Au pair life: how coronavirus changed my plans (part 3)
In the first part of my blogs based on a true story another host family kicked me out. Literally. In the second part I told you how I packed all my stuff within 30 minutes and why I was excited about my volunteering for American Red Cross. Today we will go through days when I finally emotionally resigned and didn´t give a sh*t anymore.
March 20th 2020
This was the first day when my mental health survived collapse only once – after I found out that my flight was canceled for real. My agency assured me that they were working on getting me a new itinerary. By the end of a day I got it: straight flight on Monday from San Francisco to Frankfurt, Germany. What happens next, like how was I supposed to get to Bratislava, Slovakia, no one told me. I came to a conclusion that if Au Pair in America was looking for someone to their team on Travel Department, I will apply for sure since I have a feeling that those people don´t know much about European geography… I was also asking my LCC where was I supposed to stay overnight from Sunday to Monday because my friends had to leave the town. I got my answer on the following day in the morning…
March 21st 2020
Today I got some useful information. For example in the morning LCC told me: “It´s weekend, office of Au Pair in America doesn´t work these days so we´ll get back to your case on Monday and go through all the details about your way home.” I felt so much better after knowing this. Day with good news continued: I got an answer to my question about my accommodation from Sunday to Monday. LCC told me to go to the airport and sleep there. She said that the agency is not going to pay for my accommodation and I should consider this as a consequence for my behavior. Let´s make something clear: I was in the US through the agency that is supposed to take care of me under any circumstances (I paid for it before I left). Instead of that I get information to spend over 30 hours at the airport in the middle of coronavirus pandemics which is one of the “safest” places at this moment and I should be grateful to the agency to dealing with my case and helping me to make it home. Because there was also another au pair in the same situation as I was but since it was her first year in the US no one was helping her and she had to deal with hers situation on her own and pay everything by herself. I felt even better. I tried to call to the U.S. Department of State but they just told me that I could have gone to the homeless shelter (but if I decide to go there, I should come early in the morning since beds are taking pretty fast over there 😉 ). Since I really didn´t want to spend a night with homeless people, I booked the cheapest airport hotel with the airport shuttle where I moved on Sunday morning. I spent the rest of the day by calling with my family trying to figure out how to come to Bratislava from Frankfurt. By the evening this chapter was solved. I will take a train from Frankfurt to Vienna where I will change the trains and go to the Vienna airport where I will catch a third train that goes to Wolfstahl, Austria. From there I will either take a cab that takes me to Austrian-Slovakian borders or I will walk for about an hour (almost for 3 miles) on a cycle route to the borders. And I was starting getting excited for my not road trip, but one-way trip.
March 22nd 2020
It was 9:45am and I was sitting on a bench in front if the Travelodge hotel. When I came to the reception they told me that check in is at 3pm and so I had to wait. Without wifi or water, my only cheer up was a nice Californian weather because if I was somewhere in the middle of Chicago streets, I´d probably turned into an icicle. Around the lunchtime I started walking around the bench and I was watching hotel guests and their kids who were fearless splashing their feet in the hotel pool. No words needed for this. Around 1pm Mrs. from the reception was passing me and I asked her if there was any chance to make early check in. She said that as soon as my room gets done, she will let me know. One hour and about 50 loops walked around my bench later (we should make those 10 000 steps a day right?) she came to me saying she was having a room for me. And I didn´t hear anything new from my agency today which was just great.