Thursday, April 26, 2012

You are probably wondering ...

... why there's a picture of an old beat-up KLM jumbo jet on my blog this evening. The answer is, rather prosaically, that that's how I arrived in Montreal.

Yes, it's a change from the Air France aeroplane upon which I had planned to arrive, but thereby hangs a tail and if your luck is in, then it's in, that's all I can say.

I arrived in good time at the airport to be greeted with the news that the aeroplane is sold out (not a problem for me, of course) but that the one planned to do the flight has broken down and the only one to replace it has 40 seats fewer. And so they need 40 volunteers prepared to go to Montreal by alternative means.

"We'll give €300 to anyone who will travel by other means" announced the hostess and, believe me, I was the first in the queue and there were casualties.

"I would go via Hell itself, even Old Trafford, as long as I get to Montreal tonight" I proudly announced.
"There's no need to go to those lengths. If you are quick there's a flight departing for Amsterdam in 25 minutes and a 'plane for Montreal that gets in about 40 minutes later than the one that you are booked on".
Now I can be quick when there's €300 involved, I mean, I'd bash up my own granny for a fiver. I hung around just long enough to get the mazooma and then I was off like a ferret up a trouser leg.

And there I was

And here I am.

I shan't go into the boring details about the airport security because you've heard me say it all before. But to ease the pain I kept on whispering to myself "three hundred euros - three hundred euros". After all, it works out at about €500 per hour and I've never had a job that paid that well, not even selling my body on Boots Corner in Crewe. At least, it would have been but the 'plane was late. Still, never mind. Who's complaining?

And on the flight there were three things of note. I was sat next to a young girl who was half-Dutch and half-Tanzanian and I had the most enjoyable flight companion that I've ever had. In fact I was quite disappointed when she hopped into a taxi at the airport, having refused the lift that I offered her. And secondly, they actually found a vegan meal for me, just as I was thinking that it was lucky that I brought a gingerbread loaf with me, and thirdly, even more surprisingly, I was chatted up by ... errr ... one of the air stewards, who spent a great deal of time chatting to me as well and even gave me a pen with his compliments. However, at the end of the flight, in the best traditions of a News of the World reporter, I "made my excuses and left". Well, b*gg*r me!

So I'm in my Comfort Hotel just down the road from the Airport, with His Nibs, a cheeseless pizza from the restaurant next door, and the Dodge (a black one this time) on the car park.

And they knew that I was coming all right. This one has almost 18,000 kilometres on the clock.

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