Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Gospel according to Eyjafjallajokull

Yeah... i am grounded.
BBC tells  over  95,000 flights are canceled!
Apart from going mad at my travel agent,
i found some lessons to learn and things to do:

Step.1:  Listen to Bob Marley song   'Three Little Birds'
"Don't worry about a thing,
'Cause every little thing gonna be all right."

here is the ConnieTalbot cover:

Step.2:  learn to pronounce the name of the volcano 

Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl)
it may take a few days...
so by then airports should be on business normal. :)

Step.3:  learn the Mario Garcia lesson: 

This is not a tragedy, this is a mere inconvenience. 

here is a selection from his text: ( read full text here)

Learn from every experience, my wise Mom has always told me. So, I am learning from this one too.

Like thousands of travellers around the globe, I, too, am grounded. In Paris. When I arrived here over a week ago for work with France Football, my luggage was labeled CDG, as in Charles de Gaulle, but somehow the letters may have been LBO, as in Limbo, which is where I find myself.

Ok, I know that I can’t get any sympathy from any family or friends when I tell them you are stuck in Paris. I grant you, it could be much worse, and that there are many places I can imagine where this ordeal would have been more difficult to endure. The lessons, however, are many. Limbo is not a nice destination, believe me.

Lesson 1: Learn to deal with serendipity, always a favorite word of mine, except that in this case serendipity translates into “the surprise of the minute”. My super efficient assistant, Toni Lewis, my wonderful travel agent, Jim Hobbs, and my Lufthansa HON Circle concierge, are all giving it their best, but they can’t go against the volcano, which decides on its own when to spew more ash and misery over the continent. I receive a different possible itinerary every two hours. I get excited one minute, deflated the next. My next stop should be beautiful Oslo, Norway, where I do presentations end of the week. I am still hoping, but, today Tuesday, my flights via Lufthansa were cancelled already, then my next itinerary on KLM, via Amsterdam, also cancelled, as Paris’ airports remain closed. Serendipity, in this case, is a giant board up somewhere where the word CANCELLED repeated several times.

Lesson 2: Airline high level status means NOTHING when mother nature calls! Of course, my Lufthansa support system calls, encourages me and provides changes of possible connections, but I can tell in the voices of the concierges talking to me that they have little hope any of this will come to pass. I now hold on to TWO possible Tuesday itinerary, one late tonight via Scandinavian Airlines. But, don’t count on it.

Lesson 3: Bonding in times of uncertainty Nothing new here, but as I sit for breakfast or happy hour at the fifth floor Club of the Intercontineal Le GRand Paris, my home for heaven knows how many days (and more to come?), I feel the support of all the other stranded passengers there: Brazilians, Brits, Argentines, Saudis, Chinese. Everyone first extends their stay at the Interconti by ONE more day (a ritual), then we sit and compare notes. The tourists who had enough of Paris (how can that be?), the businessmen and women on their iPhones, losing their patience, and trying to conduct transactions the best way possible; the occasional child whose spring break got extended (they are happy).

Lesson 4: Make the best of the circumstance. I learned long ago the difference between problems and circumstances. Problems you can solve, circumstances, you, well, adapt and take in stride. This is a circumstance. So, I am learning to deal with an unstructured free day. Can you imagine that? Someone who wakes up to a very hour by hour day most of the time, and suddenly, you face the next 24 hours with no specific meetings, workshops, presentations.

Lesson #5: Don’t try to pronounce the name of this volcano: Eyjafjallajokull. As one CNN reporter put it:“ This is like saying a word with a bunch of marbles in your mouth.“ In my case, I resort fo Spanish to try to say it. If I say “ayquelocura” very quickly (it means roughly, oh, what madness), then the resulting sound reminds me of what this volcano’s name should probably be.

Step.4:  Now call again your travel agency..good luck!

Even-though, i am not so lucky enough to have my tickets  soon again,
i wish you all out there "Good Luck".

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