Published: June 22nd 2011June 17th 2011
The waiting game
Still relatively early in the evening when it all seemed like just a small bump in the road...
We have purposefully let a few days pass before trying to write the beginning of this tale, because it was an ugly start. It is a relevant backdrop to what follows, so here it is. On Friday afternoon, John and Sonia left work early to be home in time to move every last item out of the back half of the house ( all the bedrooms and office) to enable the floors to be refinished in our absence. We finished easily and had a relaxed departure preceded by a ritual suggested and led by our friend Maya – a brief moment when everyone sits peacefully before getting up to leave – a ritual designed to ensure a good trip. We arrived, perfectly on time, to the San Francisco airport and were quickly near the front of the check-in line. There we stayed for 7 hours as the impact of the computer glitch at United Airlines seeped slowly into our consciousness, first working its way through our optimism, then, through several cycles of elation and disappointment which caused us to allow United to check our luggage, finally our disbelief was also taken from us. We arrived back home at 1 AM without our luggage to a house with no beds. We dragged our mattresses and a few blankets and pillows back into a single bedroom where we slept, all four of us together, in solidarity. John was too tense to sleep at first, and chose to spend the next 2.5 hours on hold with United trying to rebook our flights. His persistence paid off and he was able to get a Sunday morning departure for the family that would land us in Vienna at 8AM Monday morning – only 36 hours lost, but all of them from our time in Vienna.