Its been a crazy week.
It all started with the MH17 disaster. Waking up on Friday morning, I was in shock along with the rest of the world at the loss of innocent lives. And I was concerned.
I was concerned because I was flying from Australia to Europe the next day (Saturday afternoon) at 4pm. So I asked my wife to call the travel agent and see if anything has changed for our flight.
Of course, our flight got changed to 10am. I was like WTF.
And I had questions.
Like when was the travel agent going to call and tell us that the flight changed. Of course the travel agent put the onus back on us. She said that they advise all of their customers to call and check 24 hours before they depart in case something changes. I have no problem with calling, however when I booked the flights back in January, she did not mention nothing of the sort.
Anyway, it got changed, it got changed. What else could I do except roll with the new schedule. So I asked if our connecting flight at Bangkok got changed as well.
The answer was NO. I was not happy right now. So instead of having a 2 hour stop over at Bangkok, we now had a 8 hour stop over. With three kids aged 9, 7 and 2, I did my best to book a flight that had hardly any waiting time. And now it was coming all undone.
And it had nothing to do with MH17. It was just airline politics. But if it wasn’t for the M17 disaster I would have missed my flight because I had no intention of calling the travel agent.
So on Saturday morning at 4am we got up, left home at 5am and drove to Sydney airport. We checked in at 7am, had some brekkie and then boarded a Thai Airways plane to Bangkok. 9 hours later we arrived in Bangkok.
The Bangkok eight-hour wait was a killer. And the following lyrical line from the song “City Limits” just kept on repeating in my head;
ARE WE LIVING OR ARE WE MERELY KILLING TIME.
While we walked the airport to kill time, the Thai workers just kept on saying “how cute” to my little guy. And they always reached out to touch him.
Now my little guy is not a strangers person, so he always moved his head or body away to avoid their touch. And then, a few hours before our midnight flight, he avoided another strangers touch and this time in his tiredness his chin hit the ground and he split his lip. He screamed and screamed and screamed until he fell asleep on my shoulder.
And to top it off, the Austrian airplane we caught was even worse. While the Thai Airways plane had a decent amount of leg room and space, the Austrian airplane had neither. 10 hours later we arrived in Vienna.
And we had a four-hour wait before we caught our final plane to Skopje. This wait was okay and bearable. However it was not without hiccup. Austrian Air had overbooked the flight, so they asked people if anyone wanted to surrender their ticket and they would be compensated 260 Euro and given a flight six hours later.
After two flights totalling 19 hours and two waiting periods totalling 12 hours, I was not giving anything up.
So as is the norm, hundreds of people stormed the boarding gate.
As I had kids, I had priority to board first and thank god for that. We caught our plane and 1 hour and 30 minutes later we touched down in Skopje and prepared ourselves for a three-hour drive to our destination of Struga.
And holidaying is meant to be relaxing and easy.