09.25 – 10.01
Sun Oct 01 2023 00:00:00 GMT+0000 (Coordinated Universal Time)
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09.25 – 10.01

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The rest of the holiday continued to be broadly excellent. Then we tried to come home. We should have got back about 10pm on Wednesday but didn’t make it till around midday on Friday.

We got a hotel at 2am when EasyJet finally admitted that our first flight was cancelled (thirty of our fellow passengers weren’t so lucky). Then we were summoned back for a flight that was alleged to be departing at 3pm which (once everyone had checked in) promptly disappeared from the departure boards. Of course, it never really existed.

At this point we managed to get back out through security and took the bus back to town for an unscheduled tour of Chania’s playgrounds – I might have broken if we’d spent another eight hours at Gate 16 listening to the announcement that announced there were no announcements at Chania Airport, every 20 minutes.

One family learned a Bollywood dance.

One couple got engaged.

One trio got so smashed on the first night that they were told they were unlikely to have been allowed on the flight if it had materialised. Then in what can only be described as a dedication to airport-rules drinking they doubled down and achieved dizzy new heights of inebriation on day two, sealing their fate when they started shouting at other passengers and airport staff instead of just each other. The sea of empty bottles they’d enclosed themselves within as they insisted they weren’t drunk and aggressive painted quite a picture. When it became apparent that there was a plane (30 hours later than scheduled) and they weren’t going to be allowed on it, there weren’t quite cheers, but the members of the ad hoc compensation claims WhatsApp group shed no tears. I wonder how they are getting on. Maybe they just live at Gate 16 now.

I was once more very grateful I’m not drinking.

I half expected an announcement to let us know we’d all be part of an elaborate and ethically questionable sociology experiment.

We got to Gatwick in the middle of the night and there was a rail strike. We opted for a hotel. They gave us room 209. Room 209 didn’t exist. By this point (with the additional sleep deprivation) it seemed more David Lynch simulator than sociology experiment. I heard the distant ring tone as I tried to call reception, and thought it might be my cue to wake up. Nobody answered and I didn’t wake up so we went back to reception to get a room that did exist.

I’d obviously rather it hadn’t been such an ordeal to get home, but there was something weirdly good about it. I was proud of how we’d all held it together. The kids were absolute troopers and a lot of people commented on how good they were. I think we’re all stronger for it.

Little man missed two days of nursery and then it was the weekend again. I’d been worried that 10 days straight as a family might have broken us. As it is, it’ll have been 14 days and I’m going to be very sad we’re not going to get to hang out when my parental leave ends tomorrow. That said, there has been serious potty training regression over the course of the last two weeks and I’m looking forward to that being someone else’s problem for at least a few hours a day.

Getting badly stung by faceless capitalism will make us think twice before flying EasyJet again. What a bunch of utter pricks.