Friday, July 31, 2015

Europe Holiday 2015 - Day Two

The service mark for Emirates dropped markedly when they forgot to serve breakfast to our row. Air rage is a real thing - ask the missus. She was pissed. I was asleep but had placed a sticker on the seat in front of me. The missus had been awake the whole time but was watching a movie. The guy in the aisle seat was asleep.

Finally they served us after being told off and my missus demanded an apology from the head stewardess, who touched her as she apologised, which upset her even more. Then they tried to take away her breakfast before she'd finished, with some lame excuse about coming in to land, and she told them exactly where to get off. Funny how the stewardess in charge didn't want to make eye contact as we departed the plane.

Wifi didn't work too well either.

Dubai is a flashy new airport
 Bit of a line for security screening. Did some duty free shopping. It was at this time that the missus realised she'd been ripped off buying duty free cosmetics on board the previous flight. The toilets were really busy at the airport. Lots of men and boys running around the airport wearing bath towels. Not sure what that was about. Thought they must have belonged to Saddam Hussein's Ba'ath Party.

Don't you dare forget my meal on this flight

Another big bird waiting to take off

Dubai almost looks like a bomb hit it

Sat next to an Aussie who works 2 months on and 1 month off in Mali, of all places. Got thirsty and made the call for an attendant. Waited 20 minutes until the meals were served before they noticed. Can't complain about the service when there is none. Watched Unbroken - great film.

The missus obtained a refund for her cosmetics which were too dear on the previous flight. Happy traveller again. She was speaking to a Parisian about restaurants at the back of the plane at one stage. Found that I could even upload photos to Facebook on the flight - bit slow though.
If I'm not mistaken that must be the Alps - but if they were in Turkey probably not

Today's flight

Watched Run All Night - violent but quite good movie. Mountains were beautiful from the air with little in the way of clouds to spoil the view. Lots of gasps from the missus when I pointed them out to her. Meal was excellent - chicken. Great food on board.

After 1 hour to progress through immigration and then wait for our baggage. At Paris-Charles De Gaulle Airport I found EasyJet's terminal, 2D, but you had to ask as it wasn't stated anywhere. We would have to wait another two hours for the check-in to open. Had something to eat which wasn't really tasty. Purchased sim cards for the phones and installed them. Took a bit to get going and then all the notifications came through in French.

Obtained our boarding passes but Miky's hadn't been filled in properly - instead of From:Paris they had entered the booking reference number which made no sense to anybody. Changed the boarding pass and went through security. Had to remove my belt and go through again. Found I was unable to call anybody except Miky - turns out this was to do with the leading "0" and international codes. So confusing when it's all in French.

Air conditioner must be an English word as the airport doesn't seem to use them. There was a call for volunteers to place their carry on luggage in the hold - must be overloaded. And our flight to Prague was delayed so we stood in the bus on the tarmac for a while. Did they call themselves EasyJet for a laugh?
"Notso" EasyJet

It'll take forever if we drive to Prague from Paris

Took off at least 45 minutes late. Both of us were zonked and fell asleep quickly. Short flight. I was amazed to see that Korean was written on the signs at the airport as well as English, Czech and Russian. Changed some pounds sterling left over from a previous holiday and spoke as much Czech as I could. This surprised the clerk. He was even more surprised to hear that I was from Australia. Then to top that off I bade him farewell in Czech and Russian (accidentally) which provided him with a decent laugh.
I wasn't expecting Korean on signs at Prague airport
Grabbed our bags, at least three groups of Koreans were also on that flight, and grabbed a taxi. Saw a guy with a sign looking for "James Pissis". Nearly pissed myself over that but didn't stop to take a photo. Our driver was quite talkative and surprised to hear that we were from Oz. Friendliest driver ever. He even rang our host and took us right to the door. Gave us a discount too. Guess it pays to know some of the language and history of the place you are visiting as it made him fell comfortable with us.

Waited 20 minutes for someone to let us in to the building. A guy came out the front door and I asked him if he was Martin. This guy was in total shock as his name was Martin. But he wasn't the Martin that was our host so it was a huge coincidence. The apartment that we had rented was spacious and clean with 10' ceilings. Went out and grabbed some Mexican food for dinner. Ordered in Czech and the guy just spoke Czech to me. There was a group of Aussies that he served just before me so why was everyone surprised that we were from there? Didn't have to worry about how comfortable the bed was as I was almost asleep before turning off the light.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Europe Holiday 2015 - Day One

Dropped The Boy off at the airport this morning as he was headed to India for three weeks with World Challenge. Hoping that he has a difficult time in a third world country and comes back to appreciate what he has in Australia. Put in a hard day at the office before heading home for dinner and last minute panicking, er packing.

We left about an hour earlier than usual because there was a customs officer strike during the day and we expected this to lead to some delays. The taxi driver was an Indian chap. On the radio we had, "Die Yuppie Die". No trouble reaching the airport.

Suitcases - 13.4kg and 11.8kg. This will be important once we reach day 20 or so.
Bye bye winter, hello expensive summer
Couple of teas before we got started. No swab test for bomb residue - surprising. Normally get asked to do this. Wasn't pleased with the way the security guy slammed the missus' bag which contained her tablet. Only waited for one family at border protection/immigration so the strike didn't have much of a knock-on effect.

Airbus A380 - big, luxurious, USB power. Emirates serves really nice food, except for the carrots, and the entertainment system is fabulous. Could do with noise-cancelling headphones though. Watched Avengers - Age of Ultron and Kingsman. Only one screaming baby and that didn't last long.

Just in case I'm asleep when they serve the next meal

Scam Call

Scammers. They're everywhere. But lately they've been trying really hard to get me on the phone. Take this call from "Jason O'Connor" from the ATO. He must think I'm a real dipshit.