Delays make the heart grow cranky

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“All passengers, this is your captain speaking. This blog is experiencing some technical problems and will be delayed.”

The amount of time I have spent in the last week banging my head against my keyboard can only really be counted by the imprints of keys on my forehead. My friends, I have been crippled by the technical side of my blog this week. I have posts written and ready, but when I attempt to add photos, things slow to a painful crawl as I watch the upload of files progress by 1% at a time and then stall completely at 78% or 14% or (you’ve got to be kidding me) 98%.

I could offer posts to you without photos, but that does not appeal to me at all. I will hammer out a solution. I am bringing in a technical expert. Actually, my sister is visiting and she is so tech savvy it’s ridiculous (I mean, she got our parents to use Skype! I bow down). She will either a) solve this photo problem lickety split or b) solve the world’s problems (where WILL Brad and Angelina get married?) over a few caipirinhas with me. Either way you benefit! You don’t see it that way? Huh.

While on the topic of delays though, let’s talk about my top 3 travel delays!

  • A trip to the Cook Islands and New Zealand in 2000. Our flight was cancelled from Calgary, Canada due to bad weather. We spent hours trying to get rerouted by a desk clerk who wondered if Paris was on the way to NZ. Really? We actually had to refer her to an atlas. With holiday traffic (it was just before Christmas), we only just managed to get a connection through Vancouver and then LAX. All of this meant that around the time that we should have been arriving in the Cook Islands we were actually only in the province next door. Progress! Later, we watched on in-flight entertainment as we flew directly OVER the Cook Islands to get to Auckland (never has a parachute seemed so useful). We then spent 12 meaningful hours at Auckland airport where we napped on a stretch of grass outside the terminal like dogs because we felt like…dogs. We also shopped for clothes in the airport which should never, ever happen because you end up wearing things you would never normally consider just because you are desperate to have a clean shirt. DAYS after we began the trip, we finally arrived. Our souls turned up the following week.
  • A trip to Canada from the Netherlands in 2004. Our flight in Amsterdam was delayed because one of those inflatable emergency exit slides had unexpectedly inflated. We waaaaaited a long time in Amsterdam (6-8 hours I think?) and we were rerouted to Chicago (surprise!). We then missed the connection in Chicago as well so we had a night in a hotel there. I went to Chi-town and didn’t even see Oprah, man. The following day our flight was delayed a further 2 times which meant that I had to call my Mom collect (who does that any more??), I had to drink many Pumpkin Spice Lattes from the Starbucks counter across from our cursed gate, and I had to lay the Rummy smackdown on Matt (I only know one card game – you guessed it – Rummy).
  • A recent trip from Brazil to South Africa. We managed to get from Rio to Sao Paulo without incident, but upon collecting our boarding passes in SP, a kindly man asked to see our Yellow Fever Vaccination Certificates. Our what the fever what WHAT? Here’s the thing: Matt and I had had the vaccination, but you don’t actually need to have it to be in Brazil. And neither do you need it to be in South Africa. But, get this, you need it to TRAVEL from Brazil to South Africa. Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense because it does not make sense. We were denied access to our flight until we all had the vaccination and the papers.  Cue the Amazing Race music! We leapt into a taxi that drove in typical fashion (i.e. at the speed of light and touching the bumper of the car in front) through the back streets of Sao Paulo to a medical clinic that looked like you would go there to get sick, not get better. In we went and quickly had 4 jabs of the vaccine. Done. Back into the taxi and back through rush hour traffic to the airport. We arrived 30 minutes before our flight and were denied boarding (even though our bags were already on the plane). We spent the next 8 hours perusing the many attractions of SP airport: McDonald’s and the restrooms. At 2:3o a.m we caught the next flight to Johannesburg, only to arrive there without our baggage. We only just made our connection to Cape Town after making a lost baggage report. Our bags dragged their sorry butts into town 3 days after us.

Tada! While writing this I came up with a few other doozies, but if I keep writing about delays you will soon wish you were trapped in an airport terminal with screaming children and announcements in a foreign language rather than keep reading this blog…So I will stop.

Is there an airport that you wouldn’t mind getting delayed in? What has been your longest travel delay? Do you want to play Rummy while we wait for my photos to load?

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