on wednesday i went to poland. just for the day to see a supplier. the day was a little bit unusual.
taxi picked me up after he’d picked my junior buyer up at 3.20am. i had given nicola strict instructions that at 3 in the morning i did not want to have any conversations.
beep beep text alert
nicola : on my way to you now 5 mins i reckon
hpmcq : are you talking to me?
nicola : no, this is written word, very slightly different. texts were not removed from your correspondence in your briefing…
hpmcq : ah i see. but now that you have responded so this is now a conversation…
the taxi arrived with one nicola in the back of the taxi laughing. we proceeded to stansted airport, chatting the whole way, all 42.4 miles.
already checked in and with just hand luggage (the beauty of a day trip) we skiped and hopped through security to the comfort (irony) of the departure lounge. quick mooch in mulberry, because why not it’s 4 in the morning and you can. then to starbucks for a HUGE cup of tea and an almond croissant. chat chat, scoff scoff and we are done and off to the gate.
did i forget to mention that we are flying ryan air. hmmmm
we board the plane in pandemonium. grab a seat and off we go. flight time 2 1/2 hours distance 1036 miles.
we are within feet of landing as the plane then decides not to land, and take what felt like a 90 degree lift up towards the moon at top speed. clearly we were not going to be landing in krakow. however the lovely people of ryan air maintained radio silence for an uncomfortable amount of time. too much fog apparently, so at 200ft they aborted mission. i would have thought you might have seen that fog before 200ft, but no, it appeared that we were now on a diversion to rzeszow. mmmm so where be that then? i now know that it’s 102 miles away from where we needed to be.
we landed in an unknown land, in an airport we were not supposed to be at. however whilst at passport control, nicola lightened the situation by spotting famous dwarf actor warwick davies in the queue next to us, and attempted to take a covert photo on her work blackberry (which we hate and can not use, we heart apple) to epic failings of forgetting to turn the flash and sound off, so therefore not being so covert what so ever, by giving warwick a quick flash in his face. well i could hardly hold myself together and nicola was the colour of a strawberry. absolutely side spliting funny, but guess you had to be there.
i won’t bore you with how unhelpful ryan air were. i think you know what the score there was. coaches back to krakow joy. however we hatched another plan.
enter trains, planes and automobiles.
what we will do is get a cab to the train station, there’s a train to krakow which stops at a station closer to the factory and we will get picked up there. bingo.
ah. anyone been in a taxi in poland? wow. so driving is not so much on the cautious side. the driver was nothing short of being slightly mental, swerving in and out of traffic as if he was some getaway driver for a bank robbery. seriously scary road navigations and at one point i really did believe we might die as we braked so heavily to avoid smashing the hell out of another car. there was loud swearing from me. i was not at all happy.
we got to the station and got out in silence, that wasn’t the ride of my life that’s for sure.
tickets in hand we headed towards our train. a train which looked like it was from wwII. i’m pretty sure it was. journey time to destination 2 hours 20 mins. 75 miles.
the train was neither interesting or comfortable. when the train arrived at the destination, i decided that the best way to exit the train was by falling down it.
this day just keeps giving.
we are picked up from the station by the factory owner, a measly 4 hours late for our meeting. we then drive to the factory which is a further 45 mins and 18 miles away.
hurrah we arrive at the factory. dying for the toilet and absolutely starving hungry.
we inhale bad pizza and pepsi and crack on with the job in hand.
half an hour into the meeting my mobile rings and it’s ronnies school.
school : hello, is that ronnies mum?
hpmcq : yes it is, fis every ok?
school : we were wondering who was picking ronnie up this evening?
hpmcq : nangela is, i’m in poland? is she not there?
school : oh your in poland…. no she isn’t here
it’s 3.35pm and pick up is 3.15pm.
hpmcq : oh god, i’m so sorry i’ll call my husband and my mother in law and see what’s happened?
fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck have they forgotten i’m in poland and no one has picked ronnie up? has something happened to nangela?
i desperately dial nangela’s mobile, i have an instant migraine and fell nauseous beyond belief. everything around me starts swirling slightly. no answer. i call oliver. no answer. i call nangela. no answer. i call oliver. no answer. i call nangela. no answer. this goes on for 15 minutes. to say i was in a state is a complete understatement. finally oliver answers and i ramble at him, i’m hysterical and he can hardly understand me, the he gets what i’m saying and then he starts with the fuck, fuck, fucks!
waiting for the call back seemed a lifetime. 15.57 i get the text. it’s fine she is there now ,she couldn’t get parked. i sobbed with relief. my supplier must have thought WTF? she rocks up 4 hours late, shouts on a phone and then starts crying!
meeting done and back to krakow we head. will we have a flight? who knows, that just the fun of flying with ryan air. distance to airport 30 miles. an hours drive.
we arrive and are told that there’s no news on the flights. some flights are being cancelled some are being diverted. if your incoming flight lands you might be able to take off, if you can’t it will be cancelled. if it doesn’t land and gets diverted, we will be put on a coach and send it in the same direction as the plane. the suspense was just killing us.
krakow airport isn’t vast, and i would most definitely query the food selection. we settled for a large glass on red wine and slice of cake. nutritious day. watching the display boards every flicker, finally the incoming flight touched down. we were off.
we hopped on board the bus to the plane, got squashed in the crush up the stairs to the plane and then had 2 1/2 hours of constant bright light whilst ryan air tried to sell you everything and anything they could think of for the entire journey. 2 1/2 hours and 1036 miles.
on landing back in blighty, a trumpet sounded throughout the cabin to celebrate the fact that ryan air had another succesful flight. hmmm, it’s your day job get over it. departing the plane was the same scrum as we had getting on, however nicola again managed to lighten the mood by discretely following two male passengers in the most god awful crocodile shoes known to man, grabbing all the action on her iPhone without flash or sound. crocodile shoooooooooooos.
by the time we fell into our taxi home we were delirious with tiredness. 1 hour and 42.4 miles home.
walked through the front door at 12.35am.
21 1/2 hour day and 2382 miles.
and that was my day in poland. can’t wait for my day in denmark on monday, also with ryan air…