Sunday, September 1, 2013

Uk 2013 - day 5: Dublin - To cry or not to cry

"Crying is non use," said the little mouse to Gretel at the witch's house. "You have to act."

But hey, if acting is no use, then cry. Yes, cry your lungs out, and make sure people see you and hear you - people who can do something about it.

Today was Murphy's Law day. The lucky part of today was the weather. People have been talking about the end of the heat wave, about thunderstorms, but we got another bright sunny day. "Oh happy day!"

But here we go on to all the comedy of errors that was today:
I started the day last night, by leaving for today what I could have done yesterday. How typically Brazilian of me. And taht is not meant to be a compliment. I am such a procrastinator, and even though I keep getting myself in trouble because of that, I never learn. That has to be something inherent to Brazilian blood. Or maybe I just have a learning issue. A big learning issue.

Last night we realized our flight left too early for all our plans. So instead of planning on a relaxing local morning we decided to drive downtown Dublin and get two things done: Guiness and Book of Kells. Then lunch at Brazen Head.
We woke up late - that means breakfast was late and we left late. And I didn't weigh the suitcase which should have been 15kg max. Well,  it wasn't. I should have done that the night before. Ask me if I did. Well, don't ask.

The one good thing about it all is that on the way to Book of Kells, at a random traffic light, I met a college mate that i hadn't seen in years.

If you go to the Guiness Brewery by park use their complimentary parking lot Crane Street.

We got there by 11 am. By the time we left Guiness, it was past 1. I knew we should have gone straight to the airport, but Dean thought we could make it to the Book of Kells. He was trying to accommodate the schedule for me, since I had wanted to do it since our first trip. All we had to do was skip the Brazen Head. Right?

Bad idea.

The flight gate closed at 4:15 and we still had a 20 minute drive to the airport, plus returning the car at a location we were not sure of - because in my procrastination, I figured I'd check it in the morning (the morning on which we were late, so I didn't check).
Whenever you rent a car, make sure you know the returning procedure - either ask the agent, or check the paperwork they give you.
And if you have a flight closing at 4:15, don‘t plan to arrive at 3:30.

We made it to the airport, and had to go to this "closing flight" line. Yes! Remember that! If you are ever cutting close to your flight, go to the Closing Flight line!!!

Our Checked Bag was 9 kilos too heavy. We took all the heavy stuff out of it, and it still was 2 kilos too heavy. Guys, this is Ryanair. It gets as cheap or as expensive as you make it. At £20 a kilo we lost £40. Or was it Euros? Who knows!

That created another problem. When we went through security, all the heavy stuff we removed from the suitcase had liquids and gels in them - they were now in our hand luggage. To make matters worse, the security guy decided to be a jerk (for lack of a worse word that is appropriate to write on a kid-friendly blog) and inspected each and every item on Dean's shaving bag and shopping bag (which were supposed to have been checked in).

Remember I told you the worse thing for me is to realize things are getting screwed up because of me. Well this was the day I screwed up EVERYTHING. So I felt lower than a snake's belly.
I was already feeling awful because my inability to:
pack the night before;
weigh the suitcase;
check the returning place of the rental car;
decide to buy an extra check in luggage at £25 - instead of the £20/extra kilo;
decide to go straight to the airport and the Book of Kells.

All day I had been wondering why on earth did I even schedule any events for that day when we could perfectly well have driven to places around Cookstown ...

So I was feeling pretty crappy about myself when at the x-ray stop, Dean pulled this very heavy tray right onto my cheek bone at full speed. I wanted to punch him so bad, and I wanted to sit down and cry in pain, but, instead, I just called out a number of nasty words and got our stuff ready for x-ray.

Now - after all that feeling crappy plus dealing with the pain of a heavy plastic tray being thrust as my cheekbone for no reason (those freaking Irish trays are just extra heavy! What is wrong with those people?) - there was I, watching some guy with power issues, in a security uniform, treat my husband like an idiot who can not pack a hand luggage in the post-9/11 age, and take away all the stuff my husband had carefully bought at Boots over the course of 4 days.

Can you guess what happened?

I began to cry - uncontrollably.

Everyone around me, including my husband, thought I was worried we would miss the flight. The flight at that point was the least of my worries. My trigger was the humiliation of having our personal items searched and taken away from us.

But, hey, let them think what they want as long as they get me what I want.

This security lady (maybe Mr. Power-issues boss) came asking him why I was crying. Dean said we were supposed to be boarding in 5 minutes, the Lady told the security guy to just let us go, while she assured me we would not be missing the flight.

And I? I cried all the way to the gate, I kept on copiously crying at boarding line, and I cried until I decided to ask, because I am borderline masochist,  "How much money did you lose in confiscated products?"
" Nothing!" Dean replied. "After you cried the lady had us take everything."
Then my crying turned into laughter. It was like watching water turning into wine - Unbelievable. I laughed and I laughed!

That, one more time, proves my theses - when nothing else works, cry your lungs out.

But that wasn't the end of the day's troubles. Remember this is a Murphy Law day
We boarded, we landed in London's Luton and went to pick up the car...

Oh! BTW, there is no immigration in London if you're coming from a EU  country... This is a beautiful thing.

At the car counter, the girl says she will charge us for the one way fee and other fees, even though I had been assured twice over the phone that those would not be charged - if you ever see, stay away from them - they lie. I found them via Kayak. I took me an email threat to get my credit card to cancel their whole purchase for them to refund my money.

Well, their little lie cost me £72+, a better and cheaper flight at a later time in the evening, which would have avoided all the rush, stress and crying of that day.

Word to the wise - never book the car before you know for sure you will be arriving at a specific airport.

Our car is a cute Hyundai i10, but not nearly as well built and spacious as the VW up!.

Dean says it doesn't drive as well either, and the pedals aren't very user friendly. As for fuel economy, we haven't been keeping track of it at all. This is so wrong! We are a couple of slackers!

We drove to St.Albans to have dinner at one of the oldest pubs in England -Ye old fighting Cocks - but it was to pricey, so we figured, who cares! And walked back to a pub we had walked by on the way there. It looked cute and affordable.

We had to pay for parking at St. Albans. It is really upsetting to pay for parking when you are going to spend money anyway... I like the idea of the validation - you don't pay if you have purchased stuff.

The drive to Castle Combe was long, and I fell asleep many times, because we lost the aux cable and couldn't listen to music.

The Mouse Trap Inn is a lovely place and the bed is so cozy!

So, yes, I am in my yummy cozy bed. The perfect ending for a stressful day. Hoping for a great, big, beautiful tomorrow -  and better than today, because another day like this is torture. Good night, people. ... mmm, cozy yummy bed ...

Book of Kells - €9.00(cash)
Book of Kells - €9.00(credit)
Christopher place car park  in St.Albans - £3.00(credit)
The Fleur de Lys - £29.40(credit) dinner
Ryanair - €40.00(credit)
The Belfast House £165.00(credit)
Guiness Storehouse - €33.00(cash)
Petrol - €5.01(cash)

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