Sunday, June 24, 2007

4 taxis richer, 90 euro poorer

This morning I woke up with a start, after having pressed "snooze" on my cell phone alarm clock a few times, at 6:16. Onset of immediate panic. AHHH I have to be at the airport in less than half an hour!

By 6:20 I was somehow dressed, with my contact lenses in and my teeth brushed, and coherent enough to figure out what I did and did not need with me in order to cancel my flight. I ran down the stairs (the elevator literally doesn't go to the top floor in my case!) to what is labeled the 7th floor but is really the 9th and pushed the elevator button. Nada. Joder! I ran down the 10 flights of stairs, only to find I was locked in the building.

Apparently this happens sometimes... some overzealous neighbor (hopefully not the same one who broke the elevator) gets really excited about locking the front door and I can't get out. Two minutes of prying the glass off the door and unlocking from the outside by sticking my hand through the gate. I'm sure this looked awesome to all the zombies walking around outside.

And there were many. Just last week when we came out of the Sonar at 7am, Quentin mentioned that the only people who are walking around at that time on a Sunday morning are people who have been out all night. And they all want taxis! Damn club zombies! And I probably looked like one of them at that point too... just out of bed, completely clueless and zombiefied. I couldn't find a free taxi anywhere and so had to call. 15 minutes, they tell me. Uff, that's 15 minutes I don't have, but suddenly I'm very grateful for them because I realize that I really REALLY need to go to the bathroom.

Back inside, back up 10 flights of stairs, pit stop, grab a book - because you never know - and back down 10 flights. My taxi is miraculously waiting for me outside like a beautiful black and yellow carriage. Haha Zombies!! I win! They reach for my taxi as we whisk by, but it's no use.

And, 15 minutes later, I'm at Terminal A again. Funny, seems like I was just here yesterday. Oh wait, I was. The woman yesterday told me they'd be open at 5am and I could come at that time today if I'd like. No thanks, 6:45 is early enough... but unfortunately when I arrive I find a sign at the Alitalia ticketing booth. "We open again at 8:15." Damn you, Alitalia!!!! As there are no Alitalia flights taking off for the next 2 hours, there aren't even people at the check-in desk. I'm alone in my Alitalia misery, and now I'm missing the flight I was supposed to be on, so it's possible I won't even get my refund.

So I sit. And wait. For an hour and a half. Good thing I brought the book! I alternate between reading and daydreaming about just jumping on a flight to Copenhagen. Or Fuerteventura. Or Lima... Finally 8:15 rolls around and I head to the desk again. The woman shows up at 8:30 with a guilty grin on her face. I probably don't look amused. I explain to her that I've been here since 6:45 but she says she was here then, so it's not possible. The fact that I disagree with this point and she doesn't argue further leads me to believe that she is indeed BSing me and I'm justified in my annoyance. I explain that I never intended to get on this flight this morning, that I just came to cancel, as I already missed a very important dinner last night and have to be back anyway tomorrow morning. I don't want another flight, I just want a refund. She feels really sorry for me, can't do much aside from print out proof that I did in fact cancel my flight before it took off, and compliments me on my Spanish.

And that's it. I walk out with a little green Alitalia ticket booklet with a boarding pass and receipt that will unfortunately never get used, except to plead my case with eDreams, and next thing I know I'm in another 22 euro taxi back home. Where I have the brilliant idea to take my road bike out for a spin. I'm all dressed and ready to go when I remember that the elevator is broken, but it's too late to turn back, so down I go with my bike on my shoulder.

By 10:30am I'm back home, having accomplished more than I normally do in an entire Sunday, and I've even met my downstairs neighbors. So for the rest of the day I'll probably have to be pretty much useless in order to compensate for all I've accomplished. Starting with coffee at the cafe I just found around the corner! Oops... 10 more flights... here we go!


Quentin said...

Needless to be French to consider that Alitalia deserves una testata!

Gabriel said...

Wow you really had an airport weekend. I hate this kind of overzealous neighbours that think that all the psychos are outside the building (what would happen if one happened to be inside)

Hope that at least you get the whole refund. I think there is no compensation for a cancelled flight if you still are at the origin.

At least you went "bicing" hehehe

Best regards ;)

huy said...

"Took a taxi"??

Who wants to go with a cab when one can ride the Beluga??

NoellieBellie said...

Hmmm good point, Huy. I should have illegally driven the Beluga to and from the airport. Hindsight is 20/20. Too bad I'm nearsighted. Anyway the Beluga took 30 minutes and some jumper cables to start yesterday... I think I would've been late!