So the last Colombian update was five days ago, when I had an email telling me my itinerary. The itinerary detailed my time of arrival in Armenia, Colombia, but not my time of departure from [unknown airport], London, or its intermediate, connecting legs. Everything is still to be confirmed. Since then I've sent three emails back, starting with delight and then sliding increasingly towards anxious.
I found a likely route on a travel website that, based on the arrival time, might detail my flights. At the time of writing it is 2.00pm on Monday, and I might be leaving for Colombia from Heathrow at 6.15am the day after tomorrow. That's in 40 of your most panic-filled hours.
I know that, unlike here, time is more of a guideline than a rule in Latin America - I'm half Ecuadorian: trust me on this sweeping generalisation (not for nothing is the Spanish verb 'to wait' the same as the verb 'to hope') - but surely this is pushing it a bit. At what point can I stop putting it down to the laid-back attitude and start putting it down the wheels having come off?
For the sake of sanity, I should probably give up and assume I'm going nowhere, but for the sake of professionalism I should continue working on the presentation I'm supposed to give and the workshop I'm supposed to deliver. As long as I might still be going, I should make arrangements to get to the airport, find someone to look after the cat and the tortoise, get up to date on my jabs, find a place I can change some currency at the last minute, set up my phone for use abroad, get all my laundry done and all those other crappy little tasks that need doing before going away.
Oh, the adventures in uncertainty. I'm finding it very hard to keep the hysteria from my voice. Even my emails have taken on a frantic edge. In an effort to calm down I've ordered my thoughts into a [not especially] reassuring list -
Reasons why this might not be happening:
I don't have any confirmation of flights.
I don't have any confirmation of hotels.
The British Council, who'd be funding my travel, have not been in touch.
No one has contacted me in 5 days even though time is definitely not on our side.
I'm mentioned nowhere on the festival website.
Reasons why this might be happening:
Well, it sounded like it was happening last Wednesday.
To be continued…
SONG du JOUR
Theme from NORTH BY NORTHWEST by Bernard Herrmann
This is what the inside of my head sounds like right now. In fact, it sounds like the entire catalogue of Bernard Herrmann themes played simultaneously.