Thursday, 17 May 2012

Not Grandma in Cyprus' birthday*

I can't deny that travel was a problem.

As we were traveling on days not frequented by the package holiday set, we went out on Aegean Airlines and came back on the world's favourite airline.    Going out, the seats were six abreast with an aisle in the middle, meaning that I got the window seat, The Cat's Mother was beside me, and then there were three clear seats to the young woman staring out the port window.  At least that was the case until we'd been in the air for  40 minutes, by which time The Cat's Mother was asleep.  An older woman came and sat across the aisle, proceeded to take out the sick bag and begin vomiting, which she continued to do for the remainder of the five hour flight.  She used up all the sick bags around her.  The stewardesses did their level best to ignore her.  I would have been sympathetic....but why the feck did she think it was better for her to puke near us rather than her traveling companions?

On the way back, we arrived nearly four hours early, 'just in case' - there was a taxi drivers' blockade of the airport, and we thought we may have to walk a long way to get to the terminal.  As it happens, the police kept the entrance to the airport open...although they were less fussed about letting people out.  Behind us on the plane sat a man-mountain...he was literally that shape, and would put Ben Nevis in shade.  All was well until the captain announced twenty minutes before landing that we would be arriving at Terminal 3.  We had departed from Terminal 1.  We could have walked from Cyprus quicker than it takes to walk from Terminal 3 to Terminal 1.

We had pre-booked the parking to save costs.  But I hadn't realised that I'd turned into Car Park 1, not Car Park 1a...our designated parking area.  No wonder then that our ticket wouldn't work, and then when we got the machine to read it, it demanded £259.  On the upside, the help desk girl must get this happening several times a day and let us go without a fight.  On the downside I was more than a little agitated.

As there wasn't enough room at Grandma in Cyprus' house with my brother and his family there, we stayed at a hotel.  Our hotel was the five star Adams Beach Hotel.  And very nice it was too.  So thought all the Russians that were staying there.   There may have been two dozen Brits, not more, in a hotel of three or four hundred rooms. I don't know if you've ever come across the Russians en masse, and for a Brit they are an interesting bunch.  I'm told that unlike the Brits abroad, they don't spend money, so that doesn't make them popular.  It would explain why in the breakfast area ( was a pleasant 30 degrees) Russian mothers could be spotted great piles of food from the buffet into their babies' buggies to keep them going through the day.

It would be fair to say that there were plenty of attractive young Russian women staying at the hotel.  On the beach they wore dental floss to protect their modesty.  Initially attractive to any young male, it soon wore off and the phrase 'less is less' came to mind.  Off the beach they wore short, clingy dresses and high heels that last saw service in Debbie does Dallas.  I wandered into the hotel shop at 9 in the morning to be confronted by young filly dressed in matching scarlet lycra dress and scarlet high heels.  An hour later she was to be seen walking on the golden sandy beach in the same outfit...heels sinking six inches down before stripping off to her floss.  By contrast, even at a young age, it appears the Russian men take the shape of a T34 tank.  As enormous and unkempt as the young women are skimpy and 'beautifully' presented.

The other Russian highlight was the photograph taking.  For you or me, all that's needed is to turn and smile at the camera whilst the picture is taken in a jiffy.  For the Russian guests, it was a major operation.  Finding the right place to pose would take minutes...perhaps even hours.  And then there were the poses.  If you've got a copy of Playboy handy, it would make my life easier as I won't have to describe the contortions they got themselves into to get the perfect shot.  This was the case even when the person behind the camera was their father.  Or may they were their lover.  Either way it left us feeling queasy.

* warning: contains mild peril and racism