When Putu told us he would be sitting in the airport for almost 12 hours waiting for his flight home to Bali, we came up with a plan to pick him up at the cruise terminal in Baltimore ourselves. The plan was to then drive him to DC where we would see the White House, the Capitol Building, the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and finally the Embassy of Bali. We would have a late lunch, his pick, before heading to Dulles for his 10:00 PM flight.
The ship was due in Baltimore by 8:00 this morning. He was to disembark at 9:00, and wait in the terminal where we would meet him. We could tell he was as excited as we were -- I'd been receiving emails from him at least once a day for the past week as the ship sailed through the Caribbean and then set sail for Baltimore.
He called at 8:30 this morning to tell us he'd see us soon. At 9:00 he called to tell me the port agent said he had to get on the bus to Dulles; we could not pick him up. He asked if I'd speak to the port agent. I said I would and waited as I heard the port agent refusing to speak with me. Putu had his passport and his visa so that wasn't a problem, and he is not a minor. I surmise it could have been a couple of things: an issue of liability and contract. The cruise line might not want to make themselves vulnerable to litigation. Or, it was an issue of the port agent being a jackass. I'm leaning toward the latter as Putu has arranged his own transportation to and from the ship on other occasions.
The good news is that after a year of hard work and missing his family very much, he will soon be on his way home to see his two small children and his lovely wife. Still, it could have been a really wonderful day.