Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Dublin Airport

These two days were boring.

Woke up at 7 AM for my 11 AM flight out of Berlin to Dublin, to get a 5:20 PM flight from Dublin to JFK. It was cheaper to book the Dublin roundtrip and then do the Berlin-Dublin flight than to book out of Berlin directly back.

Got to Dublin, knowing I had 5 hours to kill before the flight. So I went to the bathroom, leaving me 4 hours and 55 minutes to kill before the flight. So I bought a couple of books. And the cashier needed my boarding pass so she wouldn't charge tax (yeah, I'd never seen that before either), and she told me I was at the wrong end of the terminal, and I told her I had 5 hours, and she told me the airport is boring and there are lots of restaurants around and I should go to one of those, since I'd have to go through security again anyway at the other side of the terminal. So I decided she was probably right, and I walked outside. And then I realized this is an airport. Airports don't have restaurants right outside. They have parking lots and highways. So I walked to the right. And got to nowhere. A dead end and a highway. So I walked to the left. And walked. Past the parking lots. Past a gas station. Past a highway entrance. I'm making it sound longer than it was. I walked for 18 minutes. And all I saw in the distance was the Holiday Inn Dublin Airport. So I went in. They had a restaurant. It looked okay. I walked to it. The woman looked at me. I said "1." She said, "You want the bar. Make a left." I said, "No, the restaurant." It wasn't too crowded. There were a couple of elderly people. "No, the restaurant is for full meals. You just want a snack, at the bar." I think my t-shirt and shorts and sneakers may have made her not want me eating in her restaurant or something. I don't know. So I left. And kept walking. And found the Southern Hotel, or something like that, but there was no way in without crossing a highway, and no way to get anywhere else. So I went back to the Holiday Inn and went to the bar and got a sandwich. I got the one that sounded interesting. "Rashers of crispy bacon bap." It turned out it was a Canadian Bacon sandwich. A "bap" is apparently a white roll. And I got a sparkling water. The label on the sparkling water read:

"No volcanic rocks. No foggy mists of time. No myths. No legends. No leprechauns. Just pure, clean water. You wear."

I get most of this. They're trying to cut against the usual bottled water stuff. But the last line. "You wear." What? I'm missing something.

Also, if you think they're going against the corporate machinery... the water was Deep River Rock... manufactured by Coca-Cola. Oh well.

So I returned to the airport, read a book, and then at 5:00 they announced the flight was delayed until 8:00.

And at 8:00 they announced it was delayed until 8:30.

And then they gave out a food voucher for dinner. For 5 euros. Not accepted anywhere in the airport except the sandwich place right next to the gate.

And then they cancelled the flight.

Everyone formed a line and we were put in taxis or on a bus to a hotel 35 minutes away that apparently no one was staying in, because they could accommodate all 300 passengers on no notice. Popular place, the City West Golf Resort.

And in the morning we got a huge free breakfast buffet. See "Irish breakfast" on August 7. This was the same, except with the addition of "black pudding," which I ate and still haven't googled to see what it was. I'm sure it was an animal product of some sort. (Okay, I just looked it up. Gosh. It's black because of pig blood. I shouldn't have looked that up. Oh well, it was tasty.)

And they got us back to the airport at 9 AM. And we waited to check in. And we boarded at 1:00. And we sat at the gate until 3:00. And then we left and then the plane landed and then I was home.

The story we heard was that the plane's door seal was broken. So it's good we didn't fly I guess. And they ended up having to charter a plane from Air Pullmantur to take us, which even my friend who knows everything about airlines and collects the safety cards from the planes hadn't heard of. The flight attendants spoke Spanish mostly. The food was Spanish, but not very good. Pollo Kalio Bebek. Which means chicken chunks in a tasteless yellow mystery sauce next to some rice. And a bizarre potato, tuna, mayonnaise, and green pepper salad that I couldn't eat more than a bite of. Later, some cheese and bread.

I had the whole row of three seats to myself though. Next to me, during boarding, sat a woman and her husband. She whispered, loudly, to her husband, "Why aren't we in first class? Get me in first class." He sort of shrugged and didn't respond. They'd had this conversation before. She wouldn't make eye contact with me at all for some reason, I don't know why. I'd been doing well at making friends for most of the day, talking to a lovely high school English teacher on the bus to the airport, and an Irish high school teacher on the check-in line, and a girl going to visit her boyfriend who's working as a summer camp counselor, in the taxi to the hotel the night before. But this woman just kept badgering her husband. "Ask the flight attendant. Now. Are there seats? There are seats up there. Do something!"

Finally, he asked a flight attendant. Apparently he worked for Aer Lingus. He showed them some sort of card. The flight attendant said, "We were going to move up some of the people in wheelchairs who'd been waiting all this time, but I'll check." And he came back, and moved them up. And the husband looks at me as they get up, and said "Looks like we'll be giving you some extra room." And we exchanged some sort of knowing look about his wife. He seemed really nice. Too bad his wife was the devil.

And that's my trip. I had fun. It's usually fun to go places. And it was cool to hang out with these friends, because they'll be in different cities and so we won't have the chance. So it was fun and worth it and I got to see some places I hadn't seen before.

If anyone's going to any of these cities and wants some more specific recommendations or anti-recommendations, let me know.