Thursday, January 31, 2008

Travels and Travails

As a part of my recent overseas trip I spent a week and a half in Turkey. It'd been 11 years since I was last there and I was really looking forward to going back as I'd absolutely loved the place and have spent the last decade urging almost everyone I know to make sure they went there.

Suffice to say it's changed a lot, and not all of it has been for the best. More on this shortly.

Firstly let us muse on the dubious benefits of flying Easyjet. This was a first for me and I can honestly say if I can avoid it in the future I will. I guess the adage pay peanuts get monkeys rings true because there was a lot of monkey business on my flight. This was mainly, no solely, due to a group of Turks and their English girlfriends who were making the most of the inflight bar.

Suffice it to say one gentleman over-indulged and ended up giving one of the stewardesses some aggro. He didn't take kindly to being told to stop being so passionate with object of his affection. As a result of his outburst he was greeted at Sabiha Gokcen airport by the police who informed him of the error of his ways. This didn't do a lot for his temper which was then further inflamed when he learnt his girlfriend and other companions had abandoned him at the airport. Nothing like being spurned like a rabid dog to get the emotions to boiling point.

The next thing you know he storms onto the airport shuttle bus demanding to know where his girlfriend was and who had shopped him to the police. The fact that the airline had done it failed to cross his alcohol addled psyche. Labelling all on board the bus a bunch of racist c**ts he stumbled off the bus, clasping his duty free cigarettes, and disappeared into the night.

Then he came back five minutes later and did it all again.

A couple of policemen duly arrived and hauled him off for another talking too. All in all he was having a bad day.

And that's how I arrived in Turkey.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Pondering International Travel

I just got back this week from a lengthy trip around various parts of Europe. I'll write something more meaningful in due course but for now I'd like to make a few observations.

Britain; why is it, in a nation where cooking shows run 24/7, that no-one cooks and supermarkets are dominated by disgusting frozen heat and eat meals?

Foxes in Marylebone central London?! What the hell?

If ben Nevis wasn't adjacent would anyone ever stay in Fort William?

Why is it that Parisians have a fearsome reputation for dealing with tourists when the reality is they're actually very nice. It's Londoners that are the cantankerous ones.

Frankfurt - why do I always get stuck there?
And what's with the toilet paper at Frankfurt Airport? I know Germans are an austere lot but that bog paper is beyond a joke. It's like sandpapering your colon.

Thank God for Changi Airport in Singapore. The internet is free (as opposed to the 20 Euro/hr you get stung for in Europe), and it even has designated smoking areas in the terminal. Some even have their own bars. It gets my tick of appreciation, all the way from the bottom of my black little lungs.

Oh and another bonus. No barbed wire sandpaper there either.