What do you do when the person you were waiting for at the airport did not materialize and could not be reached via phone?
As I discovered last night, I would first wander about the arrival area for a good hour and a half (post landing) before I finally convince myself that maybe, maybe that person is not coming out those sliding doors. Especially since the baggage carousel has been empty for an hour.
And then, after alternating mutterings of "you have got to be kidding me" and "what the hell do I do now", I proceeded to the information desk and asked if it's possible to find out if a passenger has cleared immigration or not. "I can't give you that information, but you can try calling immigration," the very nice lady said, trying to ignore, perhaps, my half-deranged eyes. "It's hard to get through the line, but you just have to be patient."
Apparently, high-stress situations make me want to share things with random strangers. "It's strange," I said. "He has been here a lot of times before and there was never any trouble. And I find it odd that he didn't contact me." "Well it has been an hour," she replies. "If he wasn't allowed to go past immigration he won't be allowed to make phone calls until he has gone back to his country of origin." I have no idea if this is true, but it made me even more convinced that something went awry in the immigration counter. "Maybe you should just go home and wait." she suggested.
As promised, it took a dozen calls before I was patched through. "Is it possible to know if a passenger cleared immigration?" I asked. "We cannot give you this information." "Well can you tell me if there was someone in the flight who wasn't allowed to go through? You don't have to tell me who it is." "We can't give you this information. You either call the airline or try to get in contact with that person." "But... really?", I answered lamely. It's two thirty in the morning and all this has been mentally exhausting.
So there I was, in the middle of the arrival area, amidst people reuniting with family and friends, about to burst into tears while talking to an immigration officer over the phone. And then I get another incoming call.
It was the boyfriend. I was at the wrong terminal and he has been waiting for me for two hours now.
Have a happy weekend ;)