For the first time ever in my life, I was the only Asian passenger on the plane. I felt a little out of place.
Around 12:04am we were close to landing. I looked down from the plane, there were limited and scattered lights among the dark city. They looked like little candles lighting up the way to where I need to go, but getting there was not that easy…
The airport was small and easy to navigate. From the decoration in every corner and glass display, I figured either Missoula’s locals love to hunt, or the local government is trying to boost the taxidermy businesses.
As I am heading out to the airport exit, and looking forward to gently placing my head on some soft pillows, I encountered a major situation – Both my Lyft and Uber apps showed “no service providing in the current location.”
I stood there staring at the flashing clock – 12:20am. While processing the lack of transportation in this area and calculating the possibilities of me having to sleep in this airport, I rushed to the car rental desk hoping for an answer.
“The rental services are closed. However, there are 2 taxi/shuttle services you can call to schedule a ride.”
I got directed to an information board (It is basically a giant yellow page on display). There were 2 black landline phones next to the board to use to call for service. I firmly believe the airport decorator saved them from the early 90s. Amazon is even out of stock!
Now, to understand my struggle here, let me paint you a picture…
A tired and slightly disoriented looking me, standing next to my leopard-print luggage and pink leopard-print neck pillow; right hand dialing the buttons like whack-a-mole, left hand holding the telephone handset, and repeatedly hanging up the phone with rage while giving myself a pep talk.
YAS! I looked exactly like a spoiled city-princess coming down to a rural area hoping to get into her fancy carriage ride, but realized she cannot figure out the basic transportation or how to use a landline!
Before you judge me and question my IQ level. To clarify, I know how to use a phone. All I needed to do was pick up the phone and dial the number. However, I over-analyzed the situation and made it more complicated with “should I dial 9 or * or # first?”
After finally got connected with the Taxi service, I was told the wait time for a ride was 40 min. Apparently, everyone and everyone’s mom decided to fly in to Missoula today. There were high volume of requests because, get this 3 planes were coming in at the same time!! *gasp*
People were leaving left and right. Slowly I became the ONLY person waiting at the airport. As the most impatient person on this planet, I was forced to sit there and go through my Facebook newsfeed over and over again at 1am in the morning like a creep.
I was embracing the fact that I am all alone at an airport. Excuse my singing, believe me it was cringe worthy to watch this myself…
Don’t Be Like Me Tip #1: Before you land at any airport, check out the size of it, whether Lyft or Uber operates in that area, and where is the pick up location. Know when the car rental place closes. If no one is picking you up, reserve a taxi ahead of time.
1:30 am – I arrived at my Airbnb. Since I arrived so late, I wasn’t able to meet my host in person and see the neighborhood in daylight. Add on to that, the room I was staying in had 2 doors. I was not aware of that when I booked the place. All these factors made me feel not completely safe, and so to be extra cautious I decided to use a chair and my suitcase to block the bedroom doors. It might not be fire hazard safe for me, but I figured if an intruder enters the room, I would know. I swear in the middle of the night, I woken up to the sound of some people arguing in the house. I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or something did happen.
Travel Tip: #1. Make sure you have several exchanges with the host before you make the reservation, and looked through all the reviews to see the pros and cons. Try to find hosts with more than 20 reviews and if you can find a superhost, even better.
Travel Tip: #2. Before you book an Airbnb, you wouldn’t get the exact address, but you do know the general area. Go to Google Maps and look at the street view of the neighborhood. If the neighborhood looks like somewhere you are not comfortable with, then don’t book the place. When you cancel a reservation, you will still be charged with service charges. After you book the place, search for street view again to make sure everything looks right and you know what house to look for when you arrive.
Coming up soon – Whats Good at Missoula!