Halloween Chills and Thrills

This Halloween, while everyone I know in Canada was celebrating the annual event by attending parties or going trick-or-treating, I decided to fly to India for vacation. 

My Halloween festivities began 24 hours before I boarded my flight to India and continued for an additional 16 hours. Let me tell you a little bit more about these very thrilling 40 hours of my life and introduce you to five “ghosts” that haunted me!

Ghost #1: The infinite loop of “not enough storage” while installing Catalina, the latest Mac OS update 

24 hours before my flight to India, the night of October 29th, I made the grave mistake of deciding to update my Macbook without backing up my data. So obviously, something had to go wrong! Essentially, I didn’t have enough free space on my Macbook (the Catalina update requires about 20+ GB of free space to run the installation process) which caused the setup to be stuck in an infinite loop of attempting to self-reboot but getting stuck at “not enough storage.” After two hours of Googling and failed attempts at troubleshooting, I decided to call the experts. A 30-minute phone call with John from Apple Customer Support confirmed that there was nothing I could do and I had to take my computer to the Apple store to have it fixed. The earliest appointment John offered me was four days later. Since I was short on time, I decided to just walk-in to the Apple store with my broken computer first thing in the morning. Thankfully, two hours at the store were enough to restore peace and order back into my life and to my Macbook. 

Spooky moments: 

  1. When I thought I was going to lose all my data because the associate at the ‘Genius Bar’ said they would have to reformat my hard disk. 
  2. Packing until 1:30 AM on the day of my flight and still having to pack a few things on the next day, while also worrying if my laptop could be fixed in time.

Ghost #2: The missing USB-C adapter

While I was self-troubleshooting the installation issue, I thought that it might be a good idea to back up the data on an external hard drive by restarting the computer in safe mode. It was then (at 10:30 PM on October 29th.) that I realized I’d lent my adapter to a colleague the day before and hadn’t got it back.  

The ‘Genius Bar’ associate helped me back up the data on my external hard drive but to transfer it back to my computer, I had to go to the office and pick it up.

Spooky moments:

  1. Thinking that I may have actually lost the adapter and may have to buy another one.
  2. Worrying that I won’t have enough time to finish packing.

Ghost #3: Expensive Lyft rides

After getting the computer fixed, I thought my streak of bad luck had ended. Little did I realize that it was instead the beginning of a series of unfortunate events. After I finally managed to finish packing in time, I decided to check the traffic status from my residence to the airport. Typically, Toronto Pearson International Airport is located at a 20-minute drive from where I live. But on that day, Google Maps showed me that it would take about an hour to get to the airport. Weather conditions and time of day weren’t helping either, it was cold and rainy and it was evening rush hour for traffic. Increased demand led to surge pricing and when I would have spent less than $50 on the ride to the airport, I ended up paying close to $100!

Spooky moments:

  1. Fearing that my Lyft driver would cancel the ride after I’d waited for over 10 minutes for him to arrive. 
  2. Panicking that unforeseen circumstances might have me reach the airport just minutes before the close of check-in time.

Ghost #4: Seat 23C on a 15-hour Air Canada flight from YYZ to BOM

Contrary to all my baseless fears, I reached the airport on time. While waiting for boarding to begin, there was an announcement that it was a full flight. And I thought to myself, “Of course! The streak of bad luck continues!” So I finally get on the flight and settle down in my aisle seat – 23C. There was another passenger in 23A but 23B – the middle seat – was empty. I secretly wished that it would stay that way. A few minutes later, an announcement confirmed that boarding was complete. No one had shown up until then so it was clear that this was going to be an empty seat — the only empty seat on an otherwise full flight. Just as I was doing a little happy dance in my mind, airport staff wheeled in an old lady who was supposed to be seated in 23B. She insisted on sitting in 23C (which was my aisle seat) and staff requested me to be accommodating in good faith. And so, I gave up my seat and moved into the middle seat. It was then that I was completely convinced that this flight was Air Canada’s custom-made version of ‘Halloween special!’ 

Spooky moments:

  1. Having slept for only five hours in the past 48 hours, I feared I’d fall asleep at the boarding gate and miss the flight.
  2. Being stuck in the middle seat for 15 hours! I usually pick aisle seats so I can take walks, stretch, and move about every couple of hours. 
  3. Flight food that was only vaguely appetizing.
  4. Dirty washrooms! 

Ghost #5: A sweet-smelling luggage 

Unlike other times when I have to wait forever at the baggage carousel, this time, for a change, my luggage was one of the first ones on the belt. I felt happy thinking that maybe my luck was finally turning around. But no, I got my luggage alright but it was… wet?! At first, I couldn’t tell if it was water or something else. But then soon realized that someone’s perfume bottle (from another bag) had exploded all over my bag. I have no clue how this could have happened but some of it even got inside my bag and now all my belongings reek of that perfume. 

Spooky moment:

The liquid would end up being something foul-smelling and I’d have to burn my belongings to get rid of the stink.

This seemingly long streak of bad luck finally ended when I reached home at midnight and ate a hearty home-cooked meal! Having grown up in India, I’ve never been to a Halloween party before or even gone ‘trick or treating’ but I imagine that none of them would be as horrifying and stressful as the past 40 hours of my life! Hopefully, I will be able to have a fun Halloween experience next year in Canada! 🙂 

Happy Halloween!

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