Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Beginner boarding

Mills and I are joining friends and family for our first ski holiday this year. So far we've learnt the very expensive lesson of booking our flight before checking transfer times from the airport to the resort (transfers only happen once a week). We tried to change/cancel/upgrade our flights, but KLM is hanging onto our money like a fat kid clutching the last cookie at the party. They have kindly offered to refund the airport taxes on our 600-euro tickets. Whoopty-fucking-doo. I can as good as see the money smeared around the airline's piehole, like chocolate icing on the forementioned fatty's face.

So, we can't get our money back - and our options are:

a) book accommodation overnight (thereby paying double as we've already paid for our first night accommodation at the ski lodge) and:
i) rent a car and drive through unfamiliar roads, on the wrong side of the road, in snow. Bear in mind that we can't drive through our childhood roads of Joburg without at least one of us losing the plot. Extra costs include SatNav.
ii) take the public transport from Venice to somewhere close to the ski lodge. From there, take a taxi. Arrive at ski lodge almost 24 hours after landing at Venice.

b) cancel flights with KLM, take our 50-euro consolation tax refund. KLM keeps our money, and gets to resell our seats. Pay 630-euros (each) for earlier flights on KLM. Smile sweetly at KLM while bending forward and take it...

c) don't cancel flights with fat bastards. Potentially inconvenience all the other passengers on the flight in order to ensure that KLM cannot resell our tickets. Book the cheapest alternative flight in order to make the once-off transfer to the ski lodge.

Each option expensive. We went for option C, mostly because it offered the quickest solution. I am not enthralled with KLM. Have I mentioned that enough? KLM. Fat smelly money-grabbing bastards.

Right, on with the ski holiday preparations... Last night, Mills and I had the opportunity to test our snowboarding skills on the indoor slope in Zoetemeer. For those of you who'll be hitting the bunny slopes with us in Feb, we are not cheating! These are not extra lessons. The fact that we struggled to get our feet into the boots, coupled with the fact that I tried to exchange my board "because it was too small", only to be told that I was trying to put my feet in back to front, should demonstrate that Mills and I need a headstart just to break even with the special needs class.

I've had opportunity to try skiing and boarding once before - very briefly - on the aptly named Snowy Mountains. I didn't enjoy the skiing. I could not get my legs to go in the same direction and once I was down, I couldn't get up without assistance. This was of particular embarrassment when I landed directly underneath the ski lifts and had to lie there with my bum in cramp until my brother came to my rescue. Boarding is a much better option for me, I only need to pick one direction (generally down) and I can flop like a fish out of water in order to manoeuvre myself up. My snowboarding attempt last night was relatively successful, largely because I never built up enough speed to do any damage.

Mills, on the other hand, was far more adventurous. He'd get to his feet, lean low and gun it down the hill. It was very impressive... right up to the point when he needed to stop, which is round about when he would fling himself headfirst to the ground, taking the unique approach of using his face as a braking mechanism. His beard looked very cute all icicled up.

We only lasted for an hour on the slope. I'm not sure how we're going to cope with this as an all-day excursion. What we have learnt from our adventure is that beginner snowboarding should not be attempted in demin jeans. My ass has never been so wet, so cold, so aching and so completely numb (yes, all at once) in my life.

Next stop... ski cloth shopping. More costs to be incurred.


Boomkind said...

Kookie, not arriving at the airport will just make you a no show and if there is someone on the waitng list they'll get a chance. So to get them back you need to go to the airport and check in (check in an old bag with something you want to get rid of) and the walk out. That way you'll be checked in with baggage loaded. So after waiting and calling you for ages they will have to off load your bags before taking off! Okay then be prepared for a plane load of people hating you for the rest of thier lives ;)

Don't believe a word I write said...

hahahah, Boomkind, that is beautiful revenge. Koekie, perhaps you can check in something that will smell up the area very badly in just a matter of two or so hours.

P.S. I've found that falling over is a solid way of stopping oneself when skiing. There's genius in that, I tell ya!!

Peaches said...

Oh Koekie, I would pay good money my to watch you and Mills attempt to ski/board my friend! :)

ps: Think there is an old GOTPM episode that you and Mills can watch as research.

Lopz said...

Boomkind, you have a criminal mind! I like it though. Works as long as you don't believe in karma.. if you do and you do that, expect delayed / cancelled flights and stolen luggage for years to come ;-)

Bof said...

Dear All! Please all remind me never, never, never to piss off Boomkind! As for braking on snow - I tried to ski once only. I found using unsuspecting groups of people very effective too!