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Saturday, July 14, 2018

The Evil Travel Fairies

North Queensland weather!

There are three reasons I don’t travel.

I have too many beloved animals to leave to their own devices, I like my mundane, comforting routine and most importantly, I dread the evil travel fairies who love to throw spanners into the works in order to ruin plans and thus any possible enjoyment.

Naturally, when I planned my recent holiday up north to see four of my five kids, I anticipated the usual torment of plans unravelling in stressful and disturbing circumstances… and I was, of course, correct.

I set my alarm to wake up at 5:00am so I’d have plenty of time to catch the train to the airport and, as expected, my phone decided to randomly expire overnight.

Because I had foreseen this bastard act of fate, I’d requested Scotto set his alarm as a backup.

Hardy ha ha, evil travel fairies.

The 6:04 am train I’d meticulously planned to catch from Nerang station failed to turn up.

As Scotto and I bleakly perched on the train seat, shivering in the pre-dawn wind, I enquired about the train’s absenteeism to the grumpy, uniformed man who appeared to be in charge.

“That train doesn’t run on Saturdays,” he muttered as he walked past me on his way to do his morning poo. I’m guessing that was where he was headed anyway. He had a particular determination on his face that people get when they need to squeeze out a morning poo before the next train arrives.

“You might like to tell them to review the website then,” I called out shrilly through chattering teeth. “It definitely said the 6:04 ran on Saturday.”

“You might like to go and…,” his voice boomed back.

I didn’t catch the rest of what he said. It floated away on the Arctic draught whistling through the station.

“Bloody, constipated fat controller,” I whined to Scotto.

The next train was a twenty minute wait which meant I only just arrived at the airport in time for my flight.

Panicked and agitated, I annoyed two young men who were standing near me when I couldn’t get my luggage tags out of the machine.

“Can you show me how to put these on the suitcase?” I asked a third young man as I stood in the baggage queue.

The bearded hipster examined me pitifully and showed me how the A is supposed to stick to the B when you peel the back off the tags. I’m fairly certain he thought I was retarded but I didn’t care.

I did eventually board the plane which was filled with smelly, middle-aged men heading up for the V8s. But I had a lovely time with my children up north, eating, sight seeing and going to the movies.

On our last evening together, we went to dinner and just as I was about to hop into my stuffed mushrooms, a text came through from Virgin to say my return flight had been cancelled for the next day. The flight they’d swapped me to departed six hours later than the original.

This was exceedingly disappointing. What was I going to do for six hours when all my children would be back at work and I’d had to check out of the motel? The idea of sitting at the airport for six hours was not appealing.

I rang the airline to see if I could get on an earlier flight.

“Do you have a reference number?” asked the man on the other line.

“No,” I replied.

“Do you have the date you booked the flight?” he continued.


“Do you have a bank statement that you can look at?” he persisted.

“No,” I whimpered. “Not on me. It's all at home on my laptop.”

“If you have no details I’m afraid I can’t help you,” he said sadly.

Finally, my daughter Lulu, snatched the phone out of my hand, put it on loud speaker and searched through the emails on my phone for the details. 

"If it's on your laptop it's on your phone, mother," she sighed.

I had all the information in my phone but I didn’t realise I could look through my phone at the same time without hanging up on him. And we all know that the chances of getting back on the line to the same person in the whole of South East Asia are remote even if you catch his name.

I managed to get on an earlier flight which was filled with smelly, middle-aged men heading down for the State of Origin. I spent the whole plane journey building excitement about seeing my animals again. I couldn't wait for the wriggling ecstatic bodies jumping all over me. I hoped Pablo the Chihuahua wouldn't wee all over me like he usually did when he was overly enthusiastic.

The Chihuahua ran straight past me when I opened the front door and chased the cat down the driveway. I get a better greeting when I arrive home after being at the shop for fifteen minutes. 

That's the last holiday I'll be taking for a while. I need time to recover from the stress.