Don’t be misled by this very stimulating advertisement. RyanAir sucks much ass.

See, I must qualify my love of Spain. On our last day, we lined up dutifully at the RyanAir counter at 7pm, for our 9pm flight to London from Granada. A cute Spanish surveyor asked us to rate our stay in Spain, to which we responded with our highest possible ratings.

Too soon, I should think. First off, we waited a good hour in the check-in line. When we got to the front, Adam’s bag was 6kg overweight, which cost us a fine of 60 euros. When I went to pay the fine, the lug behind the desk wouldn’t look me in the eye or even speak to me, but was more than willing to entertain his fellow Spaniards who asked questions from the side of the desk.

Eventually we made it through security to the gate, whereupon we were greeted with a sign encouraging us to purchase booze for our flight. So we miraculously managed to spend every last euro on a bottle of delicious Spanish wine and two large cans of beer, all of which we saved for the long flight to London. (See, RyanAir does not serve free refreshments). We saw this as a sign from Zod that we were meant to buy this booze, since the total cost was literally equivalent to the total cash money we had on hand.

We waited. And waited. Gradually, everyone in the gate area began to leave. No one made any announcements or said anything, so we looked at the flight board: our flight, for which we had already paid an overweight fine and been handed our boarding passes, had been CANCELLED. But of course, the airport was abandoned and no one was telling us anything.

So 100 confused travelers wandered down to the desk of the big Spanish lug who collected the overweight fines. He explained –in Spanish– that there might be a bus to take us to another city where our plane would be waiting for us. But we had to collect our own bags and take them outside. Which we did.

Of course when we got outside, there were no buses and no officials, just pissed off travellers stranded in Spain. After about half an hour, some buses showed up and chaos ensued. Long story short, we all ended up on a bus, but for many of us, our bags were on another bus. Hardly a recipe for confidence or security. The drive to the other airport in Malaga was nearly 2 hours long, during which no one explained anything to us.

To help quell the tension, the driver plied us with a movie: Snakes On A Plane. Seriously. Oh, but that wasn’t bad enough. It was Snakes On A Plane…. in Spanish! And it gets better: it was a bootleg version, filmed inside a theatre! I slept through the ride, but I’m told it was a harrowing ride through narrow streets at a break-neck pace, all during a rain storm.

Eventually we got to the Malaga airport, which was also abandoned. Once more, there were no officials to greet us or explain anything. Somehow, we all managed to make our way to security and were told by a fellow traveler (who spoke Spanish) that the plane was on the tarmac and would leave at midnight. So why weren’t we boarding? Because there was no one there from RyanAir who could give the okay!

Another lengthy wait and someone was apparently awakened or phoned, and we started crawling through security. Guess what? Our wine and beer were confiscated. Bastards. I won’t even begin to describe how incompetent the security screeners were.

Then we had to race to get on the plane, because RyanAir is a general seating airline with no reserved seats. Fortunately, despite being into our 5th decade of life, we are pretty fit, and we managed to find three adjacent seats for myself, Adam, and our new friend Samantha, a delightful 19 year old British geography student who was learning Spanish in Spain. She was the saving grace in what was otherwise a disastrous travel experience.

We managed, though, to find the only airplane row I’ve ever encountered that had no windows! It felt like a giant, cramped bus that shook a lot; there was no confirmation that we were ever airborn!

Did I mention that RyanAir is the only airline to have ever landed in the wrong airport? I’m told that they recently got the airport wrong, and ended up landing at a military base, and hilarity ensued.

Well, we got into London at 3:30 AM, but that ain’t the end of the story. See, Stansted airport is pretty much abandoned at that time of night, and there isn’t an easy way to get into town! Luckily, with Samantha’s guidance and that of my good London-based friend Mieke who continued to text me well into the wee hours, we managed to formulate a trek of buses and taxis that got us onto Mieke’s comfy floor near Notting Hill at around 4:30AM… just in time to power nap before heading to another airport a few hours later to fly home to Canada.

Ah, the joys of international travel. Did I mention I’m heading to Tennessee on Thursday? It never ends.

In Other News…

There’s a new article up on Skiffy.ca, this the latest review of a “New Amsterdam” episode by “redparrot”.

Sukhy sends us this video for explaining subprime markets.

For those of you in Toronto, my sitar teacher, the wonderful Anwar Khurshid, will be playing at a concert this coming Saturday night at 8pm at the Medical Sciences Auditorium of the University of Toronto.

JJ sends us The Story of Stuff.

Remember the great blog, StuffWhitePeopleLike? EK Hornbeck sends us the response, StuffAsianPeopleLike.

In honour of St Patrick’s Day, MED sends us this:

And lastly, The Other Ray sends us 20 Things You Didn’t Know About Sex.