Saturday, January 29, 2011

Mike Takes Denmark-and develops a mild hatred of the Danish transportation department.

Homecoming: Day 16—> day 17

I have 100kroner and I need to get back to hostel or I will be stranded here- please, take me!”

My Saturday night in Aalborg, Denmark seamlessly transitioned into Sunday morning, a night done right with techno music, drinks, and random Erasmus students from around the world. Seeing as this was my last night in Denmark, I did it right and I did it hard. In other words, I stayed up all night with Peter and the guys dancing and drinking, trying to be “cool” with the ladies, which as I mentioned last post, is a very difficult task considering the socially-bipolar collection of women in the clubs.

4am: I enter the hostel lobby, stumbling around, trying to tell the dude behind the counter I need a taxi in 15minutes; it took a while- but I did it! And I will say this: if you plan on staying out all night, make sure you are packed before you go. As some of you reading this might guess that was me- YOU’RE WRONG. I packed up my schtuff before heading out because I knew I wasn’t going to be able to see straight come time to leave and whudathunkit I was right. The warm shower to “wake-up” didn’t help either, especially considering how small it was. I think I honestly fell into the walls enough times to count, but I wasn’t, I was actually considering getting a road brew while I waited for my taxi! No, don’t worry, I didn’t. I did however buy a Twix for the taxi ride.

What will eventually be concluded with this post is how much I have developed a mild hatred of the Danish transportation system, in regards to flying. It will be discussed in the following stages (somewhat in that order, but maybe not exactly):

  1. Ridiculous and redundant hours of operation;
  2. Robots that are not helpful;
  3. Asshole Customer Service agents;
  4. Danish websites changing dates of trips;
  5. Faulty trip reservation system;
  6. Non-compliance with said hours of operation;
  7. Inability to resolve conflict (quickly).

So, 4:30 rolls around and I’m at the airport, which has just opened. This, in the first place, seems counter intuitive when you have 6:30 international flights that require you be checked in at least 2 hours before the flight. I’d actually gotten there a little bit early, but only a few minutes, so that was nice. Anyway, I went over to the self-service kiosks, the electronic mah-doogies, to print of my boarding pass. Low and behold—there is an issue with my reservation. The machine, with all of it’s wisdom and power, wouldn’t tell me why my reservation code wasn’t working. So of course being as intoxicated as I still was, I get a little upset and decide to talk to someone to help me out. I waddle over to the customer service counter to see what I didn’t want to- NO ONE AT THE EFFING COUNTER. Why open an airport if there is going to be NO ONE to be there? I don’t get it! No service agents were there, in any of the kiosks and no one was behind their respective counters! At this point, I was drunk and now very pissed off, so I did what any self-respecting drunk American would do while they waited for a service agent: I played Angry Birds- and then passed out against the column I was propped up against. Like I said- I was pissed.

When the dude finally showed up, he tried to not pay attention to me as he gets his “area” ready for the day. I really had no right to have been pissed at him (yet) because I had done the same thing when I worked coffee. I couldn’t help anyone until the store was ready, so I would just pretend they weren’t there, as he was doing to me; I had just gotten served. When he finally came over to the counter, he wouldn’t stop speaking Danish, even despite my constant “nei, nei, Taller englesk, takk..” (even though it’s Norwegian/Danish, they can understand it, so he should have stopped SPEAKING IN DANISH) and it was not helping my pissy nature. As it turns out, the genius came up with the conclusion that I had purchased the ticket for February, not January.

FÆN [google translate it- I won’t say it here].

Looking at his screen I saw that the reservation was in fact made for February, yet I would have sworn on any holy book that I had clicked January. The idea that the Danish site changed my month isn’t too far fetched considering it wasn’t the first time a travel site had switched ish up on me during my travels. Even though it actually is pretty far fetched to say the Danish travel bureau sabotaged my flight to Amsterdam, I like to think I didn’t commit the foul. This is where the guy becomes a dick- he would not BUDGE on getting me on the flight. Before I could even finish asking to help a brotha out, he cut me off “Nope, no, we don’t-we can’t do that. It’s against policy.” The non-internet price for a ticket was upwards of $400 , and there was no way I could afford that, so I told him I needed to get on the flight because I couldn’t afford to stay in Aalborg another night. His response?

“Do you have a credit card?”

