divendres, 3 de setembre de 2010

Runaround

Gatwick airport, Saturday 14/08/10, 6.30pm: we have been kept on tenterhooks, us passengers on flight EZY 5137 to Barcelona, with an initial delay of twenty minutes having been jumped up at autistic intervals to forty-five, then seventy, then ninety. Finally, a gate number pops up on the information panels, surprising as an unsolicited kiss, and off we go along relays of corridors into a departure lounge so tiny, over half of us have to stand. For forty minutes more. 8pm: the Easyjet rep apologises for the flight having just been cancelled. He leads us back along those corridors to baggage reclaim where we heft our untravelled cases and return to the check-in area to change our flight. There are none to Barcelona, so they suggest one to Valencia, due to depart on Sunday night, and offer to put me up in a hotel meanwhile. 10.45pm: me and the other, mainly Catalan passengers (who, by the way, have had considerable difficulties understanding the garbled, unamplified and monolingual instructions from the Easyjet staff) check in at the Gatwick Holiday Inn as fast as we humanly can, given that the Easyjet dinner vouchers expire within 15 minutes. We eat. We go to bed. Sunday, 10am: we sit around in the gilded limbo of the lobby, from which I book a seat on Monday morning's Valencia-Barcelona Talgo express. 4pm: I return to Gatwick airport and check in for the second time. 8pm: after a one and a half hour delay, I enter an aeroplane, and it takes me to Valencia. Monday, 1am: I check into Valencia's airport hotel. I sleep, badly. 9am: I take a taxi to Valencia's Estació del Nord. The RENFE's PA system informs me that my Talgo will be three hours late. It has been substituted by a ropey-looking bus, now standing ready on the station plaza. No lover of long coach journeys, I look forward, at least, to catching up on some sleep. 10.30am: I am writing this article on that very bus because just as I was about to drop off, the drivers put on a boxing film at full blast. Russell Crowe – with whom I am identifying heart and soul - is loudly pummeling his rival (who I imagine to be Mr Easyjet and Mr Renfe combined) into pink mash. But, tell me, how might I get to these two travellers' nemeses in real life, so that they will really and truly get what's coming to them?

Matthew Tree, Catalonia Today, setembre de 2010

Cap comentari:

Publica un comentari a l'entrada

Entradas populares

Compartir