I arrived in San Jose on a Wednesday night at 10pm. My goal was to take a taxi back to Ray’s empty house, and start my time of relaxation. But first, I had to wait for my luggage. Out of my 4 arrivals in Costa Rica, only twice have I had to wait for luggage. This was time #2.
After a good 30 minutes of waiting by the baggage claim and zoning out while looking at bags, I come to my senses and realize that there is only one bag left on the luggage belt. “Finally, my bag came,” I sigh.
So I pull it off the belt and look at the big yellow sticker on the flight tag. “Preferred customer?” I ask myself. “I’m not a preferred customer . . .”
The bag was perfectly mine; the same weird boxy shape, the same black color, the same brand . . . but it didn’t have my small piece of blue tape on the top. “That’s okay, it probably just fell off,” I think to myself.
So I do what any sane man would do next, I reach for the nametag, which is covered by a black sleeve. “Will Hasley,” it should read . . .
But no. Instead, I see “Eduardo Silvera.” That’s not me! I toss the bag back onto the luggage belt, thanking the Lord that I actually checked the nametag before I took off with the bag.
“I’ll just wait for my bag, then.” And that’s when the hiccup came: there were no more bags on the belt. Just that one, which belonged to Mr. Silvera. That one that happened to be exactly like my rather distinctive suitcase, a rare site at baggage claims . . . or so I thought. “Lord, help me to get my bag, some way or another,” I pray.
Of course, the thought had already hit me as soon as I threw the bag back onto the belt: “what if Eduardo took my bag? What if he didn’t check the nametag? Oh no . . .”
Then I pull out my Costa Rican cell phone, which I was only able to charge in the States because I happened upon one of my mother’s 1980s Nokia chargers (okay, maybe not 80s, but definitely old school), and I call the number on Eduardo’s nametag. Not working.
I try a different prefix, and “Yes! It’s ringing . . . please Lord.” A Spanish-speaker answers. After a nice little convo, I get him to agree to call his dad who has just arrived from the States. He takes my phone number and my name, and when I’m about to hang up, he asks, “Hey Will, you don’t speak English, do you?”
Wow, that would’ve been helpful a good 5 minutes ago. But hey, no point in counting lost time, so I explain everything again in English. “Okay, that’s what I thought you said,” he confirms (a lil’ hooray for my rushed Spanish), “but I wasn’t sure. I’ll call my dad and then I’ll call you right back.”
I go over to the airport’s baggage claim services and start explaining my situation. The two employees are helpful, and I can tell that this definitely isn’t their first rodeo in the bag-switcheroo category. I’m pleased. Then I get a phone call.
“Will, my dad is standing outside the airport with your bag, he’s waiting for you,” says the friendly, English-speaking son on the phone.
Okay, so I haven't really traveled around the world in eighty days -- or ever, for that matter. But I randomly decided, after talking with a friend of mine tonight, that'd it'd be interesting to give y'all some
Random Facts from
Will's Life of Non-Stop Travels:
Since May 2008, not once have I slept in the same room for at least 2 consecutive weeks.
If you discredit April and May 2008, you would have to look back to December 2007 to find the last time I slept in the same room for at least 2 consecutive weeks.
In my final semester at UVa, leading up to May 2008 (16 total weekends), I traveled outside of Charlottesville for 9 weekends. Those 9 weekends were during a10-week span.
From June – November 2008, during my time in Costa Rica, I slept in more than 20 beds (alone, thank you very much :-).
In 35 nights in Virginia over my “holiday break,” I changed sleeping locations 23 times.
In 35 nights spent in and around Texas over the same break, I changed sleeping locations 14 times . . . chump change.
The ~5 weeks I spent at home in Texas was the longest I’d spent there since May/June 2006.
From June 2006 – November 2008 (30 months), I spent 9 months outside of the States, in 10 different countries.
I’m now getting ready to defy all odds and spend one year in one location! I plan on leaving Costa Rica only three times before the middle of November, for a total of no more than 2-3 weeks (because my visa requires me to do so). Finally, a hint of a break . . .
Well, I'm back in CR. Thanks to all of you who have written and asked about the recent earthquake that shook this country.
*EARTHQUAKE UPDATE: I've talked with a few of my friends here in San Jose and, while they all seemed to have felt it, no one was harmed by it. I've still got some more friends that I'll need to hear from, but I don't think they were close enough to the epicenter (north of Volcan Poas, which is NW of San Jose) to be affected by it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-vA34-OOcfg
Please pray for all of those who have been affected by the quake, however, as it wiped out many homes and caused many Costa Ricans to lose their loved ones. God is in control, and we pray that they will find rest in Him.*
Now that I'm back, it's time for some rest and relaxation after my whirlwind tour through the United States. I had a lovely time visiting my friends and family, and there are countless numbers of God moments and funny moments that I could relay to you.
This year will be a little different on the blog, however (as signaled by the new layout).
I'll still be writing about God moments and funny moments, but I'll also be writing shorter, more random entries at times. I haven't decided how often I'll be writing, but you don't need to worry about that, you just click over to this blog and see if anything new has popped up.
I pray that the Lord has given all of you wonderful beginnings to 2009.