These are my fans
Blipped on 19/7/17.
I've been dreading blipping this day. The morning started fine; got up on time and got myself ready. Had to buy my travel insurance in a hurry because it had slipped my mind. All ready to head out, and the taxi I ordered arrived on time but for some reason couldn't locate my building!
Got to Terminal 3 (something I try to avoid as much as possible) and what followed just reinforced why. I had the worst airport experience ever and it was at my own home airport of DXB. :(
So, the weight I was worried about last night was for good reason. Emirates are now extremely strict about weight. In the past, on the occasion that I have been slightly over, they've never said anything. Today, they insisted I pay or take some things out and leave them to be collected. They couldn't let it go; it's too much revenue to ignore, so I was very philosophical about all the times I've been over and haven't been charged, so I coughed up.
Then, heading to immigration, for the thousands of people who need to access the next stage of their journey, Terminal 3 have cordoned off the area and everyone (yes) has to pass through a narrow entrance manned by a member of staff who was asking passengers to place their hand baggage on scales next to her. OMG... problem again... I had to go back to the check-in counter and get permission to take my bag as it was.
I duly did this, only for the guy to first say it was ok, then he decided I had way too much and had to go to the shop to buy a bag, then go downstairs (Arrivals) to Left Baggage, off-load some things, and leave the bag for someone to come and collect - preferably later in the morning. Cost for holding a bag for 12 hours - £5; it doubles every 12 hours.
At this stage, a lot of "gifts" I had bought for friends (mainly dates and spices) had to go, along with a spare set of bedding which I needed for my Cyprus stay and the baklava I bought for G. Argh. I felt like the universe was conspiring against me.
Back to the narrow gate to access Immigration and another lady was manning it. She asked me (again) to have my trolley bag weighed. OK this time, but as she was creating such a backlog by getting everyone to weigh their bag, some people just bypassed the queue and headed towards Immigration, so, she ran after one passenger to bring them back to her scales. Well... had I known of this new practice, I would have waited for a situation like that to arise, and then walked through when she was busy catching someone else! Missed my chance.
I thought my bad luck might have ended there, but the immigration officer was having an out-of-body experience, as in, his mind was not with him. It took ages for some reason, but once that was over and I went through security, my bag was diverted to another channel. "What now?" I thought. Can anything more go wrong??
They got a lady security officer to deal with me. She asked me to open my bag. I wanted to know why. She then pointed to a picture on the table... a Stanley measuring tape. She said, there is something like this in your bag; I confirmed it. I am going to be furnishing an apartment for a client in Cyprus and I thought a 5m measuring tape would be very useful. Apparently handyman tools are allowed in hand baggage!! I asked why, but no-one could be bothered to explain. Anyway, that got confiscated. More philosophical thinking required. At least they only took it off me.
I then had to get to my gate as time was fast disappearing. I looked at my phone to find an SMS sent by either the airline or airport 30 minutes earlier, telling me that they had noticed I hadn't gone through security yet, and please can I do so asap so I don't miss the flight. (I can't write what I thought here).
So, one of the reasons I hate Terminal 3 is because despite it being the Emirates terminal, too often, the gate assigned to your flight is located all the way back in Terminal 1, so you have to walk goodness-knows what distance to get to it. Today of course, my gate was at the very far end of Terminal 1, so even further to go. I grabbed hold of a duty free trolley to put my bag and rucksack on, and then ran (when I wasn't out of breath) to my gate.
Got there as almost one of the last passengers. They weren't calling my name, or I didn't hear it if they were. Gosh. After forking out £200 in excess baggage, emptying my hand baggage and buying a new bag to leave it for Pauline to collect (within twelve hours) and then having my tape measure confiscated, if I hadn't made the flight, I'm not sure what I would have done.
Anyway, this is where the day started to improve. First of all, the seat in the middle was free. Very nice. The most remarkable thing on the flight was the awful food, and having 30 minutes/20MB of free WiFi, so I used it to message SweetArt and G to tell them of my ordeal.
Arrived in Larnaca without any of the drama of the last time (deranged Egyptian hijacker) we went there. Cleared immigration without any hassle and then... when I pulled one of my bags off the belt, I noticed something sharp sticking out. Closer inspection revealed that bad baggage handling, had one of the feet come off. That, and some bruising and a dent. By pure chance, the Emirates rep was standing behind me and saw it, so I followed her to her counter where she logged a damaged bag complaint. There is justice in the world after all! Emirates are going to compensate me for ruining my case.
Collected the hire car and got to the new flat; offloaded everything and G came to meet up with me. Nice to see her after a week, but boy has she got a problem with sunburn or rather, her sunblock not agreeing with her. We had to race over to Oroklini to collect the keys to the flat we're going to be furnishing. I had organised for it to be cleaned within the hour, so this was urgent. Keys collected and apartment inspected; we then headed over to Larnaca to buy the white goods - all done within 90 minutes and the guy gave us a great deal again. My blip is of the fans outside the shop. I missed an awful heatwave (phew). Today was the first day the weather turned and was as it should be for the time of year. Lucky me!!
Had dinner with G's friend Catherine who flies out early tomorrow morning; then got home and showered - first time in this new flat of ours and spent the evening on my own, just winding down and thinking through all the things that had happened and that needed to be done over the next week. I wanted to blip, but really didn't want to whilst the days' events were so fresh on my mind.