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Lost luggage

My flight from Oslo - Athens -Riyadh was pretty smooth. Aegean provided two basic Airbus 320s. In Athens I had a 4 hour layover so just enough time to take the metro to the city centre, grab a quick meal, see the Parthenon in the distance, and return to the airport.

The leg to Riyadh was lightly loaded, only 25 or so souls on board including crew, so after the seat belt light extinguished I was able to stretch out and sleep almost horizontally. At the time, I didn't know it, but the plane was a further 18kg lighter than it should have been, my main bag was not on board! The surprisingly helpful (and busy) lost baggage office at Riyadh were able to tell me that it had found its way onto a flight to Heraklion in Crete. This is the up-side of computerised and bar-coded baggage handling, but why did it manage to be wrongly routed in the first place? Was the computer eye blind sided by something else?  Are the baggage handlers at Athens cretins? (Are the baggage handlers at Crete not, having found it)?? The man at Riyadh airport promised he'd call me when it arrived, and he was as good as his word, calling me at 03.07 on Wednesday morning to announce its arrival.

After returning to work, the main free-time focus this week has been preparing to move into the apartment on a western compound. The apt is furnished, with linen, towels and kitchen paraphanalia to be bought as a minimum. I move in on Sunday. 

I have hired a car, and picked it up on arrival at Riyadh airport. It's a Nissan, the local equivalent of a Sunny. 4 days driving here has almost turned what's left of my hair white. Journeys are white-knuckle rides from start to finish. On the plus side, the hire is cheap, at around £100 for a week. Having the car allows more freedom and saves on taxi fares. The hotel and compound are both too far from the office not to have a car. And unleaded petrol is 14p a litre.

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* Call Alastair Fyfe directly on 07785 370074 (UK) or +966 503095212