"The first step of a journey is always the hardest."
This idiom holds true for D-Code Bootcamp Silicon Valley. For me, I needed four flights from three different airlines to get from Penang to San Francisco.
Everything went fine until we were at Guang Zhou Baiyun International Airport. First of all, everything that was sold there was at least five times above the usual price. Next, our flight from Guang Zhou to Los Angeles was delayed by two hours, which made all of us extremely demotivated, tired and hungry.
When we finally arrived at Los Angeles, we had about 45 minutes before our next flight. One of the employees of the previous airline that we flew, China Southern Airline, was looking for us, giving out boarding passes for our next flight and an express connection tickets that allowed us to quickly complete the immigration process. Unfortunately, Los Angeles International Airport was a really huge airport, and we had to walk/run quite a distance, stopping once in a while to ask airport staffs to make sure that we were heading the correct way. We had only four minutes when we finally reached Virgin America check-in counter. Not surprisingly, the plane left without us, and the next flight to San Francisco was about nine hours later. We had no choice but to liaise with both China Southern Airline and Virgin America to put us on the next flight, and get a place for us to sleep over the night.
The lady at the Virgin America counter was working really hard to get us tickets to one of the flights the next day. On the other hand, I am not very sure what they did, but it took the employees of China Southern Airline so long to get us hotel rooms and reimbursement that we finished our first American meal while we were waiting to receive our compensation.
It was lucky that Arul and Yew Peh got on the same flight with the rest of us as they were arranged to take the next flight. The flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco offered us the unique Virgin America experience, like their very special safety briefing video, despite the fact that it was a bumpy ride. Just moments after we landed at San Francisco International Airport, we could already see John Valdez from YouNoodle waiting for us. Most of us have met John before during GSY. We were then transferred to the place that we will be staying in for the coming two weeks, that is, the Monroe Residence Club.
Although the whole flight delay and its aftermath was a tiring and stressful incident, I am actually glad that it happened, because I got to experience how it feels like to "run from one end of the airport to the other". In fact, Los Angeles International Airport was so big that the more accurate description is to "run from one building of the airport to another". Also, I would like to thank Heislyc, who was here earlier, for sharing with us all the tips to avoid missing our flight from Los Angeles to San Francisco. Although we did not make it for the original flight, his advice made our lives much easier while we were in Los Angeles.
Ultimately, all that rushing and waiting was an interesting way to start our trip. Now we're looking forward to the great experiences Silicon Valley has for us!