Noilly Prattle: Glitches, Hitches and Snafus

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Glitches, Hitches and Snafus

     I can't remember the last time I had a flight that was completely without any hitches: loose nuts and bolts left in the engine by a careless mechanic, plane unable to fly and no spare plane on the premises, dead cow on the runway hit by the previous landing plane, faulty gauge on the instrument panel unable to show altitude correctly, etc. 

        But, how about a fire in the terminal building forcing everybody to evacuate onto the tarmac and mill around while some committee held a confab under the tail end of a British Airways jet trying to reach some consensus on whether to shit or go blind. 

pouring onto the tarmac at London City Airport
        We were milling around the gate to board our aircraft for Amsterdam when a siren suddenly went off and the voice of an attendant on the loudspeaker asked us to leave by the nearest exit. Well, hit with this sudden unexpected news people looked blankly at each other until one elderly started for the exit to the tarmac saying: "I'm not waiting for any confirmation!" Agreeing, road buddy and I followed suit and others joined in the exit line. Once outside, we were told that it was a false alarm and please to return to the waiting gate. So, everybody about faced and trundled back up the stairs.

milling around
        Whereupon, another staff member, told us that we all had to go out of the building again and to please follow him. Everybody dutifully queued up and followed the fellow out to the tarmac where people were pouring out of the building like ants. Looking around there didn't seem to be any smoke coming out of the building, nor any terrorist bomb explosions, yet many people and officials were gathering around the tail of a BA aircraft, milling around, chatting in a friendly manner, making jokes and waiting for the confab of officialdom to come to some kind of decision.

        Finally, things began to move and we were led back to the waiting gate but instead of returning into the building we boarded our aircraft. All this little bit of excitement and diversion took about 20 to 30 minutes and our flight was delayed about 15 minutes, so no great inconvenience was felt.

threatening sky
        We finally arrived at our new apartment around 5 p.m. and were met by the apartment manager. Before settling in, although the sky looked threatening, we thought we would go out to get a bite to eat and do some shopping for basic breakfast food items, but the weather turned for the worst with driving rain and wind. We talked it over and decided to get some stuff for a light supper back in the apartment, our first meal that turned out to be simple, cold roast beef, ham, cheese, potato salad, olives, bread and a bottle of Merlot and delicious.

       A parting shot from London City Airport and a nice welcome in Amsterdam, except for the damn driving wind and rain. But you can't have it all, at least not all at once...

       This morning dawned bright and sunny as the welcome rays of the sun poured into the east facing windows and flooded the room with light.

sunrise from our little balcony

living room flooded with sunlight

view from our balcony on a sunny morning

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