"Do you have a credit card?!” Are you kidding me?! It’s almost 5am and this chode was trying to commit extortion of the reasonable kind, but it was ridiculous. I can’t say that the US is any better, but I’m sure they would have tried a lot harder to get me on that flight. This guy actually walked away from me while I was trying to work something out! Chode aside, I backed away from the counter and took inventory of my decreasing currency. I had spent the last solid bit of Danish kroner to get to the airport and my US accounts were beginning to dwindle below the point I marked to have a reasonable move to California upon my return to the West Coast, so I had begun to float up the shit river. Luckily, I found 100kroner in my back pocket; unfortunately, my taxi ride out had cost me over 200kroner. Again, I did what any reasonable drunken American would do if they found out they were stranded and broke in a foreign country- I played Angry Birds, but when I couldn’t break down the effin pigs’ defense, I got even more angry and decided that I needed to get a game plan together. I decided to try my luck with a taxi-driver and ask for a ride back. In other words, I begged some guy, who turned out to be a douche, to give me a lift back to the hostel for the rest of my money. He reluctantly agreed, but was a dick the entire way back, which I think is completely unnecessary. If I were a taxi-driver, I would be up for helping out a brotha every once and a while, especially when the clubs were closing and I would definitely make up the loss very quickly from all the extremely drunk bastards around town.

I get to the hostel and explain to the new person behind the counter that I had just checked out but missed my flight and needed to use the internet. She was cool about it and let me ‘chill’ out in the lobby for a spell. And THANK GOD FOR FACEBOOK. I never thought I’d say that, but without it, I would have been EFFED because I was losing my cool and my mobile phone definitely did not have enough credits to call the states and talk with the parentals. My mom happened to be online and with the her help, I was able to regain my chi and think logically about things: I needed another flight and a place to stay for the night because I was running drunk with only 2 hours of sleep 27hours earlier (if that makes sense). After getting my to-do list busted out and booked, my parents were my knights in shining armor and wired me some extra cash to help with the room and food for the day.

Seriously, my parents are best. If you disagree, you can go f*ck yourself.

I eventually got a room and slept until about 3pm, which felt absolutely wonderful. Oddly enough, when I had reserved my new flight, it said there was a complication in purchasing the ticket, yet the confirmation I was emailed said everything was taken care of. All day after waking up, I called the customer service hotline, but being freaking Sunday, no one was there. I was quite concerned because I really could not afford another night in Aalborg. I gave up and decided to figure it out in the morning at the airport. In the evening time, I met back up with Peter and his Danish-American pal for some drinks to watch the Packers-Bears playoff game. Soon enough, a Belgian dude (that we all think was completellyyyy full of shit) and bought us all a bunch of beer, which was great.


I want to go on record and say that I did not get drunk that night, because I’d be a huge dick if I used the money my parents sent on booze; however, I did forget to set my alarm to wake up in time, and with going to bed at 3am and needing to be up at 5am, this was a bad new bears. Luckily, I had a dream that ended abruptly with me (yes, me) walking up to me in a dream and yelling at me- “YOU FORGOT TO SET YOUR ALARM, ASSWAD!” It actually freaked me out to the point where I abruptly jerked awake and fell out of my bunk. I looked at my iPod and saw that it was exactly 5am.

F8ck yeah.

Showered, taxied, and waiting in the airport, I go again to the freakin robot-kiosk and it says that my confirmation code had a problem…


I decide to keep my cool this time because (1) I wasn’t drunk, and (2) I had plenty of time to figure it out. Except the CHODE behind the counter wouldn’t tell me what was wrong because he couldn’t figure it out. I had the idea that it was my debit card (which had been acting up lately) and told him but he assured me that it wasn’t. So he tells me to wait 15minutes until their office opens [at this time, I had just about under an hour before my flight took off]. Once the time comes around to call the office, ChoderBoy calls them up and guess what- no. one. answers.

30minutes later (20min until I had to be on the GD flight), a lady called me over to the other counter and told me my credit card hadn’t been accepted- INCONVIEVABLE! Well, instead of saying that, I do one of those slow head turns toward Chode, who doesn’t make eye contact with me, and turn back to pay the lady with my other debit card. With my flight paid for and moderate hatred for the Danish travel system, I shoved some bitches (guy bitches and girl bitches) out my way to make it to security. At this point, I had 10min to board my flight. LUCKILY, I got through security lickety split and the gate was literally right there after you got through. I boarded my flight literally putting my belt on. I think I finished putting my belt on when right before I sat down in my seat.

Often times I’ll end a post with words of advice, but in all honesty, I may have messed up originally, but the Danish [assuming the rest of the country is just as incompetent as Aalborg] are horrendous at customer relations; thus, my advice is such- avoid flying in Denmark.
Considering the rest of the day was spent in an airport and flying, I will end my Danish leg of my blog with this:


IMG_0274I hate this place…


1 comment:

Cam McGregor said...

Dude...come to Russia. You will not only hate the transportation department, you'll hate life.