In my usual arse backward manner, I'm starting my posting about the weekend trip with the return journey, go figure that for narrative structure.
I was waiting in line for check-in and what did I see only a poster with my name of it on the baggage cart in front of me. Seriously! It's not everyday that happens, and especially not when you are holding a piece of id that mentions your name. I was half thinking/hoping that I might be mistaken for this Daniel Sullivan and feted with great applause. Sadly, it was not to be.
Getting back from Mainz turned into more of an ordeal and gamble than expected. Ms. X, (who can't be named for legal or taxation reasons or some such, I'm never quite sure if she is on the run from the law, the taxman or if perhaps she is the law and the taxman) txted me via someone else's phone from the uni on monday evening about 6pm as I was packing to tell me that no flights had left Frankfurt-Hahn all day or for most of the previous day due to fog. I was suprised and left a little undecided as to what to do, see tedious details here
- the flight was at 10.55pm, the last bus from Mainz was 7.50pm arriving at 9pm, and the last bus back to Mainz was/is at 12.30am, which meant that should the flight be delayed past then and then cancelled I couldn't make it back to Mainz. Also, if I took the 12.30 I wouldn't get back until nearly 2am and would be waking her up.
So my choice was, should I go to Hahn and see what the story was or give up on it and try and book another flight back on Tuesday /Wednesday, but they would be full of those people left over from from Sunday /Monday, or go to Hahn and risk it? I decided to risk it. Real risk taker, me! I bought return ticket for €15 instead of the oneway for €10.50 (you want tedious details, you can't handle the tedious details.)
The bus was almost empty. Which did not bode well.
As the bus got to Hahn and there were planes on the ground which had a just landed look about them (don't ask me to describe it, I suspect it's something in the way they lean, I know things about planes), I reckoned it was probably all systems go. I held off phoning until I was through the security but by then the phone had packed in and there were no pay phones on other side.
Upstairs, there was an erotic shop which was rather odd. The fact of the shop in such a small airport, not the shop itself. It's not like I went in and thought this is an odd shop, or that in I went in all.
On the other side of security, I fell into conversation this bloke who is playing with the Roncalli Circus which features the Kelly Family who are huge on the contintent, or so their site says. I remember Dave pointing out their house outside Cork. The guy had been in the airport since Sunday afternoon, he was playing some sort of mandolin instrument in the circus for the opening number which involved a Bolshoi trained ballerina and he carried the instrument about the whole time. He was quite annoyed with the whole situation. Can't blame him. All in all, I was dead lucky to have booked a flight on the Monday rather than the Sunday.
I was watching the time pass and as planes were taking off, late but still taking off I decided to stay on and give the bus back a miss. At that point I was committed to the return. However, I couldn't ring to confirm I wouldn't be coming back and I wasn't 100% sure what we'd agreed would be the assumption if I didn't ring. So, that was annoying as I didn't want her not sleeping in case I was going to ring.
Finally, the flight left about an hour late, but it was quick enough off the ground.
The plane landed in Shannon about 1am, and I was out of baggage collection by 1.25am. At that point there no buses, so I had to plump for a taxi. How can Shannon call itself an international aiport when there is no transport links from midnight until early morning? There was this yank who shared the cab to Bunratty. Bloody thing cost more than the flight. Was home in bed, (a cold bed) for about 2.30am.