Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Professor Yasha saved our Bacon

After 40 years of life experience: I can tell you for sure that it is impossible to know people well until you witness both their character and caliber in a tough situation. This blog is dedicated to one such professor who helped a fellow student and me when we were stuck in a foreign airport due to a reason that was frankly beyond anyone's control. 

On March 2016 the government of Canada decided that folks flying into Canada from certain countries will need an additional VISA in addition to their existing documentation. Off course they did not do a great job advertising this fact and as a result Sumi & I found ourselves stuck in Marco Polo airport in Venice; unable to board our flight even though the damn thing was over 2 hours late.

Both of us are seasoned travelers and have been in and out of the country countless times. Additionally, we both understand government bureaucracy all too well and given the nature of the document we were missing, we sort of know that we would not make it on that flight. It's that feeling you calmness one gets when one gives in to the hopelessness of a situation. Add to this the fact that I needed to out of Europe by midnight on the same day or incur a VISA violation. Something that stays on the record forever. Quote a messed up situation for me and as for Sumi, I won't say what her ordeal was. Yasha almost made this tragic experience fun with his humor and optimism. 

He was able to use his extensive knowledge of international travel to bring us to the correct airline, then ask them exactly the right questions and before we knew it, we had return tickets back to NYC and I was no longer in danger of an imminent VISA violation. It was interesting how the mood changed once our tickets had been confirmed. It felt like we had earned one extra day of vacation. Even though it meant 6-hour layover in Venice, 8-hour layover in Turkey (where the air conditioning does not work) and ending up in JFK from where we had no bus waiting to bring us back to Albany. 

On top of everything else he bought us lunch and send us off with his famous 'izzok you will survive' speech. At the end of the day, it all worked out and we got back in time to go to work on Monday. 





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1 comment:

Bridget McGivern said...

Professor Yasha was a big help in another small emergency on our departure day. He is a good man to have around in a pinch! Thanks again, Yasha.