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[personal profile] wonderlanded

I had a job interview in Edinburgh on Friday morning, which meant flying to Glasgow late Thursday night.

We went to the Musée d’Orsay on Thursday morning, which was awesome, but I wore terrible shoes (quite flat, but just odd for my feet) and ended up with blisters the size of my little toes on my little toes. When we got home, while tending my blisters, I knocked the worst one against the side of the bath and took the entire top off my little toe. Blood everywhere.

On my way to the wrong Metro station on Thursday afternoon, I was hit by a car reversing back across the intersection it had already crossed. I have a lovely bruise on my thigh.

Everything went smoothly after I’d found the right Metro station and made my way out to Porte Maillot, got on the bus to Beauvais, and made my way to Glasgow. Got on the bus to Edinburgh and arrived at the hotel I had booked and paid for at 1.30am, which is when they were expecting me.

Unfortunately, they had accidentally given my room to a couple who should have booked out the night before. After quarter of an hour of faffing about, they found me a room in one of their sister hotels and sent me down there in a taxi.

When I got to the Other Hotel, their St Patrick’s Day festivities were still in full swing, and I discovered I’d lost my passport. Fifteen minutes of blind panic later, I found it. In my wallet. Um.

So the nice receptionist bloke took the crazy hysterical Australian up to her room, only to discover that the keycard wouldn’t work. Neither would the second he brought up. Nor the third. The fourth worked, and I went to bed at about 2.30, having firmly decided that the interview in the morning would be rubbish, and I should go into it with a completely fatalistic attitude.

Next morning, I discovered that my toes were swollen and unlikely to fit into my Only Interview Shoes. (The other option was riding boots. Not a good look.) So I had a bath, and then made the surprising discovery that there was apparently no iron or ironing board in the entire hotel. So I ironed my suit using the trouser press, with less that spectacular results. The fatalistic attitude to the interview increased apace.

It was quite a nice day in Edinburgh – grey but fine, and the four-hour interview went surprisingly well, despite the fact that I felt like I was going through foot torture the entire time. I haven’t heard yet, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I got the job. Went back to the city, where I wandered along Princes Street for a while before going for a late lunch with FABULOUS PEOPLE.

I had a fantastic lunch with [livejournal.com profile] brandnewgun, [livejournal.com profile] blue_monday and the Gnome! They’re all utterly fantastic, and I advise you all to meet them immediately if you haven’t already. The Gnome is just as delightful as in her pictures, albeit with a disconcerting habit of staring at you with a stare that can only be described as her ‘Bitch, are you for real?’ look. But I also saw her awesome smile.

I was running pretty much on time to get back to Glasgow and Prestwick Airport, but between a series of bad connections and some very poor advice from a ticket agent about which train to take to Glasgow, I managed to miss my Ryanair flight. By one minute. They were closing check-in as I ran up, but they wouldn’t reopen it. The nice German bloke I’d been chatting to on the train since Edinburgh (victim of the same crap advice, but thankfully his plane left later than mine) was very sympathetic and helpful, but there was no dice. I was put on standby for the 7am Saturday morning flight, went back to Glasgow, and booked into the Ibis.

Up at 4 the next morning to catch the 4.45 bus to Prestwick. I was hopelessly early for everything, and was really pleased when I got on the 7.00 flight. We sat on the tarmac for a while because of fog at Beauvais, and then took off in the hopes that it would ‘clear while we were in the air’.

It didn’t; so we were diverted to Charles-le-Roi airport, where we landed at 10am.

Charles-le-Roi, for those who know as much as I do about minor European airports, is in Brussels.

A nice repeating announcement in the arrivals hall informed us that Ryanair had chartered us a bus to Beauvais that would arrive in half an hour. It repeated for the next two hours. The bus finally left close to 12.30pm, and all was going quite well, we all thought. There was a distinct sense of camaraderie developing, in the manner of Lost or Candid Camera.

Then, just across the border into Picardy, the bus blew a tire.

I am not joking.

Two and a half hours later, the tire was changed and we were able to keep going. The bus driver, under strict orders from Ryanair, refused to take us all the way into Paris despite the fact that it was (a) closer and (b) everyone wanted to go there, not Beauvais. So we arrived at Beauvais at 5pm, took the bus to Porte Maillot, and I was back in our appartement in the 8th by 6.30. Which… is a very long time for a two hour flight.

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about Scotland, and my mobility if I lived there, and the actual idea behind my moving to the UK – part of which is to see as much of Europe as I can. I’m wondering if the whole Edinburgh thing mightn’t be a bit counterproductive.

We’re in Vienna now, and my feet are finally starting to heal, and this city is just fabulous. I loved Paris, but Wien has a really intimate feel – like people actually live here.
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February 2010

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