Saturday, July 04, 2009

It is not the journey that counts. Right?

First of all, welcome to all of the new readers and thank you for all of your lovely comments my old and new bleeps, which I will most certainly get around to answering. Maybe. In the comments. I'll try, I promise. I really do appreciate them.

But enough with sweet and thankful and onto the task at hand: I have been wronged. Again. (Yes again.  What do you mean by forgive and forget? Turn the other what? Where did you get that stuff from?)

This all might be a tad sketchy, since during the past 36 hours I have managed to catch about 4 hours of fitful sleep. And most definitely not consecutively, not more than 20 minutes on one go, nor laden with any kind of quality whatsoever, unless you count dreaming about the huge amount of dandruff the guy next to me on the longest flight had (and was shedding on me). But it shouldn't probably count, or even be mentioned. But to be fair, there was a lot of it, and it might have been multiplying before my eyes. Quite an experience.

But I digress and to dandruff of all possible things. Not good.

Look at me. Way to woo the new readers. Yes, why don't I just go ahead and write about dandruff. An excellent idea. Who is not interested in the wonder that is dandruff?

Anyhoods. Nuff with dandruff. Ha!

Some of you might remember mine and hubby's flight to Europe back in May and how Swissair completely and utterly blew and sucked - simultaneously. Yesterday as I arrived to Copenhagen ready to continue via Zurich home to South Africa they unfortunately decided to continue on that path, if not outdo themselves. Although, I might have already been in bit of a state, what with the two plane malfunctions and a thunderstorm in Stockholm resulting in a mere four hour delay of a flight that normally takes an hour. Uhhuh, two (count them TWO) planes we had been herded onto had to turn back from the runway because of problems, only to leave the third one, with all of us passengers packed in, waiting by the runway for the thunderstorm to pass.

Yup, yup. This will surely win them over. A rant. You got it girl!

But the best was yet to come. As I was trying to maniacally claim my tickets on from Copenhagen so that I could still catch up with my bud, Ph.D Mommy (why would she not wait for me for four hours in a downtown cafe?) I was soon told that there were no tickets for me. I was not in their 'system'. Not even under any sort of weird mutation of my name I had the lady try. Normally, having escaped the all seeing eye of Big Brother would have brought enormous joy to me (writes the woman who lives behind a gate you need to have your fingerprint read to enter), but instead I started to cry. What else would a normal grown up do? Of course I cried.

Turns out, sometimes it's good to cry. Even if you feel that as you are in your thirties you could have perhaps come up with something better than breaking out that inner 6 year old. Turns out crying will make people call Zurich for you until someone, somewhere in the world finds out that your tickets have been canceled, and that regardless of this there just might be a way to get you on a plane at least headed South of Copenhagen and perhaps even eventually for Johannesburg. So go ahead, have a good cry. At the airport. In public. Just don't stomp your foot, that will just stink of overboard.

Sometimes a few tears do the trick.

Good, because most of my credit cards had expired at the end of June and the new ones were waiting for me in SA.

Good, because my cell phone didn't work in Denmark and was almost out of battery anyways.

Good, because I was getting ready to cry some serious.

I really should get my Siamese Sister, the always wonderful and riotously cool Vancouver's Enviro Girl to come do my organizing for me. She has offered... Just to, you know, to be able to go easy on the tears and have some phone numbers elsewhere than on a phone that cannot be turned on. You know, in order to be, like, a normal, grown-up person.

In the end I missed meeting up with my bud, but at least I had a couple of Zeus-honest boarding passes in my sweaty little hands, and some internet time. And there's always that Starbucks at the airport - the only one in Scandinavia. And we all know how much I love a good latte. (Don't worry my new bleeps, you'll soon find out.)

And acrabadabra, thanks to the wonder of the internets, twitter and gmail, I got to meet with my fairyblogmother™ julochka from moments of perfect clarity, who picked up her daughter, Sabin, and rode the train and the metro for a whole hour just to turn my day around. Awesome!

Lucky she did. Because the rest of my journey involved yet another hour and a half delay followed by the oh-so-feared "they're holding the plane, but you have to run, ma'am." And run I did to find out that the seat waiting for me could only accommodate one of my cheeks. My posterior. My behind. My poor, unappreciated derriere.

Then 11 hours of flying.

And an imprint (possibly a permanent one, in which case I'm so suing Swissair) on the side of my right thigh of the remote conveniently located on the inside of the side of the seat. Such a great design.


There is one mother of a complaint letter brewing, just waiting to spew out on paper.

But first, I need sleep. and possibly wine.

And I promise to be back, as soon as I come out of this haze to clue you in on me, and this here blog. So there's that to look forward to. Yes.


SD said...

congrats to you


Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Oh, sweetie, that is an epic tale of survival of both you and your spirit. I am glad you are home, finally. You were in my thoughts all day yesterday. And I was sending all my (small amount of) karma to you. I will come and organize you anytime.

Eliane Zimmermann said...

congrats! have a good sleep! and: I would love to open a blog about flying and airlines and nasty things happening to us passengers. I have to fly a lot and most of the time it's somehow quite adventurous. four days ago the spanish flight attendant (with rrrrrolling RRRRR) advised: in the likely event of landing in the water your lifevests.... LIKELY????? well, we landed better than ever on Kerry airport (smaller than most bus stations I know...) cheers from Eliane in Southwest Ireland

LouDuk said...

Your airport story so does not beat mine, I flew from Jakarta, Indonesia, to New York, and each step hit more BS. I am sure you understand, being an international traveler, but the grand finale was when we flew through a typhoon.

