Having just finished my A-levels, my friends and I arrived at East Midlands Airport – it became clear immediately that we had absolutely no idea what we were doing.
We made our first blunder at duty free. My friend, Rachael, needed her passport to buy headphones. Suddenly we realised that she didn’t have it and set off sprinting on a panicked search. Thankfully, a few minutes later, the speaker called her name: she had left it at WHSmith. Relieved, we checked our gate number and headed to catch the flight. As we were queuing, it was getting ever closer to our flight time and the doors hadn’t even opened, yet no delay had been announced. When I heard: “FINAL CALL FOR HERAKLION”, I knew something was wrong. We asked the family in front of us if they were in the queue for Heraklion and they confirmed that no, they were waiting to go to Rhodes. Fantastic.
Safe to say, there was some swearing, and we set off sprinting through the terminal again, this time towards the right gate. The flight attendants quickly checked our passports and rushed us through onto the shuttle bus, which we had all to ourselves. The luxury! We climbed onto the plane, welcomed by the stares of all the other passengers who had managed to navigate the airport properly.
At Heraklion, we got on the bus headed for our hotel. It dropped us off at the bottom of a little hill near the hotel, so we headed up it, fumbling to find the entrance. As we tried to figure out where we were going, the bus started reversing back up the hill at quite some speed, headed straight for us. We tried to speed up to avoid being bulldozed, but then Connie lost her grip on her suitcase and it went flying back down the hill, right at the bus. She sprinted (there seems to be a theme here) back down to get it. Luckily, she caught it. Then she managed to drop it dropped it yet again as she was lugging it back up the hill.
Finally, we got to the hotel reception in one piece and checked in. Trying to be more responsible than we had been so far, we locked all of our valuables in the safe straight away. Naturally, something immediately went wrong. We hadn’t read the instructions, which clearly told us we had to pay to use the safe, which we couldn’t afford. Panicking yet again, our only option was to call reception and beg them to open it. Luckily, they were kind and opened it without making us pay. We definitely didn’t expect our first day to be quite so eventful, but while for some this might have been a source of stress, for us was part of the fun. We spent the whole day laughing at our own incompetence, and continued to do so for the rest of the holiday. We had no idea what we were doing, so every day was completely spontaneous, and it was precisely that spontaneity that left me with some of the best memories ever.