1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Planes, Trains and Automobiles

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by Kirstie, 3 Dec 2007.

  1. Sooooo, the plot of 'PTA' can and does occur in real life! I have been in Canada all week in what has been described as freak weather conditions and the coldest at this time of year for 15 years. On Saturday with windchill it was 18 below, and so I wasn't too optimistic for my journey back yesterday.

    I had an internal flight to Toronto and then to Frankfurt and finally Birmingham to arrive this morning at 8am. Sure enough, the internal flight was cancelled, but if I left early, I would have made my transatlantic flight at 5.35pm.

    This other couple staying in my hotel were driving back home to Toronto (about 3 hrs), and so offered me a lift. As we left at 10.30, 'no problem' I thought.

    About an hour later, the car broke down, terminally. Oil was pouring out of the engine block, and the engine was dry. It was when I was lying on my back under a jacked up car, on a flyover of the 401 highway, with my feet in a snowdrift at 10 below in a snowstorm that I realised things had gone a bit wrong. After vising 4 garages, none of which were open/able to fix the car, we abandoned it in Napanee (on third of the way to toronto), took a taxi to Belleville (which also has a railway station), and then rented a car there at the last place we tried - all the other car rental places were closed or had no cars.

    So I arrived at Toronto at 5.35pm, just as my flight left. I managed to get on the 8.00 to Heathrow, then I took a bus up to Birmingham International to get my car, eventually getting home 4 hours after I should have done, which, given the circumstances isn't so bad.

    So here are all the planes, trains and automobiles, not forgetting the useless jobsworth tossers employed by Canadian big business and transport authorities in customer facing roles; and their crappy call centres:angry::

    Air Canada 7369 Kingston - Toronto, cancelled.
    2 trains (contemplated, not actual)
    1 broken car
    1 taxi
    Air Canada 848 Toronto to Heathrow
    4 auto repair shops (including canadian tire and walmart)
    1 policewoman (in a car)
    4 car rental places
    2 new oil filters
    1 air canada call centre and its rubbish ACD which kept me on hold for half an hour
    1 booking agent's 'emergency' line which didn't call back or give a toss
    my other half and his laptop/phone in the UK *obviously more helpful than anyone else put together*
    countless jobsworths who work for air canada, lufthansa or canadian tire
    1 national express bus
    My car
    Brendan and Eva (mortified car owners)


    Hrrrrrrmph!!!!
     
  2. graham56

    graham56 Veteran

    You should make a film about that Kirstie :biggrin: , but to be serious feel sorry for what you went through.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    Ha ha thanks. By and large I have a laid back attitude to this sort of thing but Brendan (the driver) was having kittens because he's quite fond of his car and felt absolutely terrible that he'd landed me in the poop. I didn't see it that way though...I was just overwhelmed by the unhelpful attitude of pretty much everyone we tried to get to help us. With the weather situation on top of it it just became farcical, and hence funny!
     
  4. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    I trust you sang the Flintstones theme and Brendan fondled your breasts in the mistaken impression that he was plumping the cushions:biggrin::biggrin:
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    nope it was more a version of the original than a direct re-production...
     
  6. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Location:
    Thumberland
    Car rental desk scene from PTA (contains the F word, loadsa times)
     
  7. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    Welcome home!
    I hope your bike doesn't present you with any problems, just to give you the 'full house'! :biggrin:
     
  8. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    How was Canada though Kirstie??
     
  9. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    Location:
    Brighton
    Fnaar, when it was on prime time TV did he want a 'fnugging' car or a 'freaking' car?:biggrin:
     
  10. barq

    barq Senior Member

    Location:
    Birmingham, UK
    Good grief! Still four hours late ain't bad considering all the hoops you had to jump through. You don't have the best of luck when it comes to cars in other countries do you? IIRC you have some prior form here!
     
  11. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    LOL@the car rental scene. We might have been feeling that way but certainly didn't express it...

    Thanks for asking Cathryn - it was a work trip and as usual I worked very hard. Gave some talks, had some meetings, but the big day was last Friday where the research team I work on were up before a committee at SSHRC (research council) in a bid for a lot of money. We were trying to pursuade them to give us 2.5 million for a big research programme and we find out in two weeks. They know they want to....

    Ooh and I saw a great band called Apostle of Hustle and did loads of christmas shopping too :biggrin:
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    Yebbut I manage to get through these 'incidents' mostly unscathed, and through the application of nous rather than relying on stupid companies that don't care. This is innately satisfying!
     
  13. Cathryn

    Cathryn California Correspondant

    Did you see a Mountie??? :biggrin:
     
  14. OP
    OP
    Kirstie

    Kirstie Über Member

    LOL no but my friend's dad was one!
     
  15. Crackle

    Crackle Pah Staff Member

    Location:
    Wirral
    See I never saw PTA; but I can't watch it now, you've spoilt it, I know what happens :biggrin: :biggrin: