Up in the Air

It’s that time of the month again.  Time to go on leave from work for a month.  Off home to Hua Hin..  well, that was the plan.

As per usual, I’ll fly out of Iraq, into Doha, spend a few hours in the lounge and then connect to Bangkok.  Home the next morning.

Only this time, when I got to Doha I had to change my plans and head to the UK for a couple of days.     Unfortunately my ticket was a non refundable or changeable – so had to kiss goodbye to my Business flight to Bangkok.  Oh well, can’t be helped.

On top of this, in a few days I have to get back to Thailand – so that’s another Business flight which is going to cost me a few thousand.  o.k.. I can live with that.   However,  I need to get to the UK.

Looking at all the options, the best available was the midnight flight to Amsterdam with KLM and then onto the UK – to have me in my house by 10am.  Perfect.

As it’s midnight and I would be sleeping (and I have just had to shell out for expensive flights) I got an Economy seat to Amsterdam.  How bad could it be?

First off,  I went to the Qatar desk in the Doha Business lounge – to tell them I would not be getting on my flight at 8pm heading to Bangkok.  (I arrived there at 4pm)   They informed my ticked is not refundable and I told them I had accepted I had to take it on the chin.  All fine and well, I had no checked-luggage, so all that was needed was to inform some lady with a clip-board so they would not be calling my name out over the loud speaker when I am holding up the plane.

Now here’s the problem.  I had 6 hours of waiting.  I had paid for a Business seat which I would not be taking – so there is no feeding me, one less set of blankets, washbags, headphones etc…that would not be used by me.       So when I asked if it was o.k to stay in the lounge while I wait, I was surprised to hear them say no!

They said I could stay up until my original flight boarding time – which was basically 2 hours.    I couldn’t believe my ears.

Anyway, I went back inside and ate and drank my bodyweight.  Charged up every device I could and went to the toilet as many times as was physically possible.  I was getting my monies worth.

Now,  I am not sure how they were going to police my stay in the lounge?   Were they going to come looking for me and hoof me out?  If they could find me that is?

Around 9pm (an hour over-stay) I got bored and thought I’d go walking around for a few hours.  As I left,  I went up to the counter and said to the guy who told me I was not welcome after 8 and told him..

“I take more than 20 Business Class flights a year with Qatar.  My colleagues and staff do also.  I have paid for Business Class flight which I can’t take – and you have told me I can’t stay in the lounge for 3 hours”

“Because of this,  I will not fly Qatar again and I shall tell all my colleagues and make my staff switch airlines”

(He went to call over his supervisor)

“Don’t worry talking to anyone – I shall explain it all in the customer satisfaction survey they you guys send me all the time”

And with that I left.   Looking forward to my Emirates flight in a few days where the usual pampering service shall be resumed.  Twats.

So…   what’s KLM like then?   In one word – horrible.     The plane looked old and nasty.  The TV screen was smaller than my iPhone and for some reason – I was surrounded by people with kids.  I say kids,  I really mean FUCKING MONSTERS.    I do believe that kids should not be allowed on planes.  I guess putting them in the Cargo hold would be o.k. They might a blanket?

I tried my best to sleep, but with the elbows stuck in my ribs, the kid infront screaming and the big Quatari looking chap grabbing the headrest of my seat everytime he wanted to either get up or lift an arse cheek to fart – there was no relaxing being done in my chair.

When I arrived in Schipole – I was tired and grumpy.  (no change there then)

I have to say, Schipole is my favorite airport.  It’s been recently refurbished.  Lots of bright lights and beach wood everywhere.  Very nice.

So here I sit,  waiting for my flight to the uk.   I have 2 nights there before heading to Thailand.     Lomeo and Bubba Steve shall be waiting in a bar when I arrive.

It’s been a month, a lot of flights and a lot of stress.

I expect Monday night to be messy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is why we wear crash helmets

Saw this on Stickboy…. shocking! – hope young Sticky doesn’t mind me using it?

I hope the people people who see this will now understand why it is we should wear helmets?!

Apparently the wheels on the bus wouldn’t stop going round – as the brakes failed.   Which got me thinking 1) the bus is probably not maintained – which is typical and 2) to  slow a bus (or any vehicle) you can use the engine breaking.  The driver could have slammed it into 1st gear and brought the speed right down.

Obviously not as quick-thinking as the passenger on the bike it hit.

https://youtu.be/4mwZ9VkfzV4

Put yourself in the drivers shoes… what would you do?  Try and avoid (as best you can) everyone and end up going through a busy intersection – or look for something to crash into?

