Sometimes frustration is okay– sometimes it’s not

Sometimes I need to take a moment and breathe.  I need to take a second to have faith that everything will work out in the end. I have to reflect for a minute that the world is not actually against me—despite all evidence to the contrary.  

Yesterday was one of those days.  A friend of mine (Hi Jen!) said that I should think of it as having a Cambodia day.  And, admittedly, it was and yet it wasn’t.  It was a Cambodia day in that all my frustrations were pitted because of cultural imbalances and misunderstandings.  Language barriers certainly didn’t help either.  And if I were in another country I could blame it on them. Or if I were home, I could have blamed it on the company—well, really, if I were at home I could have asked to talked to the manager and demanded to have my situation fixed immediately.  Maybe this is really where the problem lies—I am used to being able to have things fixed NOW or at least be compensated if they aren’t.

This might make more sense if I tell you the story. 

I do not have a plane ticket home yet. I do, however, have tons of reservations.  I have settled on one leaving on the 11th with Eva Air.  I talked to the travel agent and clarified that it would be fine if I paid on Monday and got the ticket issued then. Monday morning I called to request the ticket and give directions to my office.  Travel Agent (TA) called back and said the price has gone up 45 USD.  Annoying.  I agree.  One hour later she calls back and says they cannot issue the ticket because I only have 1 hour and 45 minutes in LA airport and that I need 2 hours. This leads to the obvious question: well, why did you give me this booking then.

Hours pass. Multiple phone calls are made to Eva Air, TA, and a different travel agency (TA2). Nothing is resolved. 

I keep my cool. I tell them that I am “very dissatisfied”. Nothing happens.  I am told to give them time.  They never call back. Not once. My cool is lessened as I worry that I will be stranded here forever. I briefly consider a ticket that has me flying Phnom Penh, Taipei, LA, DC, St. Louis—until I find out that it will be 300 USD more expensive.

The day ends with no resolution.  I am flustered at best. 

Jen invites me over for dinner.  I stop by to pick up Indian on the way.  She orders from a deli as well. My moto tries to over charge me.  I needed good karma.  I still need good plane karma (if you have any, send it my way please!). I give him 2500 riel for what should have been a 2000 trip maximum.  He complains; wants a dollar (4000 riel). I can’t even argue I am so annoyed.  I walk away.

The deli delivers the food but forgets the drinks.  Jen lives up 4 flights of steps; the delivery man agrees to bring the drinks up the steps and Jen shows him with flight to use.  The deli, in its infinite wisdom, sends a different delivery person who never manages to find the steps.  I call several times. I shout down the stairwell in Khmer.  

Its just going to be one of those days.  Nothing goes right. Little makes sense. Much would have been simpler if it had just been done right the first time. I am left here. Lost in the chaos, wanting to scream, but knowing that culturally it would be completely inappropriate to do so.

Here is for hoping that tomorrow I get plane tickets…


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