Thursday, March 26, 2009

From Ryanair to Cryinair


I need to speak to your manager.

OK before I go into detail about how awesome break was, and how much fun I had with my family visiting and Alyson as well, I need to first get this off my chest. I may address all that fun stuff in another entry.

FUCK RYANAIR. That's right, damn you Ryanair, with your low prices and incompetent employees.

I have been thrilled at the prospect of being in LONDON from March 25th - 30th. For the first two nights, I am staying with Alyson in her super posh flat, then two nights in a hotel with Rutgers, then back to Aly's for another night. Funzies!!! Obviously, since I have had 3 months of bliss over here in Europe, it was only a matter of time before I was royally shit upon by some sort of higher power or another...or in this case, fucking Ryanair.

So, I have a 3:30 flight yesterday from Dub-dub to Stanstead. A 45 minute flight, easy, breezy, beautiful. I get there at 1, having already checked in online, having re-entered and verified my passport information online, having my print out boarding pass in hand. At security, they took my boarding pass, scanned it, and I was sheparded into one of the many lines of travelers as we all passed lethargically through the obstacle course of security. Everything went so damn smoothly, I was sitting in front of my gate before 2 o'clock, with ample time to relax, read, and write. Finally, after a blurry hour of daydreaming, people began to queue up to board. I was near the front of the line, excited for a brief and easy flight, and appreciative of all the free time I have here, enabling me to get up and leave for 5 days. It was with these pleasant thoughts in mind that I handed my boarding pass, passport, and GARDA card to the Ryanair worker in a bright orange vest.

This worker, who will be referred to henceforth as "Ryan, The Ryaniar Douche Bag" or simply "Ryan the Douche" intruded into my happy place and informed me that I needed to get my Visa checked. Oh silly Ryan, I already checked in online, you then emailed me a boarding pass, I printed it out, after they scanned it, I went through security, and I don't even have a Visa, I'm officially registered at the GARDA, and approved until October...check out my GARDA card. This is all a misunderstanding/a clear indication of your lack of knowledge of your own employer's protocols. Why should I be telling this guy how his employer operates? Ryan The Douche told me to step aside and let the rest of the passengers through. At this point I am bewildered, and angered. I attempted to reason with the other employees standing around helping to board our flight. Ryan The Douche, repeatedly interjected, spouting the same 3-4 sentences at me, like Woody from Toy Story, except instead of endearing silliness like "There's a snake in my boot!" he was more like, "Your never validated your Visa...You have to go back to the desk before security...I can't let you on this flight, they won't let you back in the country if you leave." As I began to realize how serious RTD was being about not letting me on, I quickly decided I needed to stay composed and attempt, without going Jersey on this guy, to convey to him that he's incorrect, without insulting/punching him. Our debate lasted a solid 10 minutes, and RTD maintained his resolute/retarded position and I began to panic as he checked in the last few passengers onto the flight.

I was now trying my best to stay composed, as I could tell my mental state was balancing on a tightrope between outrage and hysterics. With a deep breath I one more time explained everything to RTD, and began pleading with him to at least ring the front desk and verify my online information, or anything, anything he could do, since going back to start I would miss my flight...and for fuck's sake I didn't need to go back there anyway!!! Now I was tearing up, in all honesty. At this point, a young British guy, business man as evidenced by his briefcase and attire, came up to me and asked "Are they not letting you on the flight?" Then he approached RTD and said "Sir, she has been sitting here all afternoon, at least for the past two hours. What's the problem?" RTD launched AGAIN into his broad vocabulary consisting of maybe 40 words. The guy apologized to me, said they gave him a bit of trouble on his way over here about his luggage, that Ryanair was unorganized, and that if his company didn't pay for the flights he would never fly Ryanair again. This was a small consolation, and honestly I barely heard him. He turned and walked past the doors that I was apparently destined never to cross.

Well, the gates closed and I was defeated. My mental state did a total 180 and I stared at the plane as they shut the doors. What the FUCK?? I was enraged, but I had tried my best to negotiate with RTD. There was nothing more to say, I was crying silently now, but the tears didn't make me any less bewildered or angry. Having missed the flight, I had no way to get in touch with Alyson either, so she would miss me when I was supposed to meet her at Earl's Court later on. Knowing Alyson, she would also freak out. I was grateful for my massive sunglasses as I tipped them onto my eyes from my forehead and sped off in the direction toward security, at least a 10 minute walk, to talk to someone who could sort this out/hopefully fire Ryan The Douche. I was defeated, infuriated, and upset. What the fuck do I do now?

