Saturday, May 02, 2009

A Plague of Pitfalls

By Special Guest Blogger Merthyrmum
(aka Typ0’s mother)

Earlier in the year, my husband and I went on a two-month trip that included Ireland, Egypt, and Jordan. The following is a simple recipe for resolving the potential disasters that often arise during such trips.

The first potential disaster we encountered occurred at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. As I watched all the fools repacking their baggage so that they weren’t overweight, I found myself sneering in a rather superior manner. When we reached the front desk I discovered that my bags, which I had carefully weighed just a few short hours earlier, were now 5 pounds overweight. I was given the option of joining the humiliating throngs repacking their bags or simply paying $100 and swallowing my pride. With my face hidden so no one would see what I was doing, I handed over my credit card and mentally apologized to Typ0 for not buying her anything in Ireland since I had just spent her shopping budget on my suitcases.

Our second incident occurred after we departed Ireland for Egypt. We had decided to diversify and have three underweight bags rather than two that could have been deemed too heavy. I don’t think anyone who has flown recently would be surprised to hear the result of this brilliant idea was that our third bag was lost by the airline somewhere between Dublin and Cairo.

Luckily for us our brilliant daughter had arranged for someone to meet us at the airport and walk us through immigration and customs. The kind gentleman quickly took matters in hand and before we could even text Typ0 to bemoan the loss of our duffle bag, Hamoud had filled out paperwork to trace our suitcase and ensure its delivery to Typ0’s flat immediately upon its arrival.

I wish I could say that the arrival of our small green bag two days later marked the end of our travel related disasters but I can’t. The morning that Merthyrdad, Typ0, and I left for our Nile cruise we arrived at the airport at 5 am to discover that the travel agent had completely messed up our flight to Luxor to the point where we were in danger of missing the cruise entirely. We had been routed through Aswan to Luxor with no flight from Aswan to Luxor!

Once again our brilliant daughter came to our rescue. (Typ0, btw, is not at all helping in the editing of today’s post. Not in the slightest.) Typ0 sat her father and me down with a cup of coffee and approached the check-in desk on her own. Thirty minutes and several Egyptian pounds later Typ0 returned to our table with a grin on her face and three new boarding passes in her hand. Although she never explained how she accomplished the feat, she turned our roundabout route into a direct flight scheduled to leave within the hour.

The hiccups that befell us during our lengthy vacation didn’t end at the airport. We almost lost everything from cartouches to sheets but perhaps the greatest disaster was happening miles away from Egypt in our home. With only a few days left to us in Cairo, we learned that some rather inept criminals had broken into our house in Toronto, and that some rather kind neighbours had reported the crime and secured our home for us. But that is a tale for another day.

More news of our fantastic holiday later!

- merthyrmum


Kathy B! said...

If I ever come to Cairo I'm going to be sure to request Typ0 run interference for me. Fortunately for you, Typ0, I don't think that's on my agenda any time soon :)

Anonymous said...

merthyrmum here!
I had (nearly) forgotten the Egyptian sheets incident! I'll follow up on that incident soon.
Isn't old age great--no work, lots of play and no money :)

Bee and Rose said...

Typ0 would make a fabulous travel agent or personal assistant! I need her just to navigate me around here! lol!

lizzy-loo said...

typO seems skilled in negotiation. sounds like you had quite the adventurous trip. i am sure you have some great stories to tell.

Caution Flag said...

Lovely to meet you, Typ0's mother! She's one of my favorite bloggers, and I'm delighted she's back in blogdom.

the ungourmet said...

Thank goodness your daughter is such a great help to you! And, thank goodness your neighbors had your back as well!

Connie said...

Sorry to hear of all the craziness... but so glad that you were able to travel and see the sights! I was once advised to not bother with suitcases, just pack an overnight bag and travel by credit card, mailing stuff home as you go. Seems wasteful in one way, but in many ways, it is very wise... gotta find a good middle.

Miss Footloose said...

The thing about these adventures is that you now have something to write about! Traveling back to Armenia one time, we got stranded in ... PARIS! For two whole days! We made "lemonade" and it was very sweet. Expensive too, but hey, it beat getting stuck in a few other places I've been.

Miss Footloose

LadyFi said...

I loved your story, TypO's mum!

More please!