I have been in west Africa the past several days … I will do a blog on my travels later this week.
After flying 5 hours over night and not sleeping on the flight … I arrived to Lisbon this morning and the customs line was massive.
I can’t even guess how many people were in the line … apparently, 6 flights from Africa all landed around the same time.
So instead of going to the custom line for “other passports” … where American passport holder go, as do the Senegalese, Nigerians, Cape Verdes, Somalian passport holders go as well
I decided to gamble.
I went to the “European passport” line which was a short walk in a different direction and had very few people in the line.
At the time, I have a 12 hour layover in Lisbon … haven’t slept and was dreaming of going to my hotel to sleep.
So I gambled, and I walked up and gave my American passport …
Instantly, the Portugese man told me I was in the wrong line and I had to go back to the other section, I fumbled around trying to get him to bend the rules, but it didnt work.
My stupid gamble now cost me easy 300 new people in front of me because of the new arrival and the sea of Somalians who were rushing into the line.
To be honest, I seriously considered cutting in front of the entire line … but with a sea of African people in front of me, and me being one of the few white guys, I decided it would be disrespectfully foolish.
Like a marshmellow floating in a pool of very dark chocolate…..I waited
As I stood in a line that I cant exaggerate the length … because it was so incredibly long, I tried to imagine how much time my looking for a short cut (going to the euro passport line) had cost me … easily an hour with the plane which just landed from Somalia … and all the passengers who would have been behind me if I had done what I should have done in the first place.
Dead tired, and irritable with myself … I turned my wait into a mental game and spent the time focusing on imagining I was running … a 2 hour run, instead of standing in line for 2+ hours. And I kept trying to focus on staying positive … looking at the experience as another learning experience (i have learned many times already)
Next time you are thinking about gambling …. and taking a short cut, think of this story.
Today, I looked for a short cut … and my searching for a short cut cost me easily an hour of time, not to mention the hassle of annoying myself and the passport controller.