Saturday, November 26, 2005

Flight not fight!

Title borrowed from my friend John's brilliant painting...Sorry and thanks John, but I think it fits perfectly!

God! You know how it is… you go on holiday, you have a great time, you think you’re all refreshed then you start your trip back home, and then something happens to ruin your fun…!

I woke up since 7 am this morning. I had already packed, I went down for a massive breakfast and I came back to my room to finish packing. Plenty of time and fully relaxed.

I checked out and the shuttle bus was not only on time, but also five minutes earlier.
It took me to the airport and I checked in, all was alright, plenty of time, lalala and I had a cup of coffee, read my book, watched planes taking off and landing.

My flight was at 1.30 and boarding time was at 12.45, so at about 12.30 I started taking the long conveyor belts to my gate, number D46.
I arrived at my gate at 12.55 and tried to get in. There was no way in.
I looked around, there were KLM staff inside and other passengers too, but no door, passage or anything to go inside.
I went round twice, still couldn’t find anything.
So I knocked with my ring at the glass window, until finally one of the two ladies from KLM looked at me. I started shouting “how can I come in?” and she mimed back that she didn’t understand. I said “flight to London?” she still mimed.
Finally, she stood up and came closer to the glass. Still behind the glass, we had the following dialog:
- Where are you going?
- London
- Yes, this is the flight to London, at 15.55
- No I’m flying at 13.30
- This is 15.55, we are not open yet
- But my boarding pass says flight to London boarding from gate D46
- Yes, this is the flight to London
- At 13.30?
- At 15.55
- My flight is at 13.30 though
- Pass me your boarding pass through that tiny gap between the two doors and pray that I don’t lose it…
- There you go, please don’t lose it
So she takes the ticket, goes to her desk and then comes back with a pen. She puts my boarding pass against the window and writes something on it.

- There, your flight leaves from gate D29 now, there’s been a change…
- Thanks a bunch lady, now you tell me.

This is a plan I downloaded from
Schiphol airport.
The drawing of the confused
lady is not
in proportion of course...

I had to run. I had less than 20 minutes left. The first sign I saw was GATES D10-31 and it wasn’t very encouraging. I started running on the conveyors carrying my suitcase and feeling out of breath. The next sign was GATES 16-31 and that meant I was still far away. Again run, run, run my hand carrying the suitcase was numb and my back was killing me.
Finally I saw a sign GATES 25-31 and I jumped on the last conveyor belt. It took me 15 minutes to reach gate D29 from D46 and I had just 5 minutes left for the security checks.

And, by Murphy’s law, they asked me to take the laptop out of the suitcase. But I had it tucked away neatly in a bag, in the middle of the suitcase...
My slippers, underwear, books, pyjamas, gifts, tulip bulbs, everything was laid in full view…
At long last I repacked and they let me go in.

As I went on the plane, I realised I was given a seat in the middle of the three.
My mistake for not asking for a window seat…
So as soon as I saw my seat I started swearing, in Greek, loudly. I sat down after having to struggle to put my suitcase and coat on the overhead locker and to almost punch a guy who wanted to put his backpack ON TOP OF MY NEW COAT, I opened my bag and took my Greek book out.
“Don’t talk to me, don’t look at me, don’t effing f**k with me” I thought and disappeared behind my book.
When they served us our delicious cheese sandwich the lady next to me asked me:
- Where are you from?
- Greece, but I live in London
- My husband is Greek. Ζεις πολύν καιρό στην Αγγλία; How long have you lived in England – in fluent Greek!!!! Which means she got all the Greek sweary words... God, what else?

Well the usual announcements:
"Hello, this is your captain speaking, we are approaching London (thank God!). The weather is windy and rainy and prepare to get soaked!"


Not only that, but instead of this

we got this.....
This is supposed to be Heathrow, the worlds busiest and most modern airport, with all mod cons and I am suddenly at the Athens airport of mid-70s...

So I have to come down the staircase, under the rainy, windy weather while carrying three bags...

I thought my travel trouble would be over as soon as I would exit Heathrow... Silly, naive me...There's even more, but the story is already too long.

Eventually I got home at about 6pm, and found the Basement Jam ticket waiting for me in my mailbox!!!!

All's well that ends well, don't you think?


Mark T said...

Hi Marietta, you do post some nice stories. You take a lot of time compiling by the looks of it and it is woth it. Sounds like a bit of a nightmare journey home. But at least you are home and have your Basement Jam tickets. Hopefully ours will arrive tomorrow. So you've done Amsterdam, where next? We saw The Vibrants last night, see my Blog for the story. Well I must go as I have not blogged for a couple of days so I have some catching up to do. Take care. Mark

PTfan said...

Dang woman. I'm getting stressed just reading about it!

BallerinaGurl said...

OMG you had me laughing so hard! This is such the thing that happens to me! I swear we will NOT travel together for a while...ok maybe short while but lets just say WE ARE DOOMED! LOL glad you got home safe! I SOOOOOOOOO hate middle seats! lol Last flight I took was First Class Thank Goodness! But can't always have what you want!

Kid Ric said...

Glad you made it home all in one piece.

Isn't that the way all large air ports work? It's been my experience anyway. Got to love the excitement of it all. What else in the world can offer that much of an emotional and physical strain all at one time. Makes getting home and kicking back take on a whole new meaning.

Peace, love and flight, I mean light, to you and yours.