Volcanoes and Me

Volcanoes are really affecting me this year. The first time was when I was returning from Chicago in May. The Iceland based volcanic eruption caused disruptions of the transatlantic flights which had to make a big detour to the south before coming north to Paris. This caused a huge flight delay and as we disembarked from the United Airline aircraft at the Charles de Gaulle airport, , we could see our Malaysia airlines plane taxing for takeoff from Paris. The episode turned out well in the end because the Immigration officer gave us a free one day visa and the United Airlines paid for our stay in Paris and we had a great time, spending the evening cruising down the Siene.
This time we were scheduled to go to the World Heritage site Borobodur in Central Java, Indonesia. For quite some time before, the Merapi volcano, one of the largest active volcanoes in the world was erupting in small gusts and one large eruption had caused some death and destruction. However the flights were still going, and there had been a disruption only for a single day. We thought that we would get to see an active volcano as a bonus as we toured Borobodur.
The night before we were to travel, the Merapi Volcano shot out a really big one. This caused all flights to be cancelled not only to Yogjakarta , but also to places like Jakarta and Bandung far away from the volcano itself. We did not know this and reached the airport at 6 AM to catch the flight and found that it had been canceled, When we later found out the details, we were thankful, because we would have been in deep trouble if we had gone., Not only was Yogjakarta airport closed, refugees fleeing the killer mountain were flooding in, the town was ankle deep in volcanic ash and the plumes of ash had risen 5 kilometers into the air! If our flight had been scheduled for the previous day we would have gone there all right, but would have been ankle deep in s..t.
The only sad thin g was that we had low cost tickets. The Air Asia people at least gave us credit for our purchase but the Malaysian airlines turned out to be the biggest crooks. They cancelled the flight and then refused a refund or even a credit. At most they were willing to let us fly out there by the 15th of November. How asinine can you get? I have promised myself one thing. No more non refundable cheap tickets for me!!


it sounds intriiguing!! I'd like also to visit all these volcanoes! Sure - it will be great!

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