Archive for February, 2007

How not to go home for Christmas – Part 2

Day 2

After the longest bout of sleeping I can get away with as an interloper in someone’s apartment, I drag myself out of bed with a plan for the day. The Plan: Get dressed from fresh clothing in luggage, dump luggage in locker at Heuston station, head back to the city centre unencumbered and meet Captain Pedantic Pants for lunch at the evil empire, then rendezvous with my darling Cheese for adventures in boozing. It was a good plan. I was quite proud of it. Unfortunately like many plans, it was doomed to failure from the first moments of its inception.

This inevitable doom was soon discovered when I went to retrieve some clean underwear and socks from aforementioned luggage. Which was not locked with my padlock. A singularly odd circumstance, which was soon explained however by the discovery that it was not my luggage. I am not generally prone to blind panic, but I had about 5 minutes worth of internal (and a small amount of external) screaming. All the gifts I had bought, all my clothes, all my clean fucking underwear, was quite clearly not in my posession. I rack my brain for possibilities, convinced that I could not have taken the wrong item at the airport, and I realise that I didn’t, I grabbed the wrong bag from the bus. In my half-asleep, in a hurry, on the phone state, I had reached into the hold and simply grabbed a bag the same size, shape and colour as mine, which was sitting where I had put mine before getting on.

At this point, I realised the following things:

  • I am a fucking idiot.
  • I had completely ignored my own “never make assumptions” rule, and am therefore also a hypocrite.
  • I had no clean underwear.
  • There was an inch long slit in the arse of my trousers.
  • I couldn’t find the key to my own damn luggage.

After a couple of calls to the bus company, I located both my luggage, and the owner of the luggage I was currently in possession of, who was also rather distressed by the situation. I was slightly less than impressed by the fact that my luggage was back at Dublin airport, but the joy of discovering I could retrieve it now far outweighed the inconvenience. So I get dressed in my ripped trousers and used socks, and jump into a taxi, the driver of which indicated that yes, he was ok with having an adventure.

Out to the airport, where I deposited the mystery luggage and re-acquired my own, which was alas locked with the key I no longer had, presumably lost during the previous nights travel. So near and yet so far from a functional pair of trousers. Because of course, the split in the seam of my current pair worsened by the moment as I wore them.

So when I eventually got to google for lunch, avec luggage, sans key, the slit had grown into what could now be described as a rather substantial hole. I have never been more grateful to be wearing a long leather coat. Which I wore all through lunch, for fear of being arrested for indecent exposure, because I could have easily passed a fucking basketball through it at that point. Naturally, my dining partners were appraised of the situation, and highly amused by it, though they failed to come up with a means of opening my luggage when a leatherman couldn’t do the trick.

Back into town to meet Cheese, at which point I sit him down and explain to him that I need either 1) a way to open my luggage or 2) some pants. We agree that the purchase of pants is by far the easiest option, so we get the luas to heuston, dump the lunggage in a locker, and then go to buy trousers and alcohol, both of which we succeed at.

I head to the station about an hour before I have to, buy my ticket early, collect my luggage, and find a nice comfy seat on the train. At which point I reach into my pocket to sort through my change of various currencies, and find the fucking key to my fucking luggage. Fortunately at this point I am too tired to be fully impacted by how annoying this is.

About 5 minutes after the train starts to move I get a call from BigBro, to give me the heads up that he had just spent an extra 2 hours on the express, because a bridge had collapsed somewhere and there was rubble on the track. Resigning myself to never getting home again and forever wandering the roads of ireland with a suitcase full of christmas presents, I was pleasantly surprised when we reached the junction without incident, if a little slowly. All pleasantness soon dissipated however, when the last 30 minutes fo the journey took 2 hours, due to a signal failure about 10 minutes from home.

My sojourn on a motionless train was cheerfully punctuated by frequent phone calls from both the yank and my sister, who was roaring drunk, and I eventually arrived in Limerick at about 2am, at which point she and her (sober) boyfriend came to collect me.

In summary, it took me about me about 32 hours to get to limerick from London, and I spent £76 on flights, £30 on trousers, £40 on taxis and £30 on a train fare. Giving me a grand total of £176, and a total saving on direct flights of about £4.

Rule for happiness no 112: never buy anything just because it is cheap.