You deserve the rest. Can't wait to have you back.

julochka said...

it is truly a miracle that your humor is intact after all of that. i will go ahead and credit myself and the blissful hour+ we spent hanging out and watching sabin turn herself upside down on the couch beside us and go do the world's fastest pees (she couldn't have been washing her hands, tho' she does love that foamy soap).

i still say you must check the hubby's contract. those ex-pat things always haves biz class. otherwise you don't sign that? you don't sign them with out biz class tix home at least once a year. although maybe you could get a circus sideshow act with that remote imprint thingie....

Anandi said... always seem to have rather eventful travel experiences. But I'm glad you rally back with bucket fulls of wit!
Congrats on Blogs of Note!
It might be premature, but hopefully, you'll have better flights in the future, having exhausted your balance in the more negative department of travel!

Ha ha ha!

CrazyCris said...


just stopping in via the Blogs of Note... congrats btw!

Yeah, long-haul flights in a crappy seat can be bloody murder! I flew to Australia (from UK) a few years a go next to a rather large girl who took up a lot of space... and not just the seat. She couldn't seem to control her carry-on! Had so much crap overflowing and getting in my way was a nightmare! (I try and travel light carry-on wise so I have room for my feet, so not happy to have my neighbour take advantage of my being organised! grrrr).

Sounds like you've got a good voice and lots of mileage under your belt. A crafts charity group in Mexico?! I'd love to hear more about that! How'd it work? I lived in Mexico for 9 years... miss it often!

anyhow, hope you recouperate from your journey! just pop open a cork from Stellenbosch and relax!


Jude said...

As a new reader not yet put off by dandruff or ranting (quite charmed by it as it happens) I hear ya on the crying thing. Once got stranded flying standby in Bangkok for FIVE freaking days. The only way to get back to europe was to fly to hongkong and then standby again back west. Got to HK, no seats left; cue highly embarrassing blubbering. Think I embarrased the staff into finding a seat for me eventually. Sometimes you're better off giving in and making an uitter arse of yourself. Enjoying your blog! Happy Scribbling! :D

mahta said...

I am new reader :)
I 'm from iran

rxBambi said...

I hate to admit it, but I am a crier. Not all the time, I can usually keep my cool. But the stress of airports and kids and not-enough-wine and not-enough-sleep and forget, I'm leaking like a sieve.
Glad you made it safely, if slowly, home again.

Georgie K. Buttons said...

Airports have and always will suck. Get some sleep. :)

Just Jules said...

sometimes crying is the way to go (although can be overdone and there for working against you) but used wisely... it is like another secret weapon under one's super hero (traveling) multi tool belt.

I say wow the new readers with dandruff and rants. Scare all the wimps away early ;)

hope you have rested and drank enough wine to recover .... or is it the reverse ?

regardless - off to watch fireworks soon - yippy (cuz they never get old and look the same every year)

Janet said...

I always carry my sparkly red shoes in my bag and put them on and click my heels three times saying, "there's no place like home, there's no place like home, there's no place like home." Seriously, i cry when i get tired and i would have been WAY past that if i'd been in your shoes. sorry you went through it, but thanks for the great story!

spudballoo said...

Oh, slightly freaked by someone called Jude commenting (as that is my real name). Was wondering if I'd suddenly assumed 2 identities...

No matter. Crap, that's a baaaaaad journey. ouch. I cry at the drop of any kind of travel disaster hat (an issue as MrSpud just attracts them).

I have twice, on one journey, been that person legging it through the airport whilst some feisty cow shouted 'Would the LAST remining passenger for Flight of Doom PLEASE make their way to gate 1 where 250 people are really arsed off with her'.


Wine. Wine first, then sleep. And more wine xx

Amber Leigh said...

check this out - - - >

Marie said...

Wow your blog is quite something, ranting about the guy next to you with dandruff takes some guts but we all experience it at some point. The post was great you really deserve to be a blog of note. And hey crying and being in your thirties does not bring any shame, it brings air fare tickets.

My name is Erin. said...

There were so many times in this posting that I could have cried out, "Me, too!" The first being the lack of phone numbers anywhere but my battery-dead phone. I haven't even committed my husbands number to memory. It's terrible. Welcome home! And congrats again, but don't let the pressure get to you. They love what you've been doing, so just keep on doing it! XOXO

Elle V said...

Wow, reminds me of my awful journey home from Jamaica with my parents. I am a new blogger and new to reading yours but so far I love it! Hope your next flight is a little less stressful. If you need to laugh at someone else's pain feel free to check out my recent dating trauma on my blog That Really Just Happened

Kold_Kadavr_flatliner said...

I saw the other side of eternity through my accident in ’85: you alone decide where thy destiny lies, not God, not mortals nor circumstances; this Finite Existence is just a proving ground to achieve Heavenly sainthood. Why leave your ETERNAL destiny up to chance in this FINITE existence? Trust Jesus, not yourself. God bless you!

forlackofbetterwords said...

Hilarious stuff I'm glad they featured you so that I could find you, you deserve it.

Phoenix said...

well... i hope you at least got some good sleep!

mellow roc said...

Extranjera, new to blogging myself but enjoyed reading your post as you are a blog of note.. Congratulations. Happy travels and in a couple years, you might be able to laugh a little over the inconveniences. My blog URL is See you in the blogosphere.

Polly said...

This sounds like a nightmare journey, I'm so sorry you had to go through that!! I hate the whole airport-to-plane extravaganza, my pressure always jumps when I have to go through this so when there's trouble it's pretty much the end of the world...

And oh no, I'm flying Swissair in August, now I'm really scared!