Efficious bitch

Oct 8, 2005 | | 0 comments |

I've just had the displeasure of dealing with some efficious bitch at Delta's luggage counter. The woman could hardly speak English for a start. Christ! If you're going to move to America, fucking well speak English. If I moved to HongTaiwanistan and didn't speak their language, I'm sure I'd get it in the neck.
She was so amazingly unhelpful I thought I was back in England. The bottom line then : my suitcase didn't arrive here tonight. She can't tell me if it arrived in Houston, and she can't tell me if it even left Amsterdam. In fact, I suspect the dumb bitch couldn't even remember her own damn name.
It seems then, that my suitcase is never to be seen again, because Amsterdam have helpfully closed the WorldTracer file despite me not actually having the bag.
Great.
Time to file a claim.

Holy snot - that's a lot of spam.

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I logged on to my work email server today for the first time in three weeks. Of the 21 pages of new emails, I got it down to 4 pages of new emails after I deleted all the spam.
And then there was the 28 pages of spam emails that the email servers had actually caught. 3 weeks, 45 pages of spam. That's 1,350 offers for a gigantic penis, pumped up with mis-spelled Viagra, paid for with Nigerian cash, intermingled with messages from people who apparently want to be my f*ckbuddy or want me to fill out a Coke vs. Pepsi survey.
Now that's a lot of spam.

New VW Golf. Hubba hubba.

Oct 7, 2005 | | 0 comments |

One thing I noticed while we were away were the new VWs and Audis on the streets back in Europe. I went to the local Audi dealership today to see if they had any info on the new A3 and it seems we're getting the Americanised version here. Longer, 4-doors, slower, more petrol-thirsty. Bugger. It's still a great-looking car though. Not quite as special as the new Golf though. 2 doors or 4, the new Golf is smokin'. Especially the R32.....

I went to the VW dealership too and so far they only have the new Jetta, which is basically the Golf with a boot. It looks pretty sweet too.

Tomorrow never dies ?

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Remember the James Bond film "Tomorrow Never Dies" where the media magnate was manufacturing "incidents" so that his media empire could cover them first and get great ratings? Two days in a row now, there's been a "big" news story when Wolf Blitzer has had his Situation thingy on CNN. Yesterday it was a non-specific threat to the NY subway, which Homeland Security hadn't even heard about, and today it was Penn Station and the Washington Monument both being evacuated. The timing of these "incidents" is uncanny when compared to CNN's Situation Room.

Being away for three weeks, I'd forgotten how paranoid Americans are. About everything.

George's thought for friday.

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Maybe I should have been attached to my suitcase.

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After all - it's travelled further than I have.
Paula got her suitcase today - it arrived after going to Narita of all places. Not quite sure how that happened given it was simply supposed to go from Palma to Barcelona to Amsterdam.
More fantastic still is that the other case went to Hong Kong, then Frankfurt, then back to Barcelona, then to Amsterdam. I'm due to see it tomorrow, if all the planets line up correctly.
I can't imagine the chocolate inside will be up to much if its sat on the taximat at Hong Kong and Barcelona. They're not the coolest airports at this time of year.

Holiday report.

Oct 6, 2005 | | 0 comments |

So we're back from holiday, and as a whole it was OK. I've not had a holiday in the true sense of the word since our honeymoon in 2000. Thanks to the pitiful 10 days annual vacation I get from my job in America, it took two years to build up enough time to fly to Europe with enough time for some respectable rest between jetlag. The first three days in Holland were great, seeing old friends for the first time in 4 years. But the part I was really excited about - two weeks in Mallorca - turned out to be less than ideal. Two days in I caught a cold. Thanks to a particularly viscious bug, I blocked up so bad that even going out in the sun made my head feel like it was going to explode. Swimming was off because I could hardly breathe, and thus so was snorkelling. Five years without a holiday, nine months without a cold, and I had to catch one exactly to coincide with the two weeks I wanted to be lying in the sun, swimming, and snorkelling. Instead I had to spend 9 of the 12 days inside. Hence I am about as white now as I was when we left..
Still, I cleared up for the last few days but the weather turned on us. Not one to miss an opportunity, bad weather in Mallorca means rough seas so I along with 3 other hardy souls went out in the rain on sunday to go and frolic in the churning waves coming ashore. Fun.
The flights back were fine but when we got to Schiphol, we discovered Iberia had conveniently lost all our luggage. (Delta lost it all on the way out - we've spent very little time with our luggage in the last few weeks). Because we were overnighting in Amsterdam then travelling on, we had to leave some bloody complicated notes in the bag search system about one case going to England and the other coming back to America etc. I called Paula in England this morning and she's been on to Schiphol. They've found the the suitcases - they were in Madrid. Don't ask why - we went from Palma to Barcelona, but anyway, they're going to be in Schiphol tonight. Paula should get hers tomorrow, I'll get mine the day after. It's an improvement though - this time yesterday they hadn't the faintest idea where they were....
Got home to find the cat asleep under the table. I startled her and she ran for the cat flap but realised it was me. Rather than give me the could shoulder for leaving her for three weeks (as cats do), it's been an absolute love-fest. She's following me everywhere at the moment, and right now as I type, she's asleep on my lap.
There'll be some holiday photos when Paula gets back next week - she's still got the digital camera in England.

And now for the "most unbelievable coincidence ever" section of this entry.
When we were at Schiphol a couple of weeks ago waiting for our flights to Mallorca, we got to the gate early and so had a seat near the doorway at the front. When they started boarding I stood up and peered through the terminal windows at nothing in particular. The lady next to me then tapped me on the shoulder and said "someone down there is waving at you". I looked down and bugger me, there was Mike De Best. I've not seen him for something like 8 years. It turns out he's the ground handling manager for Aviapartner at Schiphol - the luggage people. They'd had a question about something on our flight so he'd driven down to speak to the loaders. When he turned around, I stood up and looked out the window and he saw me. He blagged a jetway key from one of the aircraft handlers and came up through the gate the wrong way and we had a 3-minute catch-up on the previous 8 years. It was amazing to see him again!
Now I'm sorry, but I challenge anyone to come up with a better coincidence than that, especially as he technically should have been on vacation except that his wife had taken a tumble and they'd had to move it by a week.