We left off where I was asking the girlfriend about a cheap place I could stay. Staying in a cheap place in Mumbai, India, after midnight, as a young woman and alone, is NOT a good idea. But I had no other option.
Then she said that I could stay with them. Thank God. She literally had just met me but she said that she had a roommate but they could ask him to go stay with another friend for the night, just so that I could use his room. Who does that?
Their place was tiny and with no sofas, so I couldn’t just crash on their couch or something like that. I couldn’t believe that she would ask her roommate to go somewhere else at 1am , oh and by the way, ask him to leave his laptop. He did.
I slept in his room, a guy’s room I never met, on a bed that consisted of the thinnest mattress in the world and some sheets on top. Indian style. I was immensely grateful and I swear it was God doing all of it for me. I was able to take a hot bucket shower, use the laptop to let Josh know the update, as well as email my dad for help.
I hydrated through the night, didn’t sleep much but woke up to refresh with another bucket shower.
The next day we all headed to the nearby cyber cafe to find the address to the airline office and to try to see if my dad could help me from Mexico to get a flight for that night. After this, the girlfriend said they were going to spend the day out and gave me her address on a piece of paper so that I could tell any rickshaw to take me there if I went anywhere. I wasn’t expecting to be left alone all day, alone in this giant city, with very little money, no phone, and no flight back home. I think I would’ve been okay, but I definitely preferred the company. I can’t trust my sense of direction.
They left me there in the cyber cafe.
About 2 minutes later they came back and asked me to join them.Thank God. I don’t know what changed their mind. I was so relieved.
We attempted to find the airline office to fix our problem. We drove around in a rickshaw looking for the place, but addresses in India don’t mean much. We never found it. Instead, we went to have lunch at a cafe. Before we ordered I asked the girlfriend if I could borrow her phone to call the number they gave us at the airport. I walked through the other side of the glass door and suddenly I was at a department store in a mall and the cafe was connected to it. I don’t know how long I talked for, but many phone calls later, back and forth with my dad and the airline, I was able to get a flight that night, with a flight change fee, which my dad paid.
It was hard to ask him for financial help because he recently (about a year before) had cut me off financially completely because of disapproval of some decisions I made (dropping off college and moving to another country to be with some guy.) But he didn’t even hesitate to help.
It must have been at least an hour of calls. I came back to join them and they had already ordered and finished their food and drinks. They told me that I should order something and they would wait with me. Thank you, God, for their kindness.
I asked the girl to check the credit balance of her phone so that I could pay her for my calls. (In India prepaid phones are most common.) She did, and I paid her almost all the money I had left.
We proceeded to walk across the street to another mall with a movie theater. They bought me a ticket to watch a 3 hour Bollywood movie in Hindi with no subtitles and with intermission. Regardless, I actually quite enjoyed it and I got to buy them some ice cream during intermission with the little money I had left. Thank you, God for the fun and distraction.
We went back to their apartment, took a final shower, and I decided to walk to the cyber cafe by myself to print my tickets and failed to do so. On my way back, I got stupidly lost. Did I mention I have the worst sense of direction? I was able to find the buildings but I could not remember which apartment/door/floor they were in. Every time, I had arrived with them and just automatically followed them, and wrongly, hadn’t paid much attention. I went up and down the stairs trying to figure out which one it was. I was about to start knocking on doors when finally somehow I figured it out.
They were ready to head to the airport. I gathered my luggage, and all three of us went to grab a rickshaw. We couldn’t all fit in one with the luggage so they told me to leave on the first one, and they took a separate one. We planned to meet up at the entrance of the airport so I didn’t say goodbye or thanked her. Something I still regret because I never saw her again.
When I tried to enter the airport, I was asked for my itinerary/tickets. I had the one from last night and showed it to them. They said: “this is from yesterday.” “Yeah, I missed my flight yesterday.” They wouldn’t let me in because my darn itinerary was dated the day before. Finally, they decided to call someone from the airline. Someone from the crew came out with a handheld machine and checked my name. He found me in the system and allowed me to come inside the airport. Just ridiculous. Talk about strict security.
I saw the Mexican guy at the check-in counters. We hung out until boarding. Somehow he ended up paying quite a bit more than myself for the flight change. I had a few rupees left which I used to buy some tea and I gave the rest to him because I wasn’t going to use them up. He bought a bar of dark chocolate with it to share with me. If you know me, I am obsessed with dark chocolate. The random kindness kept coming. It also seemed totally tailored to me, if that’s possible.
Nothing weird happened during the flight. I saw him again in a nearby line at customs in the US. He asked me how my flight was. I also told him that they usually call me into the customs office. I was right before him. The customs officer decided to not let me through and to detain me and take me to the customs office. I looked back to look at the guy with a look of: “I told you. Bye, and thank you for everything.”
I never saw him again. I even looked him up online so that I could email him to thank him and his girlfriend. I couldn’t find him at all, and I am really good at googling. They both became my mysterious Mexican angels that God sent to help me.
But guess what? The crazy story doesn’t end there. Oh no, it gets crazier.
When they finally called my name at the customs office to approach the counters, the customs officer decided that he wasn’t happy with my several long [legal] visits to the US and he gave me two weeks to leave the country and a warning that the next time I came to the US it had to be on a different kind of visa (e.g. work, study).
Just the cherry on top to this wonderful sundae of a story.
If from the cliffhanger of part 1, you were expecting a crazier story involving possibly sexual abuse, passing out, maybe some kidnapping, I apologize for disappointing you. I guess it wasn’t THAT crazy. The crazy part for me, really, is how these people appeared to make my life easier and the coincidences and the odds of it, and I truly believe it was God who sent them.