Sunday, December 24, 2006

Chaos at the Kiosk, Rockin' the Roads

J, that bastard is sleeping in.

He didn't buy his ticket to Malaga on time, so instead of being on our ass early flight, he gets to take off in the afternoon. Elena and I, on the other hand, had to deal with getting up early, hopping on the Heathrow Express, and fighting the crowd at the airport.

Luckily, we spotted some of British Airways' automated check-in kiosks. No line, no waiting. Sweet!

Yeah, that'd be great if the machine didn't jam up and eat the boarding passes. Fuck. Not this crap again.

Fortunately, while Heathrow is as much of a clusterfuck during the holidays as any other airport in the world, BA has some pretty excellent customer service, and we were re-checked in and ready to go in minutes. Disaster averted.

"Let's get some breakfast," I said.

"Dude, there's hot breakfast on the plane," Elena replied.

"I am NOT leaving London without having a full English breakfast, dammit."

And so we sat down at the airport outlet of Giraffe and ordered breakfast, waiting for our gate to come up on the departures board. Two bites in, the sign said "Now boarding." ARGH.

I scarfed like I was in some sort of competitive eating contest. I'm getting my fill of eggs, bacon, potatoes, tomato, etc. at all costs. And in time to make our flight.

We crammed into our coach seats, only to have our takeoff delayed by Heathrow's lingering fog problems. ARGH.

Eventually, we arrived in Malaga, got our luggage, only to wait in a car rental line that seemed to take hours and hours. The same crying babies from our flight all happened to be waiting for the same car rental company (Goldcar Europa). Mental note: Pay a little more for a car next time, just to avoid the hellish wait.

When we finally did get our car, it wasn't what I ordered. I had booked a Mercedes-Benz A class, and instead we got this Seat, the Spanish arm of Volkswagen Audi. It's actually not bad at all. A 5-speed diesel, super comfy, spacious, and with a kickin stereo system. Perfect for a bit of comfort on Spain's crazy autopistas.

Lanes are narrow, there are no shoulders, and you generally get only 50 metres or so to merge with traffic. On the other hand, speeding seems to be de rigeur here, and roundabouts make life so much easier. I could totally get used to this...

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