Friday 31 December 2010

A Vampire Mocca Grande with Bloody Cream

Too early to last minute

My nocturnal habits must be getting the better of me, the cuckoo will pop-out announcing the unholy hour of three in two minutes and I am sat at an airport departure lounge. Madness!

That is the problem, without the anxiety in preparation for travel in the way, I could well be awake at home now, ready to juggle 4 balls balancing on a unicycle playing a harmonica as if I have just returned from Nashville.

It was all last minute preparations and that was fine because if things had been planned earlier the snow would have kept me for days in some airport terminal unsure of when I would depart whilst I am being fed something between encouragement and discouragement but no truth about the state of things, being in the Netherlands, someone might just have the Dutch courage to spill the beans and face an irate mob.

Disconnected voyages

I had hoped that was what travel agents were for when I planned to visit Gran Canaria and Boa Vista, the latter is one of the Cape Verde Islands - a good swim south of the Canaries when I was told I would have to return to Portugal to get out there – for a few hundred kilometres I was to traverse almost 7,000? Incredible!

So I stuck with the familiar, the known, the usual, the regular and the used-to – Gran Canaria it was for 11 days, the sun having set on the 29th of December and I was not spending the New Year in the Netherlands.

The travel agents never have an easy task of my simple requirements, they had to phone up the chain and out of the loop to get things sorted, things that take 5 days of inefficient pussy-footing had to be resolved within 12 hours or my lightened wallet that had vomited into their coffers will be retrieving every single Euro cent-ime.

I was not doing alternatives, not that I am that particular but then the things that need be done, just need be done the way one wants them done, which is hardly demanding; it stress tests their procedures and highlights flaws in their system.

Surely, a stopover in the Canaries on the way to Cape Verde Islands is a no-brainer.

Weigh me, weigh me goods

In any case, I am flying charter, which is unusual and that is why we are up this early to catch the worm, the complete package had to be picked up at the airport before check-in; allowing for time, I had a taxi pick me up and a van arrived, I sat in the front and when we got to the entrance, it had been blocked off that it required a 100 metre walk to another door.

The check-in was smooth, 21.9 kilograms my baggage weighed, that was me travelling rather light, I have lugged a good 30 kilograms through the system before which loyalties allow but there was a time I had to do excess baggage; the humiliation of having your wares tossed around until you have coughed up those outrageous charges.

I would that we were weighed along with our baggage and surely a good few of us would have our flights paid for in luxury class just by redistribution and compensation, it would eventually come to that and I had better have shares in the gym business.

So tame but very lame

It was too early to exercise priority access through Customs that had set up the shortest conveyor belt they could find, probably because people travelling at that time were not on some business trip.

The strip-tease complete and cane through the system, I sauntered through leaning on everything I could, a sudden weakness seems to overcome me at those times, I am most needing of help and assistance, my cane brought to me immediately and every request to move on is a major chore.

At least it is not Heathrow, after taking off your shoes you might be asked to take off your pants too, the other Christmas someone had contraband or was it fireworks attached to the most sacred crown jewels; I quiver and shudder.

By pants, for clarity sake, I might have used Americanisms at the beginning of the blog but the pants I meant are not your trousers.

I still have not come across those full body scanners, I have nothing to fear though, the myth lives and please keep your thoughts pure. Thank you.

Just after Customs, some people had rated their performance at an average of 8.6, the multi-colour touch screen was irresistible in its draw as my finger found the score of 7; it did not however budge the average, annoyingly, but it gave me much satisfaction.

Free to post

It would appear having fleeced us for more than is necessary to get online the airport is giving us an hour of free WiFi connectivity, the given in most airport lounges except when in Spain – they get all that tourism and still would charge for the air we breathe – shame on them.

I think I have decided to use my allocation in quarters; there should be 45 minutes left of which 15 should help post this then because it is only 3:45 AM, I should go to Starbucks and get a Vampire Mocca Grande with bloody cream because it is that time of the day.

Another hour to boarding as I think of the sun caressing my ebony … sorry, that was a line for my X-rated story.

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