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  • Flora Le

False Start

Updated: Feb 14



I tried to go to Vietnam today but I didn't make it. My plane left without me this morning.


Yet, I had planned everything. At 3am, I was on my way to the airport. After receiving my boarding pass for my first stopover in Chicago, I headed to U.S. security, which I went through without a hitch. I was reassured that the worst was over.


As I entered the terminal, a delirium overtook me. The very fact that I had managed to organize this trip was an accomplishment. This was a great day for me. As I proudly walked to my gate, the song Eye of the Tiger played in my head.


The boarding process began. The girl at the counter handed me my passport and wished me a safe trip. On the plane, I sat next to a very friendly young man. We started talking about our travel plans. I asked him if he lived in Ottawa and he said yes. The flight looked very pleasant.


Then an attendant in a fluorescent vest approached and asked me:


- What's your name?

- Le. Flora Le.

- Come with me, we need to fix your ticket.


I have a moment of confusion. I unbuckle my belt and get up to follow him. He turns around and adds:


- Take your stuff with you.


I walk backwards with him towards the terminal to the boarding counter. The girl who had wished me a good trip earlier is on the phone. She doesn't deign to look at me or explain what's going on. I am standing there, next to the counter and waiting. Confused. But confident.


- There's no way I'm not getting on this flight, I say to myself.


- Everything will work out in the end.


But I don't take any chances. I close my eyes and begin my prayers.


A few minutes later, the young girl hangs up the phone. She tells me:


- You are not in my system. You were scheduled to leave on December 9. I don't have anything in your name for today. I can't let you on the plane. Besides, the flight has already left.


- But I had changed my dates...


Needless to say, this conversation was lost.


There was no trace of my new reservation. I technically didn't have a ticket anymore. Having bought it from an online agency, the only solution, I was told, was to contact them so that they could reissue a new ticket.


Fantastic. I was at the airport, without the agency number, without a cell phone, without Internet, without Canadian currency and without a winter coat.


I had no choice but to go home.


After spending two hours on the phone with the agency and the airline, it was finally confirmed that I was in the system. It was the clerk who had made a mistake. They reissued me a ticket for the next morning.


A few seconds after I cut the line, a huge dizziness came over me. I was stunned by the events that had just happened. I passed out from sleep for several hours. When I came to my senses, lying in bed, I began to search for an explanation.


My friend Amélie gave me the explanation. A similar horror scenario had happened to her during her trip to Tibet. In her case, she had found herself alone in China, without a passport and without luggage.


On the phone, she told me: "When you are about to embark on a major spiritual journey, you are bound to encounter resistance.


one necessarily encounters resistance. To live these experiences fully, you have to surrender to what is greater than you. If you're not ready for that, life will throw situations at you that leave you no choice."


She concluded by telling me:


- Rest assured, these trials are equal to the beauties that await you.


That I was taken off the plane and prevented from going to Vietnam today is absurd.

If not divine. But I learned a lesson from it.


Tomorrow, I will not show up at the airport with drums and trumpets, but with deep humility. Maybe that's what I needed to be ready to go.


And if when I get to Hanoi, my bag is not there, I will look up to the sky and smile.

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