Dumped by my porta in the middle of Doha Airport.
The Aussie para-shooting team, including myself were on a long flight from Australia to Zagreb Croatia for an International Shoot in Osijek. We had to change planes a number of times during a long long long non stop trip. We disembarked after landing in Doha and were ushered off rather quickly so we could catch our connecting flight that was actually waiting on us. Every wheelie team member acquired themselves a porta (its all part of the service) to get us to the other end of the airport to board our next flight. The AB’s (able bodes) all jumped on one of those people vehicles they have in all airports (to save their legs). Meanwhile the whole time we’re speed walking/rolling to catch our next flight with our porta in toe, all our equipment and luggage was being swapped from one plane to the other, so we had a little time but not much really.
I was the last off the plane, picked up by my porta and off we go at a fast pass trying to catch up to the other wheelie. Fortunately for me he knew where he was going, ME … not a clue. So me being me tried to initiate a conversation with my porta ( I talk a lot when I’m nervous) and I was nervous because I couldn’t see any of my team. We travel in our team uniform which attracts loads of people wanting to know what kind of shooting we all do etc. My porta was no different, we chatted about where we were heading and why. I made a comment on how often he had to walk the airport and how it must have been great exercise for him, small talk right. He started to slow the quick speed walking to a casual stroll, it was then that I started to become very concerned, we were falling way behind the others, I caught a glimpse of the last wheelie turning a corner, that’s it… lost sight of them all except Matt. Our team physio, Matt was the only AB with us, the others had been whisked off on the people mover and probably already at the terminal gate sorting out the boarding passes.
Lucky for me Matt still had me in sight, JUST … I was trying to catch his attention, I was trying to hand signal him to stop, hold up and wait for me. Mean time I’m still trying to make conversation with my porta because he’d gone quiet. Alarm bell are going off in my head, my heart rate was gathering speed, I thought I would just jokingly mention how I’ve lost sight of my team mate and how I hoped he knew what gate I need to be at. Then it HAPPENED he spoke again and said “oh look 6 o’clock, I finish now, goodbye, good luck” and that was it …. I got dumped, he just left me in the middle of the airport. His shift was finish and so was he.
Luck was on my side. Like I said before I was hand signalling our physio Matt and luckily he stopped, he waited for me before going around the corner with all the other aussie wheelies. Me, well I’m just sitting there stunned, I had just been left sitting in the middle of this foreign airport, in a foreign wheelchair that I couldn’t wheel it very far on my own and NO PORTA !!! , our physio look back over his shoulder just at that time when my porta walked off. Matt’s face said it all and so did mine, I’m sure of that. Matt’s hand signalling me “WHAT THA” I’m hand signalling him back, buggered if I know …HELP!!! COME GET ME!!!
Thank god for Matt, I was rescued. We made our connecting flight, the plane was waiting on us. It took them a long time to get us all boarded, some of us toileted too because the plane we just boarded didn’t have an on board wheelchair. So we were going to have to hold it for another 6 hours …. pffft … NOT!!! The trip to the toilet is another story for another time.
I can look back now and have a good old belly laugh, it was funny at the time. Tried, hungry and busting to go to the loo, definitely not funny but I really wouldn’t change anything. Yes my porta dumped me but I was rescued by Matt and all was good in the end. Besides I wouldn’t have these little stories to share with you all now would I ???
Remember – Live like there’s no tomorrow, because you never know what might be around the corner.
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