There’s nothing like the smell of jet fuel in the morning in a bustling airport filled with strangers all huddled together preparing to depart to different destinations. Last week I was fortunate enough to go on yet another short business trip. Something I have done quite frequently the last few years. As I was making my way to the airport I had no idea of the misadventure I was about to embark on.
I’m not a morning person and whenever I have to get up when it’s still dark out it feels like cruel and unusual punishment ussually resulting in me being grumpy and bitchy. So when I had to get up at 5am on Thursday morning I wasn’t impressed. My flight was scheduled for 8am and after fighting my way through traffic I arrived at the airport a bit agitated and almost late.
I was the last person to board the plane and as I was stepping onto the aircraft a cabin crew member stopped me and took by suitcase. “What the hell is up with this airline and my damn luggage?” I thought. Then the Cabin Crew Luggage Nazi explained, in the gayest accent I have heard in years, that my suitcase was 1.8Kg over weight and it could not be stowed in the over head compartment, but assured me that he would take good care of it. Not having been in the mood to be difficult (which is unlike me when it comes to my hand luggage) I decided to let the issue go.
Getting a good seat on a plane is important and the middle seat is not a good seat. This is what I got and this was my punishment for being late. I was trapped between two fairly large men both hogging the arm rests. Being the nice person I am I greeted them and would soon find out this was a mistake. You see the guy to my right turned out to be a chatterbox. Brian the monster truck parts salesman loves his work, is passionate about truck gear boxes, gets excited about brake pads and once you get him started on alternators there just is no stopping him. At one point I wanted to scream “Dude I don’t care! I’m not interested in trucks! Shut the fuck up!!!” But I didn’t, he continued talking and it turned out to be a very long and “informative” 45 minute flight!
Arriving at King Shaka International Airport I was relieved to finally get away from Brian who in the mean time slipped me his business card that was quickly disposed off. As I was walking to the conveyor belt where my hijacked suitcase would reappear I couldn’t help but notice that the airport smelled like drying cement. I knew the airport was new, but didn’t know it was that new! As the luggage on the conveyor belt got snatched up by eager passengers my bag wasn’t coming out.
Eventually it wasn’t spitting out anymore luggage and a sense of horror flowed over me. They lost my damn luggage! Tantrum queen made his way to baggage claims and trying not to let the pitch of my voice reach breaking glass level I was spewing fire. Twenty five minutes later my bag was found. Fairy Luggage Nazi placed my bag with the cabin crew’s stuff and it slipped his mind to give my bag to me on departure. “Honestly queen, it slipped your mind, really?”
Luggage in hand I made my way to collect my rental car. I was pleasantly surprised that my rental only had a few kilometres on the clock and it was brand spanking new and it even had that brand new cars smell. Quite chuffed I switch on my GPS on my phone and made my way onto the highway. “At least this part of the trip is going well” I thought. Then 20 minutes into my journey and approximately 15 minutes away from my destination Mrs Helen (the voice on my GPS) started acting weird.
“Turn right” Helen instructs. “What? Helen I can’t there’s no off ramp!” A minute pass then “Make a u-turn!” Helen demands. “What???? Helen have you been drinking? I’m on the highway for Christ sake!!!!” Shortly followed by “Continue on the motorway for a while then make a u-turn” and from there it was a complete and utter fuck up! I spent the next hour driving in Helen’s drunken circles and eventually came to the conclusion to never put all your faith in your GPS – the bitch lies! So I resorted to good old Google maps!
Arriving at the guest house all I wanted to do is have a nice cup of tea, catch my breath and unpack before heading to my meetings. As I was sipping my red bush tea I deleted Helen off my phone and contemplated how I was going to redistribute the excess 1.8 kg of my suitcase for my trip back home. After my meetings and a nice supper, I returned to the guest house tired. I poured myself a glass of wine and switch on the television only to find that the satellite service was down.
Gravely concerned that I would miss an episode of Brothers & Sisters I made my way to guest house’s office and reported this. The response shocked me. “Due to the recession we decided to discontinue our satellite contract” the man said. “Excuse me, on your website you advertise prominently satellite TV in every room, this is false advertisement!” I said. “I’m sorry you are going to have to watch regular TV” he responded and with that the conversation was over.
Pissed off I made my way back to my room settling in for one long and boring evening with nothing to watch and nothing to do. So naturally I started going through the bedside table draws and guess what I found? 3 Bibles and a Step-by-Step Biblical Guide. Needles to say I wasn’t jumping with joy because of my discovery; instead I looked at my bed sheets with some serious concern. What does it say about the type of people that frequent this guest house if they felt the need to leave not one, not two but three bibles and a biblical guide in my room? Are the patrons of this establishment so sinful and in desperate need of repentance? Needles to say I slept uneasy that night as all the imagined sinful acts that could have happened in my room spun through my head.
The next morning at 5:30am I was woken up by some loud noises as the manager of the guest house and the staff sounded like they were having a staff meeting outside my bedroom door. I wanted to bang on the wall and shout for them to shut the hell up, but instead decided to get up and start packing. At 7am I had breakfast and made my way to the airport where I had to wait a good 3 hours for my flight. The flight back home was uneventful apart from the fact that some cricket team surrounded me in economy class. Luckily I secured a window seat this time and managed to drown them out with soothing music from my IPod.
Between my luggage being lost and found, my GPS being a lying bitch and the not so pleasant guest house I managed to successfully complete my business trip. Next time I will do my homework and be better prepared! Next time the bitch who took my bag, the bitch on the GPS and the bitch’s guest house with no satellite TV won’t lie – I hope!
Till Next Time.
SHERRY VINE in 'SUPERSIZER'