The Weekend from Hell (part 1)

Going by the title, you can guess the weekend didn’t quite go ‘as planned’ … but thankfully there is a exceptionally happy ending 😉  Mind you, after the news about my car problems, perhaps you could say the whole week didn’t go as planned, not just the weekend …

On Thursday night I managed to get 4 hours sleep before I had to be up to catch my taxi to St Kilda – the taxi arrived promptly at 5.45am, and we had a very short hop up the street to drop me off to the bus pick-up point.  At that time of the morning it was pitch black, and a bit discomfiting to be standing in the middle of the street, but I survived the ordeal.  After the time got to 6.25am (the pick-up time was supposed to be 6.10am), the bus finally sailed past the end of the street, but then didn’t come back again – I figured perhaps he had other pick-ups in St Kilda and will return to my stop.  By the time it was 6.50am I decided he definitely isn’t coming back, so I had no choice but to wave down a taxi and had to pay $55 for a cab fare to the airport – luckily I did it, though, as I arrived with just 10 minutes to spare before my flight!  When I called later and spoke to the bus company they said they’d look into it and call me back – 3 hours later I still hadn’t heard from them, so I turned into Miss Cranky Pants and called them back again … to find that apparently they hadn’t received the booking info until that afternoon (which I don’t believe, as she’d read back all my details when I first called in the morning hmmm).  Anyway, in essence I just told them their customer service is severely lacking, and asked for a full refund and I would just find my own way home – thankfully I’m getting the refund processed.

So, not an auspicious start to the weekend.  The flight itself was wonderful and uneventful, and on arrival in Perth I found a shuttle bus to take me to a bus station that would then take me to Victoria Park East  where I could kill some time browsing around Stitchers Corner LNS.  It turns out they took me to the wrong bus station, so I ended up having a bit of a tiki tour of Perth central, finishing at the Esplanade busport (as an aside I have now learnt that Perth drivers get very vacant looks and get upset when you call the busport a bus depot, and don’t ask for a “zone 1” ticket, because all you get are blank looks … one must ask correctly for a “1 zone ticket for the Esplanade busport” LOL).  Anyway, an hour later and I was finally on my way, lugging my suitcase behind me for good measure (geez I miss left luggage facilities), and I eventually I found Stitchers Corner where I managed to keep myself awake for a wee while longer while browsing the wonderful goodies.

The return back to Perth city was interesting again – asking the driver if he went to either Williams Street busport or Esplanade busport I was told “yes” … I then assumed that meant he goes to both (I wanted Williams Street) – but of course not!  We end up at Esplanade where he stops and stays … on enquiry I am curtly told Williams Street is NOT a busport it is a station … and no he doesn’t go there.  I got off the bus before I turned the air blue … Are you getting the drift of how my day was going?

I spent a short while walking around the central area of Perth, but I was too exhausted to go far while lugging my suitcase.  I ended up parking myself in a couple of different food outlets where I had a green curry lunch followed by banana split and cappuccino.  A bit of an odd combination, but it was yummy and helped to fill in some time.  I eventually caught up with my friend Hayley in the city after she finished work, and we wandered back to the Wentworth Hotel where I’d been told the shuttle bus returns from (I’d bought a return ticket that morning).  We arrived just as the shuttle was starting to pull away from the curb, and regardless of us waving he certainly wasn’t stopping … so we stood and waited for another hour before the next one finally arrived … and even though we put our arms out and waved to him to stop, he just waved back and sailed straight past … aaaarghhhhhhhhh!!!!!!  Another phone call to the bus company (this seemed to be the running theme for Friday) and I’m told you have to pre-book your return pick-ups … a fact that they neglected to mention.  As I said to the poor operator, do you think I would have stood here for over an hour waving at two separate buses if I’d known that … and no I can’t wait for another hour for the next bus to turn up, as I have to pick up a rental car in 1/2 hours time.  Let’s just say, I’m supposed to be getting another partial refund now … ho-hum.

So, it was back in another taxi again, and our driver was wonderful – he had a GPS system in his cab, and I’d never seen one in use before, so he showed us how it worked and gave us a demo so we could see it taking us to the airport – it was great!  Oh boy, how I want one of those things!!  And in hindsight I could really have used one over the weekend … which I’ll chat about next in a separate post, as it pertains to CA’s class.  After my eventful day, we opted to just get pizza in for tea and we sat and had a bottle of wine before hitting the hay for the night, ready for me to get up early to drive over the other side of town in the morning … and oh, what a drive and a half … 😉