Coronavirus, Cancelled Flights and the Appearing of an Angel
By: Deji Yesufu
I was billed to leave Germany on Saturday morning. Our flight with Turkish Airlines was to leave Germany at 6:55am. By 6:30am there was nobody in sight at the Turkish Airlines boarding corner of the Airport.
“What’s happening”, was the expression written on everyone’s face.
A few minutes later, the people to check us in announced: Turkey has barred all foreigners from coming into their country and this would include those of us transiting through the country.
“What happened?” We asked.
This announcement was also coinciding with Donald Trump’s speech that had barred most Europeans from entering the USA.
We were told that their plane could only carry their own nationals. The rest of us were on our own.
A lady beside me was already in tears. Me? Confused. How do I continue in this horrendous cold of Germany? What do I eat; where will one sleep; and most importantly, how does one return to Nigeria? Those were the questions on my mind when I approached one of the guys by the ticket counter and asked… He referred me to Turkish Airlines enquires desk.
By the time I got there, the place was filled with people. Everyone was asking the same question: how do we leave Germany?
At first we were told we would be refunded our monies. But, thankfully, there was another policy somersault: we would all be placed in different airlines back to our destinations – I got Airfrance. That’s the good news, which should always come first. The bad news: the earliest flight I could get was Sunday, 6am. I must wait out another 24 hours in Berlin!
My colleague was already feeling unwell. We would discover later that the cold had gotten into his chest and another two hours outside would have been sure pneumonia.
My head started to work. I remembered that I had put out a post on Facebook talking about my visit to Berlin. One person, only one o, got in touch with me privately, saying that he lives in Berlin and it would be a pleasure to meet me. That my writing inspires him. His name: Taiwo Arowoyele. I sent him a PM saying in short: “Help!”
He sent us an address not too from the airport, and in a few minutes we where in this God-sent man’s living room, sipping hot tea. My colleague drank four cups before he could recover himself.
Taiwo Arowoyele is a Nigerian living in Berlin and having trained as a Social Worker in Lithuania, he returned to Berlin to work. He also does some business by the side. Taiwo is not wealthy but he has heart large enough to share.
Taiwo settles us into a room and gave us out first and only taste of rice in Berlin. He served it with tough chicken and some good “shaki”. We just kept saying thank you.
Later in the day, Taiwo took us out to see downtown Berlin. We took the subway, branched at an eatery to munch on chips and chicken, and then we went around the city center taking pictures. It was fun. And the disappointment of the cancelled flight soon faded away. In fact I was thankful for missing that flight. For then I might not have met this angel.
Early Sunday morning, Taiwo called a taxi for us and we got to the airport early enough to meet our flight.
Taiwo had begun to follow my writing on Facebook after watching my video on tithing (it appears to me that a lot more Nigerians abroad saw that video). It is the same time Taiwo that God sent as help to us. Those of you who vilify Facebook – see how it has helped me �. As I type this, I am in Paris awaiting my transit flight to Lagos.
This is what Coronavirus has done to us o… but with this disappointment came a blessing. I return to Nigeria by the grace of God to a sure two weeks quarantine.
@ Deji Yesufu
[…] is super organized. The transportation system might be about the best in the world. My friend Taiwo, who rescued me from the cold later in the week, explained that one could buy bus tickets for 60 euroes which would permit you to take the train […]