We were all up early due to city noises and insect bites. Richard went to the lobby to see if we could get our car to the airport earlier than we’d booked it, eager to put the Boutique Paradise Hotel behind us. He returned saying they’d looked a bit hurt saying, “But we have the coffee on.” Shortly afterwards they arrived with trays of eggs, fruit and freshly brewed coffee and tea, at no charge. I guess breakfast was included. We wolfed down our food, a bit chagrined about the amount of time we’d spent searching for breakfast the day before.
The car arrived and we were off to the airport. I was excited about this part of the journey. We were headed to Nile Compound in Luxor. It’s a little piece of heaven on the west bank that we’d visited in November. This trip was about to get much better.
We arrived at the airport, nice and early, and breezed through security. It was all going to get better from here. A short flight and we’d be picked up the airport and taken to a real paradise, sipping cocktails by the pool, surrounded by fragrant colourful flowers.
The check-in lady looked at our tickets for an inordinate amount of time. A thread of worry started to creep into my poolside reverie.
“Go there,” she said brusquely, gesturing towards a closed counter manned by a dude who was doing a lacklustre job of trying to look busy.
The thread of worry started knitting into a light sweater. We fumed and fretted quietly while moving the next counter. The check-in dude looked up at us. No Arabic was needed to understand his look said “Why are you here?”
“She sent us,” I said, indicating the lady who’d just passed the buck. She studiously ignored him. Maybe he owed her one.
Another inordinate amount of time was spent staring at tickets and I was getting a little peeved at the lack of service.
“You need to go to the sales counter,” he said.
My parents, Oscar and I sat and waited while Richard went back out though security in search of the sales counter. After a long time spent fidgeting and trying to unravel the caftan of worry knitting in my brain, I called Richard.
“We have to get on the the next flight,” he said. The flight wasn’t for another six hours.
I launched into a tirade about how they should upgrade us to first class and this was ridiculous. Richard was suspiciously silent.
“Actually, they are doing us a favour.”
Turns out Rich had booked the flights for May instead of April.
All I could do was laugh and feel grateful that it wasn’t me who royally screwed up. Fortunately my parents were cool about it. We had a 6-hour wait at the domestic area of terminal three with has a total of one exorbitantly expensive cafe and one ridiculously pricey duty-free shop.
Thank goodness for devices. I collected a good amount of Candy Crush boosters.
A good seven hours later we were picked up at the airport. The driver regaled us with fables about his 25 kids and five wives. Mom was having none of it.
“Don’t you believe me?” he asked.
“Honestly, no,” she replied bluntly.
No flies on her. I was so proud. Turns out he has one wife and two kids. We ain’t no gullible tourists dude.
We finally arrived at our little paradise and I was pleased to see it had only changed for the better. We had an apartment this time, with a balcony overlooking the Nile. Heaven.
Rich probably thought he was redeemed now that we’d arrived. My parents thought the place was fantastic.
“Would have been better five hours ago,” they agreed.