So we land. Well it was a Boeing it was more of a thud followed by a shudder followed by being thrown back into our seats. When will a Boeing ever be able to land like an Airbus? Moan over. We alighted (as that is what you do from a mode of transport. What’s wrong with “get off”). Through passport control, both cases arrived and we were off to the car hire place (although according to chatty lady, we didn’t need to have hired a car as the bus would have got us everywhere. Well we did. Deal with it).
I handed over my coupon to the nice lady at Avis who asked for my driving licence credit card, passport and a blood sample (but not that stupid thing I printed off from the DVLA before I came out. She just grinned at me and shook her head as if to say “You stupid UK citizen. We never looked at the paper part of your licence before the DVLA stopped issuing them, so we certainly aren’t going start looking at a piece of paper you have just printed off the internet”. Then the tapping started. Considering this booking was made on a computer and she has a computer in front of her, there was an awful lot of tapping going on. 10 minutes worth of tapping in fact. I’m sure she was updating her Facebook status. “Hey we have another one of those UK idiots with their slips of paper. Lol.”
Eventually , after signing 3 separate sheets of paper, initialing 3 others and finally handing over a urine sample and the deeds of my house (as a deposit on the tank of fuel) she gave me the keys to the car.
“You have a black Kia Rio”.
“I know I do, how did you know that?”
“No, your hire car is a black hire car”
The thing I like about getting a hire car is the opportunity to test drive a new car. (My summary from a summer of hire cars: Don’t like the Fiat 500, do like the Seat Alhambra, all the others were ok. I wonder if Amazon still need a reporter for the new Top Gear?). So being given my own car to drive, all be with the steering wheel on the wrong side, was a bit disappointing. Still it did mean that within 2 minutes of getting in I had the mirrors adjusted, the air con on and my phone connected to the Bluetooth. But before I could drive (on the wrong side of the road) out of the hire car park, I had go through “The Inspection”.
For those of you familiar with the work of Michael McIntryre (it’s ok, this is a safe place, you can admit it) you may be aware of a routine were he talks about the charade we all go through when a waiter presents a bottle of wine to the table and everyone just pretends to know what they are doing. I did the same thing with the bloke inspecting the hire car.
We walked around it. I thought I saw a scratch on the drivers door. Rubbed it. It was dirt. He did the same on the rear passenger door. I repeated the action on the boot and he parried with one on the wheel arch. The up shot of this was that neither of us really knew if there were any scratches on the car but it was now marginally cleaner than when we started, so I just signed and took the keys. (By the way, if any of you have mortgaged your houses to see Mr McIntrye performing in a glorified show shed and he stretches the above anecdote to a 15 min routine, then you know where he has got it from. I have Google analytics. I know who reads my blog. Lets just say there has been some interesting activity in the Home Counties. Oh and Hart, I am, what I like to call, watching you. Don’t think I don’t know where you get your first world problems, middle class humour from).
We got to the apartment 15 minutes later. It’s actually a 5 minute drive but we took a few wrong turns. There was actually only one turn on to take, but we missed it…twice. We were met by our host who showed us around the apartment. It’s a beautiful place with great big patio doors from the lounge and bedroom onto the balcony. He assured us that it was completely safe to leave these unlocked as no one would climb on the balcony. However if we were in South Africa (where he was from) people would probably come in and cut our throats (this line was complemented with a throat cutting gesture and sound effects. Nice).
The view from the balcony is of the sea, which is lovely. However the the view of the end of the runway on stilts slightly detracts from that. At various points throughout his extensive guide to the apartment and the island we couldn’t help but notice the roar of planes as they took off.
“You won’t notice them in a few days”
OK. Lets hope so. We do actually notice them still but we quite like watching them land. I have even started using the flightradar app to find out where they are coming from. Our host really wanted to share his knowledge of the island with us. 90 minutes later and numerous “I could talk all day” (we noticed) references later, he bid us farewell. It was a shame that after all that time with him, we forgot to ask him what times the restaurants shut. Time was pressing on.