On our last day in Rio, our flight to Manaus was not until late evening, and hotel check out was mid morning. They were kind enough to hold our main luggage in store for the day, whereas there were lockers available in the changing rooms poolside to hold our hand luggage, so we could still come and go as we pleased, with full access to any odds and sods we might need for the day.
Plans to spend late morning and early afternoon poolside were suddenly scuppered with the arrival of a tropical storm, which meant sitting in the poolside bar, gazing out the window and listening to the world being drowned out by the persistent and insistent cacophony that is guaranteed to ruin any holiday.
Not happy with the barmans inability to control the weather, thus preventing them taking a cable car up Sugar Loaf, they screeched at each other in their nasally twang about everything, and yet nothing.
I'm sure that in the land of the free and home of the brave etc...you can not be sacked at a job interview for refusing to let your employer see your Facebook page - largely due to the fact you can't really be sacked from a job you don't yet have, and secondly, because it's just plain fucking stupid.
I know we've all heard of occasions where people have slagged off their employer on Facebook, and then they've got wind of it, but the whole 'I insist on vetting all your friends and check out photo's of you out boozing', before giving someone a job is just nonsense - as was pretty much all they had to say.
My main umbrage was when Mrsslippy went to get her bag out the locker, and couldn't find it.
Not her fault - despite the lockers being numbered, her key didn't open the locker of that number, but she'd somehow managed to circumnavigate this, and by chance locked it in the locker next to it with a different number. When she returned to the changing room and saw the locker with her keys number on it open...well...she was a bit concerned. I had both passports, but there was purse, ipod, camera, and loads of clothes that could all be replaced, but it would have been a major pain in the arse for her to have to do that.
Mother Slippy said she'd been given that locker key originally, and it wouldn't lock, so she'd had to get a different one.
It was all starting to look a bit arse.
The bar staff and pool assistant spoke enough English to provide booze and towels, and nothing more, so trying to explain to them that we had a missing bag mostly met with knowing nods and smiles, but nothing behind the eyes to give the faintest indication that they had a clue what we were talking about.
It was at that point that one of the Yanks decided to stick his oar in.
He'd been listening to our predicament, and I thought he was trying to help. Not so. It would appear his friends were bored of listening to him, but he was yet to be tired of his own voice, so thought he'd come and bother us.
"Where are you guys from?" he drawled.
"England" I mumbled under my breath, trying not to engage or make eye contact.
"I'm from America". No shit. I'd never have guessed. Now fuck off we're in the middle of something here.
"Are you from London?". Why do they always ask that? Yes we all live in London, and know the Queen, apart from a small pocket of us who come from Liverpool and used to hang out with The Beatles.
"No" seemed an appropriate response to imply that I was not interested in conversation, and would rather he disappeared up his own self important arse.
"I'm from Texas". Again, I'd kind of worked that out, and again, really not interested.
Maybe he was starting to take the hint of my disinterest, as he started pursuing this game further with Mother Slippy.
"Are you from London?"
"I've not heard of that"
"It's in the East of England, nearly as far east as you can get."
"Oh, you have a Norfolk too? I never knew that!"
OF COURSE WE HAVE A FUCKING NORFOLK TOO, WE INVENTED IT YOU CUNT!!!
And it's full of rolling hills, and beautiful coastline, little churches and big windmills, mustard, and some of the finest little pubs selling some of the best beers you will ever taste in your life. linky
It's even got it's own California, and far prettier it is too.
And for the record, we've also got a Birmingham, Boston, Plymouth, Manchester, Bristol, Lincoln, Warwick, Winchester etc.....the list goes on.
I really shouldn't be surprised that arses from a country so self obsessed that it's perception of World Geography is so poor know very little about the etymology of their own place names.
I can name, and place reasonably accurately on a map, dozens of American Towns and cities, and place an accent pretty well too, yet when the tables are turned, we all come from London.
I was so tired and emotional, I had to let fly as only an Englishman at the end of his tether could.
I did some pretty severe tutting and head shaking as he swaggered back to his friends for an update on the weather.
Suffice to say, we did find the bag, so there is a happy ending, and at least the Yanks haven't got a Grimsby.
If they'd claimed to have invented that too, I don't think I could take it any more.