I think my girls have inherited a faulty gene of mine, making them Transport Challenged.
My ability to get lost in my car, even on short journeys, is legendary. However, I also have a habit of getting on the wrong buses or trains through no fault of my own. I mean, how many of you have boarded a coach bound for a sleepy backwater of a town in the North and found yourself heading non-stop to
Or stood at the carriage door of a train, hand poised on the handle, only to see your destination flash by in a blur?
Or got on a train that took you, against your will, to a different country entirely?
Perhaps you too have missed the last bush taxi home to your isolated village in the depths of
I have done all of the above, so it’s not surprising that my children have followed in my totally unreliable footsteps.
My three girls have all missed a plane – one of them has done it twice. Each time, it was an Easyjet plane and it was never their fault.
The latest episode, last Wednesday, is a classic. I shall reproduce the spirit of the situation here. Note that I said spirit…the conversation didn’t go exactly like this…
Nasty Easyjet Employee : Oh look, three French teenagers. I hate kids, I hate foreigners and I’ve got my period. I’m going enjoy this.
Daughter : I’m being nice to you, Easyjet lady, because last time you made me miss my plane. Look at my big smile.
Nasty Easyjet Employee : That’s annoying. Everything seems to be in order. Aha – your friend’s hand luggage looks too big.
Other Daughter : But she brought it over from
Nasty Easyjet Employee : I don’t like you, you revolting French adolescent. Give me that bag, I’m going to measure it.
Friend : Oh, OK.
Nasty Easyjet Employee : Well, it’s two centimetres too big so I’ll round that off to four centimetres and you’ll have to pay me eighteen pounds.
Daughter : Do you take euros? We haven’t got any pounds left. I’m still smiling nicely at you.
Nasty Easyjet Employee : No. And now your friend will have to go all the way to the bureau de change and change her euros into pounds so you’ll definitely miss the plane.
Fifteen minutes later, the girls are back with the money.
Nasty Easyjet Employee : Oh b**ger, there’s still time to catch the plane. Now what do I do?
Friend : I can’t carry all this stuff, that’s why I’ve put the twenty-pound note between my lips. Sorry – I’ll just put it down here…
Nasty Easyjet Employee : Perfect. I consider that to be an insult of the highest order so you three can stand to the side and wait while I deal with every single person in the queue behind you.
When the girls were finally able to dash off they found that they had, of course, missed their flight.
Now, they were angry. Very, very angry…
Daughter : It’s your fault we missed our plane ! I want to speak to the supervisor.
Supervisor : Oh, Dolly must be having her period again. What fun!
Daughter : I’m explaining everything to you but I’m afraid I can’t smile nicely anymore.
Supervisor : I don’t believe a word you say – well, I do, actually, but it’s not our policy to admit it.
Daughter : What’s the Nasty Easyjet Employee’s name ?
Supervisor : I’ve been working with her for five years and we play badminton together but I have absolutely no idea what her name is. Sorry.
Daughter : Well, is there a police station here ? We’re stuck – we don’t have any money because you won’t give us our eighteen pounds back. My little sister’s only seventeen…
Supervisor : I told you I’ve only been working here for five years. I have no idea if there’s a police station, you nauseating French teenager. I hope you like my evil, smug smile. Just push off and sleep on the streets. The next flight isn’t until Sunday and I’ll make sure you miss that one too.
At this point, my volatile daughter lost it and, drawing on her extensive knowledge of every single episode of Absolutely Fabulous, she tossed her head and snapped:
“You can drop the attitude, lady. You only work at Easyjet…”
…and stalked off.
I am so proud of her.
They finally made it home, via train, coach and plane. They were exhausted and so was I. And I was also completely broke…surely there must be a cheaper way to travel?