vrijdag 21 november 2014

Escaping an Airport

My first flight from Amsterdam to the airport at Norwich, U.K., went smoothly. Though it was a bit surprising that we started with landing after I just got my coffee. Thanks go to Flybe for almost burning my fingers. But it was a nice training in not spilling coffee. I only got a small bit over my trousers. Travelling for the first visit to my lovely new British girlfriend, it was impossible to get me in a bad mood.
Immigration and Customs was handling our group very swiftly and very soon I could walk out of the airport. I had heard that I would have problems getting to the buses, but it was very surprising to see the immense roadblocks that were in front of the airport. I think safety measures were taken after 9/11 but this was a bit weird. They had made the entrance unreachable for anything but people by foot.
I asked a man who had been with me on the plane where to find the buses. He laughed a bit and said that it was impossible to go by bus. He pointed in a direction and said: “Over there is a Park and Ride service. But it’s not meant for you, it’s only for people who come by car.” I was amazed! He added that he was going to walk to the parking area. Over there his family was going to pick him up. I should order a taxi.
I thanked him and walked back into the airport terminal. I went to the only check-in counter that was manned. The girl had nothing to do, so I asked her if she knew how to order a taxi. She told me she didn’t know, it was not part of her job to order taxis or such.  How stupid could I be! Of course not!
The office looked a bit like a living room, it had a settee and a little table and there was a refrigerator. On the wall was a sort of walkie-talkie, shouting voices were to be heard. What they yelled was totally incomprehensible. On the other side of the room was a television that showed the news. There was nobody to give any assistance. And there was nothing to warn someone that assistance was needed.So again I walked out of the building. I now was a man with knowledge and I would be with My Love very soon. It wasn’t hard to find: I saw a couple in front of the office with their suitcases at their feet. They told me they had been waiting here for ten minutes already and were fed up with it.
I was not going to follow the example of the couple. To wait in vain I thought was useless. So I walked back to the Information desk. The woman was still very friendly and told me I had to be patient and that she was not going to phone a taxi for me. A thought came to me: I had seen a little restaurant in the building! So I walked back further in the building. It wasn’t my lucky day: the restaurant was closed!
One thing left for me: back to the taxi office again. The couple was still waiting there. They didn’t see a living soul appear in the office.
After a while a man dressed like a cleaner came to the building on his bicycle. He came up to us and asked if we were in need of help. We sure were! And what a relief: he was able to help. He knew the telephone number of a taxi company. The man of the couple had a mobile phone and he phoned a taxi for him and his wife and one for me. The cleaner told us that the taxi would pick us up at the parking area. We walked over there and after ten minutes two taxis showed up. I thanked the man for his help, we got in and the taxis drove out of the airport. Phew, I was really on my way again!

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