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Wednesday, 5 August 2015

An Incident at Corfu Airport

I hate all airports. The long queues to drop off luggage at Gatwick can be hell at the end of July and in August, and Corfu airport is no better at the height of the tourist season.

Whether or not you've enjoyed a good holiday, any positive feelings are easily negated when queuing at the check-in area or trying to find a seat in the departure lounge.

The worst things about the overcrowded lounge on 29th July were the announcements. The PA system and amplifier were turned up as loud as they could be, and a shrill, distorted female voice was shattering everybody's nerves every few minutes, with strident announcements about flights and departure gates, in heavily-accented English.

I queued to get a cold drink at the airport snack-bar. "Next!" The young Greek man behind the counter was clearly suffering more than anyone else from the excessive noise pollution. He looked aggressive, and I could see from his expression that his nerves were completely frayed. I must have looked sympathetic.

I spoke to him in Greek, ordering two bottles of water and a cold beer, with a complicit, long-suffering smile.

"I've had that damned voice in my ears all day long, every five minutes", he complained.

"Couldn't you ask them to turn down the volume?"" I suggested.

"I'd like to cut her damned neck off", he said in blunt demotic Greek, indicating the cutting action with his hand, challenging me to agree.

I laughed. The voice was diabolical.

"How much is that?" I asked.

"Kernao ego - I'm treating you".

"No, why? Please let me pay".

"No. It's on me. You seem a good type!"

A flash of humour and humanity, even when people are at the end of their tether.


PS-  I know that the faulty PA system was not the fault of the equally-stressed and exhausted announcer.

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