Walden World

The wacky and wonderful tales of Beth's and Catherine's global adventures. And all things Walden too.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Planning a Trip

Well it is that time again. Time to plan our next trip. Usually C and I travel in October or November of the year, to take advantage of the Thanksgiving or Remberance Day holidays.

However, in the summer C advised me, in the same hushed tone which Wilma Flintstone used to inform Fred that she was pregnant, that she, C, was "finally ready to go to India".

Now C has always wanted to go to India, however the legendary travel issues with the country, ranging from the often "ahem" problematic squat toilets (probably my fault, I guess I shouldn't have told her that particular story about a toilet I went to at a bus station when the "Untouchables" were on strike), to beggars, to the ever present "touts": the guys that follow you trying to get you into their carpet/gem/sari/drum/statue/whatever shop, filled her with trepidation.

Thus in order to make it worth our while, distance and all, we decided to go over the month of December and January so to take advantage of the effective week long closure by agencies from Christmas to New Years. This would give us a month if we pulled in some January vacation days!

However our elation was soon to be deflated as any review of flight prices meant that flights to India would cost almost $5000 for the two of us. Tres cher...

Thus an alternative had to be selected. It was here that I struck upon the brilliant idea of Israel, Syria and Egypt!

The Syria part of the trip plan was immediatley jettisoned after what can only be described as a "noodle headed" inquiry on my part on the Lonely Planet website, asking what was the "best" border to cross from Israel to Syria and vice versa, to be politely advised that the only way to get in or out directly, of the respective countries, was to bring an army with you.

Ooops. Despite my considerable knowledge of foreign affairs and the state of the world, I failed to truly comprehend that both countries were still officially at war.

Now onto the next issue: should we take Al Italia, possibly the worst airline ever, or pay almost $1000 more to go by way of Air Canada or Lufthansa?

Despite C's previous solemn oath, sworn while under a pile of simply un-picked up post-meal garbage, that she would never take Al Italia again, cost won out. (Note that the service was not 'tardy' on the flight I refer to, it was simply non-existent; all the passengers finally had to pick up their own trays etc...and bring them to the back, where the cabin crew laughed and gossiped, and put them away themselves [the passengers I mean]. Don't even ask me what happened when I asked the crew at the back for some water.)

Thus now booked for Israel, Egypt and more sensibly Jordan, we begin the process of planning our actual trip.

Next up in issues to be addressed is the legendary "abruptness" (meaning they are rude) of Israelies whom refer to themselves as "prickly pears" in terms of social niceties.

I worry about this one as C is one of the most "holds a grudge" type of people I have ever known when it comes to social slights. For example, she is still plotting a determined vengence against a particularly surly waiter we encountered in Paris. An incident which if I recall correctly, happened sometime in early 1999.