There are a few reasons you pay to upgrade a flight to Business or First Class – 1. Space and privacy 2. Dickheads who have the extra leg room in front of you and then do the full recline at 8am in the morning. I’d like to smack the slouching, cringing, fat, bald prick with the ugly fat head and hairy neck right in his hairy ear hole. There, I feel better by a little bit, but the top of his head is so close I can see scars of his failed hair transplant on the top of his head, he is a hairy hairy dude except for the top of his fat head. Let’s leave it alone now, Brussells is only five hours away before I have to deal with tight schedule pressures.
I see Kirkuk on the map as I’m watching “The Phantom of the Open”, I think that’s where they found Sadam in a hole in the ground. Then we head over Sarajevo, so much conflict and tragedy in those places. We’re lucky in some parts of the world to have some isolation.
Oh I just remembered, The Queen died last night. Sad news really, she’s kept the whole monarchy going, wonder how Charles and Camilla are going to go. Camilla is about as popular as Meaghan at the moment. Anyway as far as I’m concerned the monarch as Australian Head of State is a joke BUT what we have now is a joke. My thoughts, keep the same structure we have but the Governor General is selected a different way and is accountable to somebody or something else. Keep the Australian flag but take the Union Jack off it.
Old mate in front is that close that I can see and bits of his emails. I wonder if his name is Dick because there are a lot of emails to and from a chap named “Balz” . The content always starts with “Hallo Balz” but I don’t see how he signs off, but lets assume his name is Dick. Now it’s clear to me that Dick and Balz are close, they talk about exports to Korea, hope it’s not f…. North Korea, but with his ignorant attitude and his two dodgy looking mates beside him it’s possible. He moved his seat upright for five minutes, got a spray of lemonade on his scone from the cabin steward when she gave him a chicken sandwich to eat, hope the Mamma Cass experience finds him. Using “Hallo” to start an email I’m assuming they are from a Nordic country, they have a Norwegian/Finnish sort of accent, the bits that are in English that is. I know it’s not illegal to fully tilt your chair back, but never the less it annoys me. Anyway I hope Balz and Dick are close, because Dick doesn’t strike as someone with a lot of mates.
It’s now clear Brussells might be a problem.
Righto, let’s just clarify that again, Brussels is definitely a problem, we bound out of the plane in Brussels to see a pretty raven haired girl with a sign “Reid – Rome”, at her direction with her leading we run to a special exit called “The Fastlane” with a card saying we are a priority to pass emigration (European) and and fastrack to our boarding gate. Bit just like Race Around the World there is a road block, Brussels Airport staff lock the access doors while they are having a break, and Fastrack becomes a roadblock. We are trapped in a Dr Who like parallel universe, we can’t go forward and wr cant really go back, Finally they open the big electric doors and the staff amble in to man the security check, no rush despite the raven haired girl explaining the situation an we aren’t the only ones. A dozy security bloke sits me aside because my knees set the metal detector off, he’s f…ng around letting some kids through until I say “mate, I’m in a real hurry can you pat me down quickly” he dawdled along runs hos hands all over me then the the hand detector, all clear and we run with passports belts, watches to the gate.
The result – we missed the plane by about 3 minutes. The raven haired girl and The Navigator and I gather ourselves, catch our breathe, pack stuff away and walk all the way back to exit Brussels Arrivals and then enter Brussels Departures. By the time we find the Alyseo counter ( they do Qatar and other bookings as an agent) we’re exhausted, sweating and to be fair a little pissed at the world. It’s been 3 days of f….ups and early starts and late ends. I know it started because Qatar had engine problems and turned a plane around and the daisy chain effect meant we were going to be impacted, but today would have been much better with a 90 minute turnaround instead of a 50 minute turnaround, especially when there is so much confusion and so many changes happening. I’d have been happy if we’d been booked on the plane we ended up on instead of the one we missed. Lesson – I think I said it when I was in Laos Thailand recently, a bigger gap is easier to handle than a rush when weather or traffic jams on runways delay flights. This I say as somebody now well over 60 and not wanting a heart attack. And you lose things when you rush and pull things out and put back in because of security checks and the like.
Geert at the Alyseo counter is fantastic, we are booked on the ITA Flight ( Italian Airlines) 6:15:flight to get into Rome at 8:30pm, which means 1 hour + for the travel into Rome, and a likely 10:00-10:30 checkin. Geert gives us 2 x 18 Euro food vouchers compliments of Qatar, then we go through security all over again to get to gate A45. Geert is great.
We spend the vouchers at a Cafe restaurantnear our gate, a Marguerita pizza, a chocolate mousse, a big beer and a soft drink cleans up 37 Euros, the rest us a tip. The pizza is bellisimo.
The are no dramas without dramas when you are tired. We board the plane, we are in B seats ( the middle) in different rows, but that’s ok. The last few days have been so testing so Sorrento will need to be a chill time for a few days until we catch our breath.
There is a bloke snoring so loudly everyone on the plane can hear him. We arriveclose to on time, the airport is very busy, and miraculously our bags are the first on the carousel.
A 50 Euro taxi ride to the front door and we work out how to get into our accomodation. 11pm. A quick walk to Trevi Fountain, a gelato, a walk down towards The Pantheon, and a lot of the pain is gone. Rome is like that, sort a bit magical. Tomorrow is travelling again, the train to Sorrento and meeting up with some other travellers.
Ciao from Rome – Pauolo