Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Let’s Try That Again

Tonight’s “Abominable Weekly Update” comes with an extra special message and in the spirit of that, there won’t any public warnings pleading you to stay away, imploring you to read no further and so on. It’s not like you listened to them anyway, right?

Well, we’re still here.

This is awkward.

Last Wednesday we were supposed to fly to Finland, to meet friends and family but as some of you might already know, that didn’t really happen. Ryanair had other plans and those plans did not include me or my family on their precious flight.

So, we’re still here.

Am I furious? You bet your fucking ass I’m furious. Those fuckers made an otherwise already difficult day, even more difficult. Never mind me, or my wife for that matter, we can make due… we can adjust… but for a 5-year old who had gotten up at 5 in the fucking morning, it’s pretty difficult to understand that — for an arbitrary reason — he won’t get to see his grandmother.

What might that arbitrary reason be, you ask? Well, Ryanair insists that your boarding pass has to be printed.

That’s it.

But you know what? I’m going to exclude things like the fact that we don’t have the possibility of printing our boarding passes. Or that Ryanair refused to print them for us, despite the fact that I asked multiple times. It’s odd that they would refuse to print them by the way, because there’s numerous complaint stories about Ryanair charging £70 per boarding pass to print it.

No, the thing I want to stand as a testament to how truly evil and uncaring Ryanair are, is this; Whilst being told that they couldn’t board us, that we should have printed our boarding passes, the fucker sitting behind the counter didn’t look up a single time. In a moment where the smallest of human kindness could have made all the difference, there was no eye-contact whatsoever.

Looking more at their ticket ordering experience it also becomes apparent quite quickly that everything about Ryanair is carefully crafted to exploit and confuse you, their customer. Ryanair are by all accounts, as evil as evil gets.

I’d like to imagine that there’s a special table in Hell reserved for special people like Michael O’Leary, a table not even Zedong, Stalin or Hitler sits at.

The extra special message for this week’s update is this;

This airline might offer a cheap affair,
but make no mistake,
as sure as their name is Ryanair,
your service is not where they care.

So you know what, fuck them. I’m still furious but being furious won’t get me anywhere right now. Right now — last Wednesday — I had a 5-year old who was sad, confused and needed my — our — attention badly. We quickly resigned the idea to just go home again, we had made it across London after all. Maybe there’s was something we could do that wouldn’t make this day feel like such a total waste of time.

First we thought about going to the ZSL London Zoo but after realising that the 150 000 m2 (36 acres) complex houses an impressive 755 species of animals, we decided to leave it for a day when we could explore all of it. And this was not that day.

As I was browsing Google Maps trying to find something more suitable, something smaller perhaps, but with animals I swiped to reveal something near London Eye “Hey, what’s this?”

Sea Life London Aquarium, that’s what.

Lucien, of course, wanted to see lions because… well… who doesn’t want to see lions, they’re pretty awesome. Thankfully on our way to the Sea Life Aquarium we stumbled onto this “little” guy, the “South Bank Lion” standing proudly at the bridge and guarding over the purveyors of roasted nuts.

We had to queue for about 45 minutes before we got in to the Aquarium but a few hours, turtles, sharks and penguins later I’d say it was worth it. Lucien was less upset and was excited to have seen sharks which also — apparently — rank pretty highly on the list of “Awesome Animals”. Even my wife, who had seemed less than eager about the idea at first, acknowledged that she had — in fact — found the penguins more interesting than the other fishes.

So, I think that sums up last Wednesday nicely. Moving on to Thursday.

I’m kidding, I’m kidding. I would never — I totally would — do that to you. Although the rest of the week has been interesting as well, I’m going to sum it up in less detail but with more pictures, because… well… everybody likes pictures, right?

We of course finally answered whether or not I can tell Coca-Cola and Pepsi apart and apparently the answer is; No. No, I can’t. Not even slightly. Damn it.

But keeping in the curious spirit of tasting and trying things I bought Strawberry flavoured Pop Tarts and Butterscotch flavoured Angel Delight from the store and we tried them both for the first time. I don’t think we’ll be eating Angel Delight ever again, at least not the Butterscotch flavoured one but we might buy Pop Tarts some other time.  But damn it, if they didn’t taste super-unhealthy.

Oddly, the Wikipedia page claims that Pop Tarts are sold in Finland as well which I’m going to have to look into once we get there.

I’ve finally gotten the hang of barbecuing a bit more, changing from Briquettes to Lump Wood which seems to have done the trick and I’m now able to get more even burns. Also, Lump Wood feels so much more home-y.

One of the challenges I talked about was sketching something every day. Now, I haven’t done that yet because that challenge was only specific to being abroad — and I like excuses — but I have been playing around with doing quick character designs anyway using a limited palette and I quite like some of the results. Speaking of challenges though, I have managed to not shave but then again I suppose that’s not much of an accomplishment.

Also, having finished Bioshock: Infinite I have now moved on to the — really — only game left on my list, Far Cry 3. But to be honest, I’m already a little bored with it. Large pretty island? Sure. A multitude of wildlife to stab? Yes. Engaging albeit slightly forced story? Why not. Weirdly linear considering all of this? Unfortunately. And that’s where it lost me.

But not before it inspired me to make a short “film” depicting the core concept of Far Cry 3… in 6 seconds.