Let's put it this way... we took off
Le Mesnil-Amelot Travel Blog› entry 2 of 5 › view all entries
SEcond attempt, Monday morning very early.
When I look out of the window of my bedroom, optimism takes over. It looks better. I can see the houses across the street this time. On the way to Amsterdam Schiphol Airport again, and my optimism disappears like snow in the sun. The fog gets thicker and thicker, the closer get to the airport. Like I am driving through a mountain of grey cotton wool.
Jo and I meet again at the same place. Our baggage is already "somewhere in the system" since yesterday, and we are through the security pretty quickly. And then, the same procedure again. Waiting, coffee, more coffee, trying to find out how much the delay is, calling the airline, will they hold the flight to Douala in Paris for us ("well they may, there are pretty many transit passengers on your flight"), and more coffee.
The airport is like a kaleidoscope of not only people from every corner of the word, but also emotions from every corner of the human psyche. We are spectators, looking at the long lines. Angry people, sad people, desparate people, drunks, a young couple who literally tries to make the best out their long stay here, frantic people, flegmatic ones, many sleeping, even more staring at I-pads, smart phones and other gadgests that can make you crazy, given the right circumstances. If you can think of other kinds of people, they were there for sure and we must have seen them too.
And we? We have surrendered already. Whatever will be will be. We are high on coffee and calm in our hearts ;). We just watch the show here.
Finally, with about three hours delay, we are sitting in the plane and, YES!, it actually takes off. Within a minute, there is no fog to be seen anymore, and we fly in the bright sun. In Paris CdG, my favorite airport (NOT!!!), we learn that the flight to Douala has already departed. Of course! It was on time, and it remained on time, in other words: without the "many transit passengers" from Amsterdam.
We have to get our vouchers for a hotel, with dinner, welcome drink and breakfast for tomorrow. The shuttle upstairs gets us via two hundred roundabouts to the Comfort Hotel in Le Mesnil Ameliot, a somewhat depressing little town in the airport area. What comfort? Cold Comfort.
However, nothing negative to be said on how it has been organized. And admittedly, the hotel is not bad at all, the food is more than acceptable and they have free Wi-Fi. Early evening we can even take the shuttle back to the airport to get some shaving gear (they seem to cater for stranded passengers, we can buy a pack for two LOL).
So we both end up working, on our supposed-to-be day off, maybe we can claim back a vacation day from our employers by at least douing something useful.
We eat dinner, and we talk with other people, who on their way to somewhere (mostly Africa) got stranded. There is one very big Cameroon guy who had been flying into Amsterdam from the States, then had the same experience as us. No clean clothes, no toothbrush. And I regret to say it, but Jo and I both noticed that apparently his deodorant was also somewhere in his missing baggage... Poor guy.
We feel sorry for him and his gorgeous young girlfriend (or secretary, or whatever she is) and our conclusion is that -compared to him - we are still in relatively fresh condition. We head to the bar and accept our fate like men... Salut, let's see what tomorrow brings!