Think I’d have ploughed into the nearest shittiest bus I could find.  Get them both off the road!

 

 

 

 

 

Happy(ish) Valentines

And once again – a typical example of how the service in Thailand has let me down.

Valentines Day for many people would involve a bunch of flowers, going out for a nice meal, good bottle of wine and a bit of hand-holding and romantic walking along the beach.

However, this is more or less what we do most nights – so it’s nothing special.

This year I am in Iraq. I could just ignore it – but as Miss Tim is a female, I should at least send a bunch of flowers.

There are many sites on the Interwebnet which offer the flower delivery service – so I went to one of the main sites.

We’ve all seen these.  Nice big website – shows the products, takes the order and then contacts a local supplier to you from their network.

Looking a their ‘Best Seller’  a bunch of Roses, box of chocs, little heart shaped cushion thing and a Teddy. All for $130. Probably only worth in total – $30, but I as I am in Iraq, they have me by the balls.

Best Seller? I’ll take it….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, its always been my belief that Florists are passionate about their job. Arranging flowers is something that people WANT to do. Not something you just end up doing as a job.

Valentines Day must be the one time of year that Florists enjoy and look forward to. A time when they can show off their skills.

So imagine my surprise when Miss Tim sends me a thank-you message with accompanying picture of her delivery which showed a nice bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates STILL IN THE SUPERMARKET PLASTIC BAG!!!

Hmm… $130?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Would it be that difficult to take them out of the bag from the shop they just bought them from? How unprofessional is that? To me, that ruined the ‘luxury gift’ part of the event.

I also noticed – there was no Teddy. Not that Miss Tim has a thing for Teddys, in fact, my thinking was that our cats could drag it around the house instead of my shoes. But still… I paid for it – therefore I want it.

I sent an e-mail to the Company – complaining that I was not impressed with the presentation and noted there was no stuffed toy.

An e-mail reply came back apologising for no Teddy and that one would be delivered. No mention about the presentation and that they would endure that would be addressed (so others don’t receive the same)

They sent an (over-sized) Teddy the next day.

The cats are scared of this.

All in all, a poor experience. An event which comes one a year – which should be managed by people who do this for a living – I’d expect a perfect service, which I don’t think is too much to ask. I won’t accept ‘This is Thailand’ – that is not an acceptable excuse.

This is incompetence.

Another company added to my growing list of companies I shall never give business to in the future.

Carry on…

Salsa in HuaHin

Fantastic. What a great place to hang out which has a feel-good factor.

Miss Tim and I stumbled across this place one night when walking around the town. It is the venue which used to be Coco Beach Bar. If anyone knows Coco Beach Bar, they will know it was ‘ok’ but nothing special. We never saw it busy – but that may have been down to the over ‘E.T’. He used to run Bullys near the corner of soi 4. He was/is a twat.

They kept the fridge from Bullys… binned the rest.

Anyway, the PR guy outside Salsa beckoned us in – so we thought we’d give it a go. And glad we did.

Novel kind of layout – cocktail bar and open grill and tables/chairs located around a dance floor.

Small cocktail bar – but still a good place to hangout.

The menu is pretty good. Italian and steak. What’s not to like? Personally, I could live on the bread they give you when you first sit down.

The food was great and the service was really good. The best part though – is the Salsa (Ballroom) dancing. The Manager (Mario) gets up and dances with anyone who is up for it and will encourage those who aren’t.

The staff are all on the dance floor too – as Mario gives the punters a little lesson on basic steps. Everyone in the house had a smile on their face. A Fantastic atmosphere.

Did they have to dance at their interview?

We’ve been back a few time since. Sometimes just for cocktails. With the average age of a HH resident being 90 – the oldies do like to have a bit of a dance. They put us 40yr olds to shame. Most oldies know how to dance (properly) and get up on the dance floor and re-live their youth. It’s great to watch the happiness in their faces. I’ve not seen another place like it. No other bar gives you that feel good factor as that one does. A clean bar anyway.

We now make a point of going at least twice a week. Mario is a good host and happy to spend time shooting the breeze with you. The staff are very friendly and approachable. Prices? No idea? The soups, pastas and steaks which we’ve sampled are all great.

The only fault I can find is the spelling on the menu. There are some funny mistakes, which could have been on purpose, as it when you see a mistake, you look for more. A good way to get you to read the whole menu I guess?

I recommend the Mashrooms…

If you’re ever in HH – then do give this place a look.