Bad times in Beauvais....

Trip Start May 14, 2008
Trip End May 27, 2008

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Friday, May 16, 2008

Oh Dear. The information Mary gave me about the buses to Beauvais (Cheap flights, tiny airport---Ryanair InterEurope) was incorrect. Buses were supposed to be available to Beauvais (75 minute trip) every half hour according to the schedule, but that information was obsolete. I had missed the single, early bus (7am) and the next was not until 10:30 am; my flight was scheduled to leave at 9:30 am. So I flagged a taxi and explained that I needed to get to Beauvais ASAP. The driver nodded and broke all land speed records. He really flew, achieving speeds of 170 Km/hr and I was white-knuckling the back seat. Then, ironically, he ran out of gas. We virtually coasted into a filling station as he apologetically put a cursory amount of gas into the tank and continued the race against the clock. I paid a premium ten euro to take an express route. The fare was $140 Euro ($210.00 USD~~the bus would have been 13 euro that I prepaid) and I was exactly 9 minutes late to board. Without exception they only offered me a flight 12 1/2 hours later, to arrive in Rome at Midnight and for a fee of 75 more Euro. SO in addition to the 75 Euro I already paid for my original flight, this stupid fiasco is costing me almost 400 Euro ($650 USD) and that does not include the taxi fee to get to my hotel in Rome. I could not reach Brian at all since his cell phone did not work in Holland and I had no internet access.

I purchased wifi at a small eatery, but the reception is so poor that it takes several minutes to load every page. You'd think that for the price they are charging, they would guarantee decent reception...ah but this is Europe and my American expectations are despised as ostentacious. Brian finally got through to me and wanted me to go back to Paris, Charles DeGaulle Aeroporte and get *any* flight I could to Rome. I do not relish the thought of losing all this money and then spending more to save a few hours. The cell phone service is sporatic at his end and we could not complete a conversation. He was desperately trying to tell me that he had made other travel arrangements for me, but I could never get the complete information...this is the pits.

So I am stuck in this substandard airport with no option but to wait. A very tan and handsome man sits across from me at my diminutive table, eating a huge steak and haricot vert. It smells strongly of garlic. He tells me, in broken English, that he had the eatery add garlic to the haricot vert because he has a bad he gluttonously devours the steak. For dessert he has blackberry yogurt to which he adds 3 large packets of sugar and washes it all down with diet coke. I giggle at the irony. He interprets it as flirtation, impulsively grabs and kisses my hand and says he is off to Stockholm. Lost in translation.
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