Sunday, 5 January 2014

The woes of travelling with Katie

As some of you may know, I don't seem to have the best of luck when it comes to travelling. It's not an all the time thing, but I do have more than one good "bad travel experience" stories. Snow in the UK has caused me problems, the ridiculously named volcano in Iceland affected my travel, trains have had electrical problems, and I'm pretty sure I went through a stage of 7 flights in a row that were significantly delayed (i.e. an hour or more), me and travel have our issues.
It was probably because of this that I was able to see the funny side of what happened when we left Geneva. We had an early flight (7:30) and my sister was also leaving that day, about 3 hours later, so my mum and dad just did the "Kiss and Fly", so they dropped up off, helped us get out our suitcases, gave us some big hugs and set us on our way. James and I then found our way to our check in desk in the 'French Section' of the airport and joined our queue. At this point I reached down to my handbag to get out my passport, only I didn't have my, my phone and my passport were still sitting in the back of my parents car...being driven away from me. GAR! After a minor, internal panic I started running around trying to get my handbag back whilst James kept our position in the queue (it was relatively long...I didn't want to have to join it later). I first went to the customer service desk, but there was a long line, so skipped it. I decided the cafe should have a phone. They didn't. The man there seemed to take pity on me though. I was crying, and explained I'd left my passport in the car, and so he let me borrow his phone. I couldn't call my parents because I don't know their mobile numbers by heart, so I called home...where my brother and sister were still asleep. GAR! I leave a message and run back to James. Un satisfied with standing around I go back to customer service, still a long line, so I go see if I can get out of the 'French section'. No. So I ask the nice lady in the duty free if I can use a phone to call my parents, again crying and explaining the passport dilema. She lends me her phone. I leave another message. I then go back to customer service. They don't have a phone that can call externally. SERIOUSLY? (At this point it might be worth pointing out that the night before my parents, James and I did have a conversation about a. my dad forgetting his phone in the car, and my mum not being able to call him to tell him, since she had his phone, so having to run after him; b. how most airports no longer have phones that call externally because we all use mobiles now...the irony!) The unhelpful customer service lady tells me there are some pay phones I can use. Thankfully James had a bag full of Euros (He was still in line, not yet half way to the front), so I used those to use the pay phone to call home again...I figured I could try and wake up my brother and sister with a non-stop ringing phone. I got through to my sister, who had called my mum, who was going to try call me. I pointed out my phone was in the car with my mum, so that wouldn't work very well, and gave instructions to tell my mum to meet me by the French Section entrance as I can't get back through it, but she could come part way through it. I then tell James what is going on and go wait by the French Section entrance. Whilst waiting the duty free lady calls out to me to say she thinks my family is calling her mobile since she doesn't know the number, I answer and it's my mum. We sort things out and I get my bag. YAY! I go join James in the line...we haven't lost any time due to the passport drama...but I think I may have aged 50 years! The rest of our flights went fine, we even got upgraded to Premium Economy from Paris to Guangzhou.

I did also develop a rash during our flights. Explaining to the doctor today how it developed was probably quite an interesting story. Friday morning before we left for the airport I noticed a couple of spots on my chest, but didn't think much of it, sometimes I get spots on my chest. By the time we got to Paris I had a rash all over my chest. Not much we could do now, so we just hoped it wasn't contagious and that I wasn't going to suddenly die. By Guangzhou the rash had spread up my neck and to my chin. By Sydney I had a rash on my upper chest, up my neck, on my back, on my chin, nose and cheeks. Awesome. The rash is now blistering. I have a photo (for reference to know if it's better tomorrow) but I won't burden you with it.

All I can say is travelling with me definitely isn't boring.

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