I'm writing this entry from the dizzy heights of 35,000 feet onboard a Monarch Airlines flight from Milan to Manchester having had only two hours sleep and a ridiculously stressful time in Milan airport.
The EPT Campione main event did not get finished until around 04:15 in the morning so by the time I managed to get back to my hotel and had packed my suitcase it was 05:00 before my weary head landed on the overly soft pillows with a satisfying thud. Just two hours later and I was awoken to the screech of the alarm blaring out of my mobile phone. Time to get up. Time for a quick bath. Time to head home.
I met two workmates, Chris and Mantvydas, in the lobby and checked out of my room and jumped in the pre-booked Audi estate taxi that was parked outside, buckled up my seat belt and set off on the first part of my journey.
The car ride itself was rather nondescript, most usually are, with the exception of some old giffer almost taking us out from the side; though I am sure only I saw it as Chris was having a power nap and Mantvydas simply would not have cared because if the car had crashed into the Lithuanian man-mountain it'd have come off far worse than he would have. Anyhow, we arrive at the airport in plenty of time which was great as I hadn't eaten since 19:30 the night before and that, mixed with the severe lack of shut eye was making me feel like the proverbial bear with a sore head not to mention a little ill. At least being early meant we could check in then go grab some food and possibly an hour's kip. Unfortunately, on top of the 05:00 finish I was going to run bad at the airport too.
The queue for our single check-in desk was humongous, massive, gargantuan. Ok that may be somewhat of an exaggeration but it was a big line of people lacking in common sense that simply was not moving. Chris and I must have stood in the same spot for literally half hour before we were able to advance forward a suitcase width. Over an hour passed and then just as we neared the desk they had the bright idea to open a second and third desk, just as the queue was almost dealt with. LOL Italianments! At least that should have be it for all the queuing, time for food. Notice how I wrote "should have" because it wasn't, the waiting was far from over.
As we headed towards our gate, B by the way, we were greeted with an even larger line of people that was meandering through the vast hall, all waiting for their hand baggage to be scanned. This actually progressed faster than I had envisaged so I can't really complain I suppose but it is so tilting to queue up (which I absolutely hate) for over an hour only to be greeted by an even larger mass of people. Once I had out my belt back on so that the scores of Italians did not have to see my arse first thing in the morning Chris and I headed to another largish room and guess what's we did? That's right. We queued for another 15-20 minutes to get through passport control.
Once through there we had plans of grabbing something quick to eat but our Italian friends do not know the concept of quick so we swerved it and headed to Gate B where there was another f&*king queue! Aarrgghh!
I had my boarding card scanned but the shuttle bus was nowhere to be seen so we were ushered past the desk to a little, more cramped area to stand and wait, I mean seriously WTF dude. Eventually the bus turned up and our pony tail sporting driver got us to the big iron bird in a time Lewis Hamilton would have been proud of. How we got off the ground with the turd that was lodged in my sock I'll never know. I did have a bit of run good though because I had completely forgotten about booking extra legroom so I am able to stretch out, though this seat is über uncomfortable on my ass cheeks. However, my happy thoughts were soon replaced with cries of FML as the captain tells us, 20 mins after we're meant to be airborne, that we are delayed. Really. We finally took off at 45 minutes later than expected, had a bit of turbulence, I paid €10.30 for a bacon pannini, four finger Kit Kat and cup of coffee, bargain. Not the greatest food I've ever shoved down my face but it's done the job and woke me up quite a bit.
We only have around 20 minutes of this flight left now before we land in Manchester and I swear to. God my bloody bag better have made this flight otherwise I will almost certainly have to kill someone. Possibly myself. Then there is the train ride home which is notoriously jam packed on a Sunday so I wil be heading straight to First Class, hopefully with suitcase in tow, to upgrade my ticket so that I actually have a seat to sit in.
This little rant has gone on for longer than expected so I'll cut it short there and finish the second leg of my journey when I get home and have sampled some proper sized coffee. I am planning on playing in the weekly APAT game and the first of the low French SCOOP events but I reckon by the time I get home playing poker is going to be the last thing on my mind, but we'll see.
Thanks for listening to my rant, I'll be more cheerful next time out I promise!
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**Late edit** Nobody had to die because my suitcase made it to Manchester and I managed to upgrade to first class as expected. I completely missed both poker tournaments though as I was tucked up and fast asleep in bed for 1915!