On Friday, the plane you're supposed to get on flies right over you because it cannot see you amid the blowing snow. The next First Air plane is on Sunday. You panic--no wait! You can purchase a back-up flight with Calm Air for $2000. Okay. You swipe your debit card. Your card is declined. You travel across town to find internet and a payphone (when was the last time you used one of these?). You deposit more money into your account and call the bank. You're worth less than 4 figures in this graduate life. You then wait 1 hour on the phone with an Air Canada robot until you need to use the washroom. You decide not peeing your pants is more important than catching the next connecting flight home with Air Canada. You hang up, save your ego, and go back to the airport, purchase the back-up Calm Air flight, and wait 4 hours.
4 Hours later, this expensive Calm Air plane can't see you either and you start laughing hysterically while the lady running the airport contemplates your sanity and awkwardly closes up. You spend the evening playing games with local ladies and trying raw frozen country food (beluga, caribou, and char) despite being vegan. You also get an excuse to spend another night hammering away at FF6.
It's Saturday. -56 degrees, 0km visibility, 60km/hr winds. You go back to the airport. Today's Calm Air plane hasn't arrived yet--it will probably never come. You decide to refund your back-up ticket and go with your original, now-postponed First Air flight on Sunday. It's time to level up your FF6 team and defeat Kefka before your flight tomorrow--but wait! You meet a video game programmer and lose your confidence to a local flock of laughing-contest champions. These kids have wisdom and stories that surpass your own at your current age.
Sunday is finally here. Clear skies and the sun is shining. You get to the airport and find out your First Air flight is cancelled "due to mechanical". You have no idea what that means but know you should try flying to Rankin Inlet because the runways are larger there and there's a blizzard coming in tonight. You watch the regional hockey championship finals in Rankin. Getting stuck in a FF6 battle that you are under-qualified for gives you more anxiety than getting stuck up north.
Monday. Ublaakut Rankin. You've arrived at the airport to see every flight on the small TV screen highlighted in red. You immediately erupt a cacophony of belly-deep maniacal laughs that echo amidst the silence of the empty airport (minus the staff, who are now wondering if you and everything you represent are mentally capable of acquiring a graduate degree). You go back to your inn to find out all rooms are booked and you can't stay there for the night, but you can lug your bags down a hill across town in the blizzard to a sister inn that has lots of space. So down you go as the wind rips your face right off, and you rotundly tumble down that slope with all of your unnecessary bags of warm clothing (that you should have been wearing instead) to an audience of confused (and now fearful-of-you) locals puffing their cigarettes. You get picked up in a warm truck for a ride around Rankin Inlet to see more of it than you would ever have if you'd been home by now.
I stopped writing at this point because I managed to get home and felt I had nothing else to complain about. I managed to make it home with frostbitten hands, a completed FF6 game, and several new local friends.
My complaint now is that I wish I were still stranded up north.
When things don't work out the way you want them to, amazing opportunities take their place, if only you take those old (what-I-want) glasses off and put the new (hey!-check-this-out) ones on.