The Twist: A vacation mishap

The inevitable consequences of not listening


Maya Palavali

The state of California has many environments, ranging from beaches to deserts. The Sidekick staff cartoonist Maya Palavali explains the lesson she learned about Palm Springs, Calif.

Maya Palavali, Staff Cartoonist

Yawning and stretching my limbs, I sleepily pulled my carry-on suitcase onto the jet bridge leading to the airport gate. Immediately, the sun blinded my eyes and a brush of wind tousled my hair.

I donned my red tinted migraine glasses and joined my family. As we walked toward baggage claim, I was able to make out the unmistakable spikes of a cactus a few feet away.

Cactus? No, that could not be. Why would there be cacti at a beach? Was I hallucinating? Was it the cookie they gave us on the plane? Darn you, Biscoff, and your irresistible charm.

My family made a pitstop for my parents to use the restroom. Seconds after they left, I dragged my brother around to cure my boredom. Strolling down the terminal filled with a pleasant breeze, I began to relax. Now this is what I signed up for: a calm, peaceful beach area.

Opening my eyes, I felt thirsty. I tilted my head to see if there was an airport convenience store. I stopped in my tracks and my jaw dropped.

I found the store I was looking for, but at what cost?

My brother did not notice I had stopped until I was a few feet away. Turning around, he walked toward me, confused. I pointed to the sign looming over us. The name was written in capitalized burnt orange: “DESERT MARKETPLACE.”

My brother turned to me. I gestured to the sign more passionately, unable to formulate sentences. He just blinked at me. I turned my head from him to the sign until I got dizzy.

“Rohan, the sign says desert marketplace,” I said.

“And…?” my brother responded.

My brain was entering overdrive. The little people that work in my head were trying their best to make sense of the situation, but they could not handle it.

It was a couple of minutes later when I realized I zoned out and stopped replying. He was looking at me expectantly. I had to say something, to get to the bottom of this mystery. I had to be quick, smooth and subtle.

“We’re in Palm Springs though, right?”

“Yeah… we are,” he replied.

So, I was correct about our whereabouts. Then why would the sign mention desert?

“Then why does the sign include the word desert?”

I patted myself on the back for the eloquent question I asked. I was quite the detective.

“Because, we are in a desert…” Rohan said.

The world stopped. Everything stood in place as I comprehended his words, my reality. But, how could it be? The name is literally Palm Springs. Palm. Springs. The definition of the beach.

“Wait,” Rohan said. “Did you not know Palm Springs was in the desert?”

I shook my head. At the single gesture, he began to laugh. He was laughing at me. No. It had to be a mistake.

I expected a beach vacation and prepared for it. Suddenly, it was a desert?

My mother came back from the restroom and I turned to her, grateful for her arrival.

“Are we in the desert?” I blurted out as she walked back.

She looked at me with the same confused expression Rohan wore.

“Yeah…” mom said.

I bet Rohan texted her while she was gone to catch her up. I needed to talk to the source himself.

We waited for a bit for my father to come back. When he returned, I asked the same question.

“Of course,” he said. “We talked about this in the beginning.”

Wait… we did? I thought back to all the conversations we had as a family and did not come up with any information leading up. I told all of them and they sighed simultaneously.

“Remember? During Thanksgiving break when we went out to eat? We all discussed our plans for the break,” dad said. “We agreed to go to Palm Springs to see the outdoor sites.”

I thought back to that night. Instead of paying attention, I was thinking about which I would rather be slapped by: a baguette or a bag of tortillas (I chose baguette.)

I looked back up guiltily.

“You never knew,” Rohan said.

I shook my head.

After a beat of silence, we headed toward the car rental area as I mourned the death of my previous thought process. The pain of losing what could have been wasn’t bad; it was the humiliation of being incredibly wrong.

So know this: Palm Springs, Calif. is a DESERT.

Did you hear me? A DESERT.

A side note: I really did enjoy the trip after I got over my embarrassment.

Follow Maya (@mvpalovalley) and @CHSCampusNews on Twitter.