Yesterday, at the really friendly airport of Dublin, we booked a wheelchair or buggy ride for Brussels. Just to get me through the long long, unbelievably long trek, from the plane to pick up our luggage. I was okay with doing the rest on my own but had a bad feeling that the trek from the plane wouldn’t be the greatest plan.
We arrived and ... well unsurprisingly really, writes the voice of past experience with Brussels Airport, there was no one waiting . It was a hell of a walk through a largely deserted 8.30pm airport.
No-one anywhere, to even say ‘ummmm excuse me, we booked assistance?’
Limping through, tediously slowly, we found our luggage and wandered over to the money machine to get money. Our hourly bus to Antwerpen was already going without us at 9pm. We were too slow with the limping thing but voila, just to make things more glorious, the money machine was out of cash.
I knew where another machine was and so we picked up our luggage and trundled on out. A bit tired and sore, you can imagine how rapt we were to discover the second money machine was out of cash too. My Belgian bloke was fuming ...
There was a third machine and it had money.
We stopped at Information to ask why we hadn’t received the assistance we had booked. I had warned Gert not to go there. It’s a path to self-destruction and rage. Last time I landed there, just a few weeks earlier, the luggage handlers had slammed my suitcase around, the ensuing damage jamming my suitcase closed, with my coat inside. They had also managed to lose my big strong luggage strap. My enquiries had begun at ‘Information’ too. I was sent around the airport, being told ‘no, not here, we're not responsible, try there’, until I risked missing my hourly bus home to Stad Antwerpen. Again, this guy had no answers beyond naming the group responsible before adding ‘but they’re closed now’.
Smiling kind of grimly, I asked where the best place to eat was.
He said, they’re all closed.
International airport ... people still arriving and leaving ... food places closed, 9pm.
We rolled the case over to a bar and ordered a horrendous panini thing each, with a beer and a wine ... 23euro. Then as we sat there the staff, assuming we were both English-speaking, called the previous customers pigs on arriving at their table. Not because of the mess but because the customers had wanted a lemon slice in their drink then not finished the drink. I suspected it was undrinkable, based on the sandwiches.
I looked inside my crunchy brie panini, the over-toasted one, and saw a pile of meat. I asked the guy waiter what it might be, not rudely, just kind of bemused that my brie panini wasn’t really.
He laughed, looking at me like I was slightly insane, he said, I only the sell the stuff, I don’t know what is in it.
And that was coming home from Ireland ... maybe it's better to land over in Holland and catch the trains home.