14. Travels Fails

10 Oct

I’m a pretty seasoned traveller but every now and then I do a make a fail (or two). But the good thing is the more I travel, the fewer mistakes I make. This is a result of my accrued knowledge about how to travel and my experience dealing with the unanticipated. I’ve made two major blunders on this trip so far and in the interests of making my pain your gain, I will share them with you now.

1. I didn’t do the online checkin three hours before my flight to Paris and the stupid fartface discount airline charged me 35 euros to checkin at the airport.

I’ve used some of these discount european airlines in the past, but I’m more of a train guy. I prefer to take my time and meander around a country, talking to the locals about their customs and ways of life. Also the average air travel experience is about as pleasant as a naked tax audit in front of your high school graduating class – keep packing ’em in, boys!

Anyway, so the way these airlines make their money is that they get you on the flight with a cheap ticket then they charge you for every additional thing they can possibly think of. And I’m cool with that. For example, if you’re carrying extra luggage, you should be charged accordingly. But the idea of instituting some arbitrary time to close the online checkin and forcing the passengers to use the physical checkin and possibly miss their flights, is a dick move. Also, if you’re going to do this the *least* you could do is have your stupid app return an error code indicating the reason for why the online checkin is not working.

2. Yesterday I went to see a Hollywood movie and I could not understand what was being said 10% of the time.

If you’re traveling overseas sometimes it can be a challenge to find a screening of the original language version of a given film. This is because in the bigger markets like France, Germany, Italy, and Spain they dub most of the foreign movies. But in the smaller markets they use subtitles. This might seem like an advantage but it only works if the viewer has sufficient comprehension in all the languages being spoken in the film. If the original film has english subtitles for the non-english dialogue, when the movie goes overseas the english subtitles are replaced with ones in the local language.

So yesterday I found myself watching Sicario (2015) (I don’t know how to pronounce it – the title is never spoken during the film so I’m not sure if it’s a hard or a soft c). And about fifteen minutes into the film they went down to Mexico and it’s all Spanish being spoken and I understood exactly one word: “jalapeño”.

This fail was a direct result of my movie watching policy: that is I go into the cinema with the least amount of knowledge about the film I’m about to watch. This practice heightens the movie-going experience by reducing spoilers to almost zero and making routine aspects of the film (setting, actors, etc) more of a surprise. The downside is that one can get caught off guard with seemingly minor things – like the presence of subtitles.

But I understood most of it, so it was no big deal. The other film I was planning on seeing is the Martian (2015). But I think I’ll wait until I get home to watch it so I can understand what the alien is saying.

An awesome film, dubbed in French.

An awesome film, dubbed in French.

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