From Essex to Gothenburg

How nice is this! Sitting on the sofa bed in my sister’s flat in Gothenburg and gazing out of the window at the gorgeous yellow, orange and bright red tree tops I can just about see through her top floor windows, the sky a pale and hazy shade of blue. B and Sis are pottering about getting ready, as obviously I hogged the shower first thing. What can I say, I take longer, and otherwise they’d have to wait around for me.

So we got here in one piece, despite braving the shit storm that is Ryan Air. It’s no surprise to me that my blood started to boil even at the stage when we browsed flights online with this “airline”, but I had no freaking idea that it could be as bad as that. Fine, you can’t argue with the low price we got including hire car and parking, but Oh Ehm Gee. Stansted Airport isn’t the nicest place, full of the Worst of Essex going to Benidorm and Alicante (where else?), but I’ve flown from there a couple of times before and knew to expect the decay of British society and Daily Mail readers, so I didn’t stress over that. Just made sure I didn’t wear white in case someone might bump into me and cause a stain with their orange spray tan, so Stansted was all fine by me. I was even prepared for the accents.

Now, little did we know that they were actually doing lots of building work, so it was more like a refugee camp than an airport terminal, with most shops and restaurants boarded off. We got yelled at by security staff – B went to go over to put his stuff in the tray, but a butch Essex lady who had a hair cut I can only describe as Essex Chic (would possibly work in Eastern Europe too), made a stop gesture with her hand (as chunky as the rest of her and every bit as yellow) and barked at him “TWO AT A TIME!” in that accent that makes me want to put scalpels into my ears so I’ll never have to be subjected to it ever again.

At the gate, we were herded like cattle, made to line up even though our plane hadn’t even arrived yet. After half an hour, the plane had arrived and it can’t have been more than five minutes after that, that they got out dogs to yap and nip at our ankles so we’d move again. Seriously, any time a Ryan Air employee came past I wanted to place my hands over my ears in case they’d try to tattoo them with my seat number. The moment the last person had disembarked, we were herded out across the tarmac (oh yes, this is how it works) and rushed on the plane. I’ll give it to them – it works. Clearly they make their money from A) screwing and tricking their customers with hidden charges, and B) having their planes in the air all the time. And here is the only compliment I’ll ever pay them – they run it with military precision. Both the screwing and having their planes in the air.

So, we landed in Gothenburg slightly ahead of schedule even though we’d taken off half an hour late.

And there it was the same story, rushed off so quickly that I was pretty sure they must have flown with the stairs still attached, because if they hadn’t they certainly got them on in record time and just minutes after touching down we were in the baggage reclaim. Behind us, the next load of cattle headed for London were herded to the plane. Because of this mad rush, of course we got our bag almost immediately, so less than half an hour after we’d touched down we’d not only got out of the airport, we’d also had a cigarette, got the hire car and spent a good ten minutes working out how to operate the space ship we ended up with.

Despite taking up two lanes driving through central Gothenburg to get to Sis, it was amazing how smoothly it all went, and we were there an hour before I thought we might have. Obviously I made those estimations based on normal airports like Heathrow and Arlanda, and normal airlines like British Airways and Scandinavian Airways. Obviously this was Stansted and Ryan Air, which meant I was more or less thrown to Sweden, and emotionally felt like I had too. Points for the hire car though – I’d selected one of the cheaper options, you know when you get told by the likes of Hertz that it’ll be a car “like a VW Golf” and it’s never EVER a VW Golf or anything even resembling one, instead you normally get some crappy little electric hair dryer to scoot around in. Well. For whatever reason – and I am not complaining – we were given a Volvo XC90, a huge Diesel SUV that was the size of an A380. Fanfuckingtastic.

B and I immediately started to win the argument of who should drive first. I promised him exceptionally dirty sex if I could, and that meant I won. I’ll have to show the poor sod a great time tonight, as it turned out this sofa bed is right on the other side of my little Sis’ wall and I would hear her texting after she’d closed the door to go to bed, so B will have to wait until we’re alone in Falla this evening. Might have to let him drive tomorrow, given I’m depriving him of sex this evening.

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