Getting there – (part 2 )
One of the good things about being a trolly dolly is that once a year I get to travel anywhere in the world for peanuts. I work hard for that ticket. Much as I love all of you lovely passengers, you can be a little testing at times, false teeth down the toilet, fist fights in the aisle, temper tantrums, breakdowns and endless requests for more alcohol and that’s just me on a good day!…but once I’ve finished doing all of that, it’s my pleasure to serve you….honest! In return I get my club class tickets…yipeee!
So I finally feel a little more settled when we get into our flatbed seats on the beautiful brand new A380 , a huge double- deckered beast with every mod con you can think of. One of my gorgeous colleagues gives me a glass of champagne and a cheeky wink and I know this will be a good journey. Jo is grinning like a Cheshire cat and by the time were over Paris she’s armed with two double brandies and feeling fine in her brand new lounge pyjamas. She has her films sorted and her fluffy socks on and is as happy as pig in the proverbial pile of poop. It’s not till were somewhere over Malaysia, many, many hours later, that her hangover kicks in. Still, she’s happy enough, if a little time-fucked and we start to feel the disorientation that comes with jet –lag. What time is it? What time is it back home? What time is it in Sydney? What time is it on mars? We have no clue, neither do our brains….but let’s just solve the problem by drinking more champagne…hurrah, problem solved!
As the plane touches down she gets tearful. I can understand. She hasn’t seen Gingy for two years. She explains this to Morag the passenger next to her. Morag hasn’t seen her daughter either and she too begins to cry. The baby in front begins to cry. The trolly dolly, who’s been on her feet serving us champagne with good grace and cheerful smile, begins to cry. It’s a snot fest as the wheels screech on the tarmac. We are here, Sydney…we made it!!! Now, what time is it?
I’ll tell you what time it is…it’s 6am! Early morning and freezing. So much for the Sydney sunshine! But the glow from us all is blinding, and not just because of Gingy’s bright red head hair…now complete with bright red backpacker’s beard! He looks like a Pirate! But a very, very happy Pirate as he hugs us both with such ferocity I fear I may have cracked a rib.
We are tearful, and buzzing and happy and tearful and buzzing and cold. It’s bloody cold outside.Did I mention that? I unzip my case and grab my coat as Jo makes the call to the hire car company…no answer? Hmmmmm must be a problem with the phone, foreign countries tend to play havoc with phones! So Gingy tries on his …no answer. We have champagne jet -lagged brain fuzz and can’t quite puzzle through problems so we stomp back inside and hassle someone who has no affiliation with our hire car company whatsoever. They’re kind and patient and obviously completely unable to help us.
We get caffeine and try again. Success, the wicked witch of the West answers… and tells us she has no paperwork and we will have to wait till 8am for the office to open, then promptly slams down the phone!…
‘What time is it I ask?’
‘6am’ says Gingy.
There are many, many expletives. And then we sit there like stunned deer for two hours drinking coffee to combat the champagne hangover now buddying up with blinding tiredness…just for fun.
08:01am . Back on the phone.
‘ Where’s our car?’ I snarl
‘ummmmm?’ comes the reply then, ‘ we will ring you back.’
WTF? Another half hour.. ‘shuttle bus is on its way.. Stand at point x which is half a mile away and in the coldest spot in the world, we will pick you up.’
One hour later I am smurf-blue with cold. There are many, many more expletives and now, one taxi ride later, we finally get to the car hire office. Yet more time passes, more expletives, some apologies and one slightly dodgy looking rustbucket appears. We pile in…get 40 yards down the road and it packs up. We pile out, back to office, more expletives, one very large swanky SUV appears and we all pile in. what time is it? No one knows.
And off we finally go, onwards to Terrigal, about an hour’s drive from Sydney…I don’t know if its Friday or Saturday, I am cold tired and ravenous. I knew coming to Australia was a bad fucking idea!