not drawing the shorter straw with ethiopian Airlines

88 hours ago, plus minus some decimal points, I was suspended in the air watching Argo which there was no chance I would be able to complete in the BKK-KUL leg of the flight.
Partly, i am stupid.
Mostly, at a USD200 upgrade to business class – since the Ethiopian Airlines supervisor had by 2-ish am knew that there’s no point arguing with this opportunistic Chinese [read: me] – I had slept 80% of my way on the ADD-BKK leg. The other 20% was split between dispensing liquid and refueling liquid into my system and buying scented liquid in a bottle. This of course was decided after quickly scanning the “potential” of any fellow passengers in my neighboring seats worth my while working on my personal goal with a fast approaching deadline of 8 months!

on board Cloud Nine, Ethiopian Airlines | Photograph by Penelope Haque | All Rights Reserved

Now that I have come to terms with my own devils of the Addis Ababa – Ethiopian Airlines drama, I am beginning to see clearly and appreciate it.
First, the USD200 cash + USD300 compensation voucher I had offset for a horizontal “bed” on the plane – notwithstanding my negotiation skills!

Then, the Hilton suite with full meals and land transits I was offered. Well, ok the suite came about because Hilton ran out of those ordinary rooms for regular mortals and this has nothing to do with Ethiopian Airlines but rather the hospitality training Hilton had instill to not turn down a [not-so-petite] solo Chinese girl who looked like something a cat had dragged through the front door* at 2-ish am bearing all her belongings for a month on her back, waving a flimsy piece of paper from Ethiopian Airlines.

But best of all – which supports my hypothesis that i am stupid is: I bought a 50ml Hugo Boss Nuit Pour Femme for only USD56! Suspecting that it seems a little on the cheap side, I had failed to buy all the bottles they had in stock air borne; only to kick myself when I saw Hugo Boss promoters in KLCC pushing the bottles for RM256!!!

To redeem myself from my i am stupid predicament, I whipped out my Travel Guard policy and read the fine prints.

ah ha!
It appears that I am able to claim for “being removed from my original flight”.
I  know that between the actuaries, underwriters and marketing folks a more savvy terminology had been coined for “being removed from my original flight” … but who the heck cares at this moment?

Bottom line is I am able to claim twice the amount I had paid for the Travel Guard premium – whoooHoooo – and I had spent my extra day in Addis Ababa enjoying a relaxing 1/2 day tour courtesy Hilton Hotel, scrubbed off 24 days of grit I had accumulated in a hot water shower with amazing pressure followed by a long soak in the bath, and unknotted my muscles on my own personal massage chair while watching a re-run of My Name is Khan {that got me crying silly} on Fox TV, before heading off to the restaurants for food that extends beyond the various choices of injera toppings!

The cherry on the cake?
I didn’t even pay for my flight in the first place!

Suddenly, i am {not so} stupid

* by then, Hilton Hotel was my second attempt at getting accommodations that night; M&N International Hotel had failed to show up to pick me up at Bole International Airport, resulting in me having to go through the motions of scanning my luggage, going pass security, back to the ticketing and boarding line …etc. before being able to register a complaint to the Ethiopian Airlines’ night supervisor. This resulted in him walking around the 8-gate Bole International Airport terminal with me in search of hotels. The Heavenly Gods must have sensed my desperation for luxury … only Hilton and Intercontinental were still open in the wee hours of the morning. 

Hilton, heavenly by all counts after the tough and rough 24 days I had, could however improve by replacing its bed linens and bed covers to white-beige-neutral tones! A bit of modern minimalist would have been a bit too much to ask in terms of refurbishments, so for now, let’s start with the soft furnishing…


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