Eight hours after leaving home we’d still only reached London Gatwick Airport. This wasn’t the fault of the travel management company (aka my dear wife and by God she’s dear – sorry ‘dear’ is Scottish for expensive) who had organized it such that in order to get to the other side of the Med for our holiday in Greece , she’d booked two sets of low-cost airlines to get us there.
If ever there was a disaster waiting to happen this was it but amazingly Aer Lingus (Nice-Gatwick) was actually quite a pleasant experience. None of the scrimmage trying to get on the plane as there is with Sleazyjet and DanDare – you’re allocated a seat and the seat can accommodate fat gits like me – luxury! And they don’t scrutinize your luggage and call the Gestapo when you’re half a kilo overweight. It was virtually the perfect flying experience and who can say that nowadays? The only blot on this part of the trip was that I suspect they (Aer Lingus) pay a lower rate to Gatwick Airport because it took us a full half hour to walk to passport control! That’s my exercise for the week!
A four hour wait in Gatwick ensued which was filled with shopping (guess who?) and a long, delicious lunch and trying to find the gate we were being called to.
You know you’re in trouble when you keep seeing signs reminding travelers that ‘Gates 1-10 are 15 minutes walk’, whilst ‘Gates 11-20 are at least 30 minutes walk’ and then your gate comes up – Corfu – Flight 8535 – Gate 932 ! And then we rush like mad only to stand outside the plane doors for 30 minutes whilst the cabin crew draw lots to work out who will handle the loud, drunk, northern lot who always occupy the seats at the back of the plane – why the back seats? Because they get the booze trolley first – that’s why!
But, in fact, the trolleys, all three of them, hardly leave J’s seat. What with chocolate, Pringles, coffees, teas, Red Bulls, cokes and make-up, the crew have made their weekly sales target at seat 12C alone! And then 30 minutes later she pushes the ‘call the trolley-dolly button’. ‘Where do you think you are – BA?’, I ask. Gavin, the ever-so-nice trolley-dolly arrives and J asks for a bottle of champagne to be put on ice. Being a pretentious little bitch, she makes sure every seat within 10 rows hears her. A chorus of ‘oooooooohhhhhh’ goes round the plane, especially from the back where they are finishing their 15th can of Newcastle Brown Ale ……. each!
And then 11 hours after leaving home we’re passing over our house again – yup – 11 hours after leaving home I can look down and see Steve, Debbie and family lying beside my pool and drinking my white wine! And there’s only 2 more hours to go and that’s just the flying. Then there will be the mass brawl to get a trolley at Corfu airport and then we’ll be looking for Costas or Stavros or Manthos or Moussaka, our supposed taxi driver who will take us on the 45 minute drive to our hotel.
At least once we get there we’ll be greeted by a lovely Scottish lass who runs the place – she probably went there for a hen-night a few years ago, got legless (like most Scots girls on holiday), married a Greek guy who thought she was ‘sooooooooo beautiful – like the moon and the sun and the stars’ and all that crap they spout when they see a 15 stone ‘English’ woman who’s gagging for it, and the rest is history. I suppose now, she rolls Dolmades (stuffed vine leaves) on her thighs and peels potatoes from morning till night. She’ll be soooo thrilled when she sees one of her countrymen staying there.But, in the end, after the rows, the constant raids on my wallet, the fights with other travelers cause they’re putting their seat backs in my face and J having to visit every toilet we pass - is it all worth it?