Yesterday (the seventeenth), after much wheedling, cajoling, begging, shoving, pushing, and pulling (okay, not really), I finally convinced my belongings to fit back into my suitcase to return home to the United States. I organized my clothes, packed a couple of sandwiches for the plane, got out my passport, and was ready to go around eleven-thirty at night (I shall from now on use punctuated twenty-four hour time, more commonly known as “military time”, to prevent confusion and save you from the ever-redundant “at night”s and “in the morning”s).
We arrived at the airport a few minutes after midnight (the eighteenth), ready to send me on my way. The airport has a funny way of doing things–they only let you into the building if you have a passport that matches you (or other accepted photo ID) and an itinerary sheet or other proof from an airline that you actually have business in the airport and aren’t planning to stowaway on a flight or bomb the airport (although I suppose you could do either of those even if you did have a ticket…but now I digress). The man guarding the gate and checking tickets promptly informed us that we were a day early. We dismissed it as another case of English-as-a-second-language mis-translation, and reassured him that no, indeed, my flight was today. He then reassured us that no, my flight was most certainly tomorrow (the nineteenth). Guess who won the argument. We thus returned to the car and went back to the house, rather alarmed at our own negligence. Seriously, none of us caught the mistake, even up until we got to the airport, and then it took the poor guard to inform us of our error?
There is a (quasi-)logical explanation, though, I promise. My friend’s (Hannah’s–the one with whom I am staying) birthday is the nineteenth. My flight is on her birthday, but at 2.00, so effectively, I would have to leave the house at 23.30 on the eighteenth–the day before her birthday. Our thought process, therefore, was that I was to fly out the day before her birthday, but leave the house two days prior–thus I would be leaving the house at 23.30 on the seventeenth, and flying out at 2.00 in the morning on the eighteenth, rather than leaving the house on the eighteenth and flying out on the nineteenth. Ergo, we arrived at the airport a full twenty-four hours too early.
But it’s better than being twenty-four hours late.
Postscript[um]: There was an advantage to all of this confusion–I ended up with an extra, unplanned day, so I went to visit the school at which the kids attend.