Navigating the backstreets of a Spanish island in a manual hatchback with no map should be a recipe for disaster.
I was perplexed to rock up at the terminal hours early without so much as a missed turnoff. There was that gnawing feeling that something was about to go wrong.
EZ8634 – DELAYED.
They put it in red so you can’t miss it. I’m already through security, and luckily I had the foresight to swap my sandy jandals and damp togs for fresh clothes in the handicapped loo.
NEW BOARDING TIME – 01:20.
The original flight time was already a stretch. “Will we be ok at work if we get in at 2am?”, I remember asking Paul. Then, a month ago easyJet bumped the flight back another hour. “How about 3am?” I said in a slightly high pitched voice when I got the email.
And now this – a delay of almost three further hours. Paul asks when we’ll get home. I do the maths, factor in the hourly train from Gatwick and the night bus to our place… “about 5:30am” I realise aloud.
EasyJet give us vouchers for the inconvenience. I get a Whopper Jr meal from BK. The guy thrusts the tray at me and I watch in slow motion as my Large Coke No Ice hurtles off the tray, landing Glee-style square in the centre of my formerly-fresh shirt.
He shrugs and hands me a single napkin.
Everything takes longer than they tell us it’s going to. About eight hours, six queues, two airport buses, one shuttle, one train, a London bus, a brisk walk and a patdown later, we arrive home. It’s almost six o’clock. The sky is lightening. I can hear birds I’ve never heard before.
A few short hours later, I arrive in the office before anyone else. Turns out my boss is stuck in New York, after his week long trip was trampled all over by an earthquake and a hurricane. He’s in JFK with thousands of other stranded travelers and has no idea when he’ll be home.
I decide that my night really wasn’t so bad, and head to the coffee machine.
My chest is still sticky.