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Life and times of Duquesagirl

Life of a 30 something singing accountant in Southern Spain and the things she gets up to and observes.

Getting home, easy, right?
07 December 2013 @ 13:44

The clock on my PC clicks over to read 17:00. Yay, I'm outta here. I pack all my belongings, put my coat and scarf on and leave the office, eager to get home to my puppy and some dinner.

Outside the office now, my little legs struggle to keep up with the pace set by my future hubby and my friend K. But we are on a mission! The mantra in my head is repeating "get to the border, get to the border". We pass the petrol station, half way! Approach the windswept runway. Ah, hit a snag as the klaxons go off and the barriers go down. There's a bloody plane blocking my route....

Waiting for the little private plane as it slowly taxis to the other end of the runway is agonising.  I just want to go home. I occupy this time with looking around at my fellow travellers, slowing increasing in numbers as more and more of them join the scrum to be closest to the gate. I can tell who the workers are, apart from them not wearing shorts in this weather, they all have a resigned look on their faces. The tourists, all oblivious to what yet awaits them on their journey off the Rock, are happily filming the plane taking off and enjoying this little part of their trip to Gibraltar.

The plane takes off and disappears off behind the Rock. The mood in the scrum changes, like track stars in an athletic meet. We are all on the starting blocks. The policeman approaches the gate, on your marks, he listens to his radio, get set, the klaxon sounds, GO! All the workers surge for the gate, and we're off.

The runway stretches out to my left and right, creating a wind tunnel I am now an expert at crossing. Walking at a slight angle to counteract the fierce winds, my hair whipping around my face and getting caught in my mouth. Mopeds and cars whooshing past in a blur of fumes and loud buzzing.

We eventually make it to the third leg of the one mile journey, smuggler land! Pieces of cellophane fly past our faces and empty cigarette cartons collect in the corners near the Rotunda. We push through masses of people who congregate around the entrance to the shop with their bikes and pushchairs blocking our route. There's girls with big hair piled on top of their head, the height achieved by 6 packets of fags. Then the guys strapping 6 cartons around their bodies with handy duct tape they brought with them, like nicotine suicide bombers. My favorite is the girls dressed in full Lycra with rectangle bums and boobs. Eventually, we break through smugglers blockade and make it to our goal. So close.......

We look at the frontier up in the near distance and our hearts sink. There's one last obstacle to overcome. The ever increasing pedestrian queue. A recent addition to our daily adventure, but one that looks set to stay. The queue snakes back to the airport, remember UK post offices, yes exactly like that, only outside and a lot bigger. We join the back of the queue, directed there by the friendly policeman, without whose presence there would be outbreaks of fighting and pushing in.

We shuffle forward slowly, 10 minutes pass. We shuffle forward again, another 10 minutes pass. The queue slowly building up behind us, probably back to Europa Point for those poor frontier workers who's offices are further away. I pass the time people watching.  In front of me are the last class of smugglers, the little old ladies. There's 3 of them I regularly see and tonight they're here in front of me, carrying god knows how many cartons of cigarettes in their granny handbags and probably also beneath their voluminous skirts. It gets me thinking about the meaning of life and HOW ON EARTH do they get away with it??? If I know who they are and I only cross the border twice a day, how do the "ever vigilant" Guardia who are causing this very long queue, not know they are smugglers? I surmise that one of them must be a Guardia's granny, because I'm pretty sure they probably make about 20 journeys back and forth every day.

We move slowly forward again, it's been 40 minutes now and my patience is wearing a little thin. I spot 3 young men pushing in a bit before me. People surrounding them are too polite (or scared) to confront them. The red mist decends and I march up to them, lift my arm up and tap one of them on their shoulder. He turns around, finds no one there, then looks down. Glaring up I jerk my thumb in the universal gesture of "get outta here!" Surprisingly I don't get given a black eye and he meekly moves out of the queue. I think he was shocked that a 5ft nothing girl would dare glare at him like that!

Finally, after an hour in the queue, we reach the very last hurdle. Customs. Today, we have the lovely black berets assisting the local Guardia. We queue holding our bags open so they can peruse the contents. They have a good poke around inside moving my purse to the side to check if I have somehow hidden a carton behind the lipstick in my fairly small handbag. He rattles off questions in Spanish which I pretend not to understand just because I'm fairly well p*ssed off now. He gives up and let's me go.

RESULT, my goal achieved. It only took an hour and 15 minutes to get one mile......

Unfortunately, it's only Monday...I wonder what the rest of the working week will bring.



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1 Comments


fazeress said:
04 January 2014 @ 12:04

We had a similar queue experience while waiting to board our latest Ryanair flight to the Uk. Some youngsters sat waiting and then going almost to the front of the queue! The passengers there didn't allow them to squeeze in which pleased me and they sat back down, the queue now being so long it went almost to the passport control we had passed through! I later saw them fairly near to the front though as we were queuing down the ramp so they had managed to jump in somewhere along the line which pissed me off! We've not been to Gib since all these queues started. I'm sure we'll be back one day though but I guess we'll have to accept the wait! Rather you than me everyday..... :)

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