Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Run, Stella, run!

(I apologise profusely for any tense issues, they are my weakest point.)

Saturday, 8.25am. What could be better than standing at a bus stop waiting for...well, the bus not to come? The digital announcement said it's due in 1 minute. Wow! Good timing, I thought, a smug smile on my face, not knowing it would be wiped out soon enough.

The tube I would normally take, was suspended, so I had to rely on the other line and change. Where's the fucking bus? I got more nervous with every bus passing that wasn't my number. The announcement changed and 1 minute became 17. Dammit. I cursed and ran to the train station on the other side of the road to see if I could catch a train, but it wouldn't have made any difference, so I ran back to the bus station.
Now there was me, plenty of ways to get to Victoria, but no vehicle in sight. Wonderful.

Eventually, the bus came and I was already worried about missing the flight. Especially when I took a closer look at the boarding pass which said 'Gate closes at 11.20am'. Oh shite!

Upon arrival at Victoria I realised I had forgotten to note down the reservation number for the Gatwick express. I texted my friend Bobby my email log in to send me the information. He didn't answer his phone, so he probably didn't see my message either. I ran to their office and got my tickets, but the next train left at 10.45am. I hoped and wished for the flight to be too late, but finally on the train, I had the feeling it wasn't going to end well.

I know Stansted like my own home, but Gatwick is a different animal; I had no clue there's a south and a north terminal. When I asked a member of staff where the flight to Duesseldorf left, he sent me to the Easyjet-people. And I ran, my bag over my shoulder, my passport and boarding pass in hand, blond hair waving in the steady stream like a flag.

You have to go to the north terminal, there's a free shuttle, you might even make it.� Great! The idiot sent me the wrong way. And I ran again, out of breath, wheezing, sweating and pissed off.

In a complete mess, not even able to speak anymore, I stormed toward an Easyjet person who pieced together my staccato sentences and took me to the desk. The flight was late, five minutes, but I wasn't on it. They wouldn't even call the crew, just told me I could book another flight which was scheduled the next day.

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