Our First Adventure In 2 1/2 Years – Part 2

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Before we took this trip, my husband and I agreed to continue wearing a mask while around other people. It didn’t matter to us what the test results would be. However, we received the results approximately 2 1/2 hours after being tested. Thankfully, the results came back negative, but I was still nervous about catching the virus. So we continued wearing masks when we were around my family. We even sat separate from them when eating dinner.

We were very happy to see them after not seeing them for so long. However, the fact that we had to wear masks was annoying, but we didn’t see what else we could do. The entire trip was surreal because we were almost the only people wearing a mask wherever we went. Sometimes there were a few people wearing them, but their masks were usually sitting on their chins and not covering their mouths and noses.

The two weeks went by extremely quickly. As soon as we started getting used to the place, we had to leave. The Covid regulations also changed in my native country by the time we were leaving to return to Canada. The regulations in place when we arrived stated that everyone entering or leaving the country had to wear a mask at the airport. But when we were leaving, this requirement was dropped.

The airport was crowded as usual on the day of our departure. In addition, our flight was delayed for approximately 45 minutes. Once we sat down in our seats, we noticed that the plane was only about 80% full. We were happy about that because we had an empty seat next to us. It’s always nice to have a little extra room 🙂 I should add that the conditions in the bathrooms were bad on this flight. In fact, the bathrooms were filthy. It was much worse than on the one leaving Canada, which really disappointed us.

We finally landed in Canada after a 12 hour flight. I was happy to be able to stretch my legs and looked forward to coming home to our apartment. But as we were taxiing to the terminal, we heard an announcement that we had to stay on the plane and couldn’t leave until we received permission. The reason given was that it was too crowded inside the terminal to process all of the arrivals. This meant we had to sit in our seats for another 45 minutes until they let us leave the plane.

We were shocked by how crowded it was when we finally got off the plane. Although there were a lot of check in kiosks, we still had to wait for an available one to make our customs declaration. In addition, there weren’t enough staff to assist travelers who needed help using them, which made everything slower. Up until about 2 years ago, the cabin crews on airplanes would hand out small forms that everyone arriving in Canada had to fill out and hand to a customs officer. We were told this was canceled some time ago because it was taking too long for travelers to clear customs.

It took us close to 25 minutes once we left the plane to arrive at the customs area. It took another 30 minutes to get in line, enter our information, and then finally see an officer. Before we left the area, I noticed an officer put colored stickers on our passports. My husband’s sticker was green and mine was pink.

We didn’t know what this meant at the time but found out a short time later. By that time all we wanted to do was go home, take a shower and have something to eat. Before we could do that, we needed to get our luggage. But there was a problem here too. An airport employee took pieces of luggage off of the carrousel and explained that the luggage from two flights was unloaded on one carrousel by mistake. We had never seen this before.

Fortunately, we didn’t have to search long to find our luggage as we could see them slowly making their way toward us on the conveyor belt. We quickly grabbed them and left the area which was getting crowded with other passengers eagerly waiting to get theirs too.

As we made our way towards the last exit, one of the airport security staff standing there asked that those travelers who had pink stickers on their passports move to a line on the right, while the others can continue towards the exit. And “moi” was one of the “lucky” ones who had a pink sticker. Those of us with the pink stickers didn’t know why we were asked to move off to the right side. A few minutes later we were told we have been randomly chosen to take a PCR test.

Well, at that point my frustration level went through the roof. I felt I needed to take a shower urgently before things started growing on my skin……. Although the procedure didn’t take that long, it had been a very long travel day for us, with delays at every step in the process. Even ordering a taxi to take us home took much longer than it should have as there was a shortage at the airport.

It took us an extra 3 hours but we finally arrived home. Despite all the lengthy delays, we considered ourselves lucky. The situation at Pearson airport went from bad to much worse a week after we landed………..

 

 

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