After doing laps around the airport, upstairs, downstairs, and back again...getting directed and misdirected by Ryanair workers with varying abysmal command of the English language, I found myself at the Ryanair ticket desk, at the entrance to the airport. FML. Although I wanted most to burst into tears or scream obscenities, for what felt like the millionth time, I took a breath and explained what had happened to the woman behind the desk. She made one phone call, then apologized to me, and told me they would put me on a free flight to Stanstead or the London area as soon as they could, which ended up being 3 and a half hours later. Finally my relief outweighed my anxiety and anger.

FML.

Well isn't this deja-vu! Here I am going through security again! Lovely!!

I tried to put it all behind me. I tried to focus on the fact that the next 5 days would be really fun. But for the present time, I was pissed. Back in the airport, back to gate D. I was not as lighthearted waiting for the second flight as I was for the first...obviously. Additionally, 5 feet across from me, a woman was sitting with her three young children, they were loud, obnoxious, and kind of....dirty. Ew. Normally seeing kids makes me smile, but this was just the opposite. I tried not to let the curiosity mixed with disgust read on my face, but like a train wreck I couldn't stop looking at this weird family. Something just seemed a bit off. Then, the mother shouts down the long and open terminal, to 3 more kids! These were older though, two of them definitely teens, and as I stole glances at them continually, I observed they both had tramp stamps on their lower back...like the family crest, I chuckled to myself. That was cruel Nicole...Maybe I was being so vicious in an attempt to displace some of my anger at what had happened today. I felt like a bitch...For a moment, then I felt nauseous because I swear this Octo-Mom wannabe had just flashed me her breast. What the fuck was that? A sick trick of the eye? Ew! I resigned myself to my book again. But as 2 more kids screeched onto the scene, running and chasing each other and diving under their mothers chair, I realized that she was breast feeding the youngest kid. For all to see!! Not even trying to be discrete!! What the FUCK!! This wasn't a family, this was a circus!!! I got up and left, hoping against hope that this shitshow of a family would not be on my flight.

As it turns out they weren't. And as it turns out, after a little train and tube action, I made it to London in one piece. Alyson was in bits waiting for me, as she was tryign to call but I didn't get service in the tube. Oh well, all's well that ends well, I guess?

We are going out tonight, and I am hella excited. From the hours I went off wandering today while Aly was at her internship, I got to see just how big this city is and I really can't wait to see more of it!

That's all for now, just needed to vent. I also haven't written in awhile.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

March!? Please slow down...at least to a leisurely walk.

Spring Break!! WOOOOO Dublin Edition

Well, I am officially on Spring Break, as of last Friday. The week before, one of my classes were canceled all week long, declared as a "reading week" because we had a paper due the following week. This is standard procedure. Nice right? Although if Rutgers offered a similar courtesy, they would be canceling class constantly. I am anxious to get my first paper back. Honestly I have done so little school work here I was having trouble formatting and...well...thinking. As I texted my friend from the comp lab "I forgot how to read and write". Seriously though the academic wheels have not been turning over here. We'll see what kind of grade I get on that paper...I am skeptical and really don't know what to expect.

.....

Bitches love my new haircut

One man's trash is another man's treasure? Is that the saying? Well, the Irish are fascinated by Guidos. Thanks to YouTube, the images and attitude I tried hard to describe can actually (unfortunately) come to life. I think perhaps we should relocate all of the Gweeds & Guidettes to Ireland, where their fist-pumping, trashy ways, and orange skin would first be seen as a novelty...then the Irish can get sick of them and beat the shit out of them. Not to mention the profits from tanning salons would go through the roof. Hmm. Then we can re-claim the beaches too. I think it's worth looking into.

.....

Tick-tock, tick-tock

I cannot believe how fast time is passing here.
I swear this island must exist in a time warp.

I am at times almost panicky that I will wake up and it will be the day I have to leave.
I still do have a substantial amount of time left, which I keep reminding myself.
Life has been great over here, there's really not much else to say.
I am looking into the opportunity of staying here all summer long. Seriously, 5-6 months sounds like a long time, but it really isn't. I want to extend it as long as possible.

Before dealing with all of that, I am going to just enjoy the next two weeks, immensely. My sister and Alyson fly in on Friday. Nance & Jack fly in on Sunday. My sister and Aly leave on the 19th and 18th, respectively. Nance & J leave on the 21st. Sopan is flying in for the weekend on the 20th-22nd. St. Patrick's Day in Dublin with my family & best friend...doesn't get much better than that.

Also, I booked my trip to London, from March 25th-March 30th...who cares if I'm missing a little class...chances are I wouldn't make it to all of them anyway...and flights are cheaper going out on a Wednesday rather than the weekend. Holla back Ryanair.

I'm so excited, and so happy. =)