Upon arrival I was directed through airport security and passport check station before I was allowed to enter the baggage claim area. It never occurred to me that because I had to run to catch my flight to Casablanca there was a good chance my bag had not been so lucky. I waited for more than an hour at the claim area before reporting my luggage lost/stolen.
I decided to take control and do something I am good at, something that I could take pride in. I was going to successfully locate and use the airport’s restroom. I eventually found a men’s room sub–divided into tiny private rooms slightly larger than the toilet they housed. I was pleased that though I was in Africa I was able to avoid the use of a squat toilet and banana leaves. Yes sir, first class all the way for me. I began to feel relieved about my situation and truly believed that things were looking up when I went to leave and discovered the door handle spun freely.
I had almost missed my flight to Africa, I had lost my luggage, and now I was locked in a Moroccan bathroom. Only the crushing feeling of waking to a bathroom accident has left me as upset, confused, and embarassed. I sat down and collected my thoughts. I needed a little heart– to–heart with myself and to think of the day I would laugh about this. I am sure one day I will not be embarrassed that I knocked on that bathroom door for 20 minutes before someone finally let me out. Maybe a hole in the ground with a pile of leaves might not be such a terrible thing next time I need to conduct a little international business.
With my remaining 12 hours I knew it would be best not to take any chances that might lead to further disaster. I found my way to the check–in area of the airport and tried to entertain myself until it got close to my flight’s departure time. Not only was I afraid to leave the airport and travel into the city, but I was also too afraid to pass through check–in security. By 8:30 pm I had covered every square inch of the airport I could and memorized the exact distances to and from every location. I can honestly say I have experienced what Purgatory is like. Dissatisfied with my day spent in nothingness I chose to take a leap of faith and pass through check–in security
If only I had known that on the other side of all the scanners, metal detectors, and men with machine guns there was shopping, internet, television, and even a food court. There was entertainment and fun, and people who spoke English. I had suffered for 12 hours in an uncomfortable waiting room when I was less than 100 yards away from happiness and fun. I boarded my flight convinced that if I had experienced so many problems simply trying to arrive in Guinea, I would more than likely not survive my stay.