Hokay, so here’s the first day of my Ireland adventure (or lack there of… you’ll know soon enough). It’s finally not so fresh and raw that I’m willing to talk about it.
Thursday, November 15th: Class as usual from 10h40 to 12h30, then I went back home to drop off my school stuff and traded it in for my IRELAND things (aka my sweet ass backpack)! From there, Hannah and I met up with Emily and McAuley to get some tasty kebabs at Fraternite Kebabs for lunch. Afterwards, we grabbed some snacks and then Emily and I started the long day of traveling ahead of us. Destination: Dublin, Ireland. This is where things got interesting.
We took the train to Lyon, France from Grenoble; it was about an hour long trip, and virtually painless. Upon our arrival to Lyon, though, the problems started blooming. There was an air traffic control strike — typical French behavior — and our flight that was supposed to leave at 19h00 from Lyon to London (Gatwick) was postponed until 21h00, deux heures en retard! This posed a major problem because London was only our connecting flight, and we were supposed to catch another flight from London to Dublin at 21h55. Umm… problem, considering our Lyon flight was about an hour long. Turns out, there is an hour time difference between London and France, so we would land in London before our Dublin flight left, but being an airport we would need more than like 45 minutes to make our flight. Obviously, Emily and I started freaking out. We talked to the woman at the help desk for Easyjet (the airline we were taking to London), and she was negative help. Seriously, fuck her (excuse my language. I’m still pissed thinking about this). We asked if there was anything we could do to try and make our flight, or if there were other options for us. Her answer? “I have no options or advice for you” — are you freaking kidding me?! You’re job is to help us, you worthless whore, do your goddamned job! So clearly that bitch was no help.
We both called our parents (and Anna, one of our API mentors), who really didn’t have any options for us either, which was expected being a continent away. The only choice we had was to just get on the plane and hope for the best, so we waited in line to check-in. When it was our turn to show our passports, the lady at the desk informed me that our flight was only 20 minutes late, not 2 hours… wait, what?! Emily and I were soaring with happiness at that, and we may or may not have done a happy dance in the airport. In our glorious moods, we made our way to the correct terminal, but it took them about 40 minutes to get us on the plane… and then the bad news struck us in the face: the strike was still going on, and we had to wait our turn in the queue for an undetermined amount of time. SHIT. I swear, now I have an idea what it’s like being bi-polar, my emotions were being brought on a roller coaster of a ride this day. We ended up sitting on that stupid plane for another hour and what a surprise, we didn’t take off until 21h00.
Somewhere on the runway taking off from Lyon, I lost all hope that we were going to make our flight. Emily clung tightly to hope for a little while longer, but it was very apparent our trust was diminishing. Still, we had to try our best. About 15 minutes before we were scheduled to land, I went to talk to one of the flight attendants to explore some options. Here’s how our conversation went down:
Me: Excuse me, sir, but I was wondering if it was at all possible for my friend and I to be one of the first people off of the plane when it lands. You see, our connecting flight is very, very soon, and we may have a fighting chance if we can get off the plane quickly.
Him: *with a mouthful of airplane salmon* It depends on where you’re sitting on the plane. If you’re in the front, you’ll get off first. The exit is in the front.
Me: Pardon? We’re sitting in the middle, that’s why I’m asking you this question. Is it at all possible that 5 minutes before we land, my friend and I move to the front so we can make a quick exit?
Him: No, you can’t do that.
Me: Herm, okay. Well, is there any way that you can call the airport, or the airline or even the flight we are trying to get on, and let them know the situation? It is not our fault the flight was delayed, and we really need to make this flight. Could you possibly ask them to hold off for 5 or 10 minutes? Or let them know we are close and they can expect us?
Me: Alright then. Is there any way, shape, or form that you can help us? At all?
Him: What time did you say your flight is?
Me: *slight sliver of hope shining in my eyes* 21h55.
