I should be on a flight right now. I should be smiling to myself in my comfortable plane seat, drifting off somewhere over India and dreaming of being reunited with a girl that I’ve missed so much over the last few weeks that at times it’s torn me apart. But I’m not. I’m sat in a cheap, dirty Kathmandu guesthouse, possibly as angry as I’ve ever been in my life.
I booked a ticket the day I got back from my trek. I was a stumbling wreck, exhausted from around 100kms of steep walking and 70kms of off-road mountain biking in the previous ten days. In my tiredness I stumbled into the first travel agent I saw, handed over my money and said words to the effect of ‘get me to Dublin on the next plane that doesn’t involve me doing any chartering’. Today I took my ticket to the airport, handed it to security, to which they said ‘no sir, no flight. This no real flight’.
Obviously this put me in a mild panic, and a trip to the Etihad Airways office confirmed that they did indeed have absolutely no flights bearing any resemblance to my (for the record, very authentic looking) ticket. No doubt the money has already gone from my account, and the chances of seeing it again are almost none, though I will be trying to get the police involved in the morning.
I’m incredibly angry. I’m angry because in a moment of weakness I let myself get conned in a way that up until now I’ve considered myself – even in my most tired moments – travel savvy enough to avoid. I’m angry because booking another flight has taken $900 from me that I really needed, $900 that I had earmarked for paying for a small part of my wedding. I’m angry because I’m stuck in a city that I’ve had enough of for two more days, then I have to take a ludicrous, 27 hour route back to Dublin via Delhi, Abu Dhabi and London that it will be miracle if my luggage manages to make it through too. I’m angry because I thought the world of Nepalese people, and that’s something that I’ll never get back. Most of all, I’m angry because this should be my last night away from Helena, and that it isn’t actually upsets me more than the money right now.
I’m going to spend the two days sulking in my horrible hotel room, watching some of the cheap Chinese DVDs I’m about to bring home, and willing away the hours.
Miserable, miserable, miserable. And seeing red. And, due to Barclay’s intensely irritating card ‘security’ system, stuck without even the money to call my girl, or call home and commiserate. I can just about afford food.
It’s happened. I’m stuck here for 2 more days, and when you see me, I don’t want to talk about it.