How not to go home for Christmas – Part 1

I like to think of myself as a logical person. Occasionally though, I have predilictions which might be a little too strongly held to be rational. One of these is that I detest paying a high fare for flying between London and Ireland, and will go to interesting lengths to avoid this. For example, when booking flights home for christmas I decided, to save money, that I would take a plane to Dublin instead of Shannon, and then take a train from Dublin. I only paid about £70 for the flights, and I would get to see some Dublin inhabitants, so I felt quite satisfied with my idea.

 Day 1

The day before I was supposed to fly, London lived up to a fine longstanding tradition, and coated itself in fog. Major transportation disaster, Heathrow cancels all domestic flights (in which for some reason, they include Dublin), and flights out of Stansted are delayed by hours, about half of them don’t leave at all, and so on. Charming. So I leave work at 5.30 for my 9.30 flight, get to the airport an hour later, check in, and promptly spend about 7 hours in a terminal. My 7 hours of deep boredom and annoyance is peppered with occasional spurts of excitement as we change queues and gates several times, however I end up spending about a tenner on wireless internet to keep myself from falling asleep like the people camping all around me.

Finally, at about 1am, we are getting on the plane. Which sat quietly on a runway for 40 minutes before actually taking off. To be fair, the fog is thicker than I was expecting, you could barely see 15 feet, and were it not for Ryanair’s blatant disregard for human life I probably wouldn’t have made it home at all unless I chose to swim the irish sea. So even at the time, despite the crap, I was grateful to just be getting home. Once we took off it was an even shorter flight than usual, and we landed in Dublin at about 2.40, at which point I grabbed my luggage, ran out of the terminal, and jumped straight onto a cheap bus to the city.

Once more I fought to stay awake, and was aided in this by frequent phone calls from the yank, who was of course still awake in Vermont. Aided and somewhat distracted, because when I finally exited the bus in Dublin, I almost walked off without my luggage, accustomed as I am to not carrying any. I dashed back to the bus and grabbed my suitcase from its niche in the hold just in time, and then spent about 40 minutes trying to get a taxi. Eventually, at about 4am, I finally got to the home of my good friend A, utterly exhausted.

After a bit of catch-up and girly chatting I was falling asleep where I sat, so stood up to go to bed, and discovered that there was about an inch of a split in the seam of my trousers, just at the arse. Relieved that I could switch them for something else in my suitcase in the morning, I disregarded this entirely, and collapsed into bed, regarding my longer-than-expected journey as all but complete, with the difficult part most certainly over. 

Hah.

Apologies for my absence, I was temporarily eaten by sharks

They regurgitated me shortly after finding out that I once ate half a twinkie. Actually thats a massive terminological inexactitude ie. completely untrue. In fact I’ve just been really busy, mostly with work before christmas, and mostly with other things after christmas. And yes, before anyone asks “other things” does have a name, and no, I won’t be discussing him here. Anyone who would like to know about my highly unexpected, very sudden, and newly excellent romantic life, will have to ask.

First off, apologies to anyone who’s recent comments have failed to appear. This is due to the fact that when I don’t log in for a while and trudge through the spam comments, they build up to obscene amounts, and dedicated as I am to freedom of speech, I cannot bring myself to trawl through a thousand ads for online blackjack just to find someone’s contribution. On that note, here’s a tip : I automatically allow comments which come from a previously approved source. so don’t change your name or email address if you want them to appear straight off.

While I was off the radar I did some writing, so I’ll post a few things over the next while as I find them, even though they happened a while back. But in this post, I’ll give a brief summary of how the last few months have gone….

When I got back from South Africa I discovered that work had gone a bit crazy. We were short-staffed, and the place I had been working for in SA now began demanding huge quantities of time and effort. So the months leading up to christmas were, quite frankly, a bit of a living nightmare. I ceased to have a life for a short while, and spent most evenings in work. Not that I had anything better to do. Sadly, as a side effect, I had very little to write about, and even less time in which to write it.

Several things however did happen which I felt like writing about, such as the shoe episode, the intrepid drawn out journey home for christmas, my newly discovered ability to miss planes, the trip to Vienna (otherwise known as “How to lose someone else’s passport – a cautionary tale”), and my attempts to get a new mobile phone from Orange. These and other hilarious adventures will be brought to you as I bother writing them.

Oh, and I’m in love. Truly, no-one could be more surprised by this than I am.