I write about running, and some other things, it's all a part of the adventure!

Guide to negotiating in extreme circumstances

What do you do when you don’t have your luggage and are about to set off on a 6 day trip up Mt. Kilimanjaro? You go to a local store and by as many pairs of plain cotton underwear as they can sell you … in this case, that was three … between me and my sister. Well, I’ll be honest, the lady did try selling me some fancy, laced up contraption that strangely reminded me of an old-fashioned umbrella, you know, the kind used to prevent aristocratic melanin from marring the visage. Needless to say, climbing in a sweaty lace diaper was less than appealing, so I passed. We could make do

with three … maybe.

At this point we were getting desperate. My father essentially camped out at Kilimanjaro airport, and I parked myself by the Mountain Inn’s lone phone, calling repeatedly between Precision Air, Turkish Air, Kenyan Air, and SwissPort. We had already postponed the climb by one day, pushing it back any more was not an option. The sheer mental preparation required to sleep in a rented sleeping bag was enough to exhaust me, but I clung on with the slight hope that some miracle would deliver the bags within the next 16 hours.

Around 6pm Moshi time I left the dinner table to attempt another call. This time to Kenyan Air. I got a lady on the phone, a new voice I hadn’t heard before. I don’t know what prompted me to do what I did next, but a combination of desperation mingled with sweaty clothing, heat, and altitude fueled me to burst into a wail on the phone. The alarmed lady asked me what was wrong, and I plunged into a tale of how the bags contained a vital medication for my ill father, and that without it he would surely perish. I added that we had been waiting three days for the bags, and that I had no other option but to plead my sob story in the hopes that her kindness and generosity would encourage her to seek out our bags and send them on the next flight.

This plea touched something in her, and she explained how the bags had arrived on the next flight from Istanbul to Nairobi (the one after our flight) and had been delivered to Kenyan Air by Turkish Air, but had not been actually placed on the flight from Nairobi to Kilimanjaro despite our numerous requests to place the bags on the flight.

Although enraged at hearing about this miscommunication and simple negligence on their part, I maintained my morose demeanor and begged her to personally place the bags on the next flight, which she agreed to do. Within the next three hours we got a call at the hotel from my father at Kilimanjaro airport saying that the bags had finally arrived.hat the bags had been delivered by Turkish Air to Kenyan Air. However the Turkish Air official had not confirmed that the bags had actually been placed on the flight to Kilimanjaro from Nairobi, and had rather just left them in the care of Kenyan Air despite our numerous requests for the bags to be sent to us.

A car pulled up at the Mountain Inn 5 hours later to raucous cheering and cat-calling (I’ll credit the cat-calling to Aishwarya). First stop: shower.


2 responses

  1. Hi Anarghya. Your writing makes an absorbing reading. Story telling at its best. Looking forward to full narration

    January 17, 2012 at 10:31 am

  2. Pingback: Reaching for the past « cantstoprunningdotcom

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