Him:*looks at watch* It looks like you’re going to have to run.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? That makes two shitty human beings that I had come in contact with in under a 5-hour time frame. At this point, I’m starting to hate a portion of the human race… especially those in association with Easyjet. Utterly defeated, Emily and I slunk back down into our seats and started to formulate a game plan to hopefully make our flight (no thanks to the stupid flight attendants). Emily is a serious runner, and God graced me with long legs, so we decided that we had to a) get off the plane as soon as possible and b)SPRINT as quickly as we can with our luggage to customs, check-in at the desk, and the run even faster to our terminal. We had about 40 minutes to do this. A slim chance of success, but we had no other option than to try.
So… the plane lands. The seat-belt light turns off, and Emily and I are instantly up, bags in hand, ready to hustle. We explained to the woman sitting next to us our situation, and her and her fellow travelers are understandable and let us pass. Then I meet terrible human number three: fatty mcfatfat. This guy very obviously spoke English; I tried telling him our situation, and he straight up ignored me! Actually, he reached above my head to get out his luggage while I stood there with a hurt-puppy look in my eyes, pleading to get off the plane… to no avail. Eventually I reached pissed off level, so I muttered something mean under my breath and pushed his obese ass out of my way. Sorry bro, maybe you should go to the gym, you fat, ugly fuck. Within a few minutes we were off the plane, and I started sprinting down the terminal, with Emily at my heels. It was probably quite the sight, us running down the hallway shouting “excuse me, excuse me… MOVE”. I mean, come on people! If you hear feet behind you moving at a rapid pace, and yelling, look behind you and move. I was not above crashing through idiots at this time.
Within minutes we made it to customs, and a kind elderly man gave us directions, and the guy at customs questioned why we were breathing heavily. We explained our situation and he pitied us and let us path without further questions… and then we met the biggest asshole of the day: the ryan air man. We made it to the check-in desk 35 minutes before our flight, pretty damn good considering, and we sincerely thought we had a fighting chance. No one was at the desk when we arrived, so we started pounding on the desk demanding attention. After two precious minutes, a grimy looking man with a greasy ponytail saunters up to the desk asking what we wanted. We explained our situation in rapid succession, and he simply told us ‘No’. I think I almost puked on him, ‘what do you mean no?’ we demand. He simply told us it was not possible (even though we still had 30 minutes, and the plan was still attached the terminal), and that it wasn’t ryanair‘s fault that our plane was late since they only do direct flights. Then he dismissed us and told us we would have to buy another ticket to Dublin for the morning.
Okay, I’m not normally a person who gets worked up, but I was at the end of my motherfreaking rope at this point, and I wanted to strangle this man by his nasty ponytail, then break things, then fall down and cry. I almost did them all, but I remained composed. Of course, to add salt to my wounds, my phone decided not to work, so I left my mom a voice-mail saying “hey mom… I’m stranded in London”, and then waited for Emily to get off the phone with her parents.
At this point, we were officially stranded in the London Gatwick Airport… and we had no idea what to do, so we decided to get some food and ask for help. Of course, no one was at the ticket buying area since it was passed 10 at night, so we found the help desk and she said to try looking for options on-line. So, we bought 20 minutes on the computers in the lounge, ate refreshing mango and pineapple, and started surfing the web. Eventually, my phone decided to function, and Emily and I both searched for ways to get from London to Dublin. We looked at boats, trains and planes, without much success (theme of the day, apparently). Thanks to our lovely parents helping us out, we ended up buying a plane ticket for 6h50 the next morning… for $300. Yeah, not pleased, especially because I’m already broke beyond comprehension; but, we successfully bought tickets and had a tangible solution to our current situation, so that was a large weight lifted from our shoulders.
By the time we had all this figured out, it was after 23h, and we were exhausted from one of the most stressful days in my young 21-year life. Like true vagabonds, we got ready for bed in the airport bathroom and hunkered down for the night, on the airport floor. Lovely, I know. I probably got about 3 hours of sleep total considering we were on the hard ground without blankets, and it was cold! At least we weren’t the only ones, so it wasn’t as creepy as it could have been.
So, yeah… that was how my day went last Thursday. Bet you’re reeeeaaaal jealous of it.