved Aarhus. A really pretty place, effortlessly cool, easy going and (from my brief time there) deserves the European City of Culture status. I met my new nephew who I'm totally in love with. I enjoyed drinks on the river with my brother, his wife and a friend who made a quick stop over. I walked the baby around the city in the early morning before anything was open allowing the new parents a well deserved lay in. I loved the whole weekend, well nearly all of it! I chatted to Laura who commented on how I am normally "über organised" but now, just not! True. My family were sweet on the group messages and hopefully not laughing too hard at my mistake. I couldn't take fun photos for this post because there is nothing of interest at Billund airport - no offence. I wrote this post on my phone and felt better.
7 hours to go… (Except it was longer because of course there was a delay!)
Nicky (aka travel muppet in progress)