Thursday, 22 August 2013

Day 5: The Iffy Day

Over the weekend, Mrs RC's obsession with Watermelon Lemonade was becoming apparent...

So we hopped on the ferry for Gozo, again.
In addition to revisiting Xlendi and the place that sold the miracle drink, I also wanted to visit the Azure Window (a huge stone arch on the coast that my bread had tried to look like a few days before), so it was looking like being a good day.
We got to the bus station in Victoria (main town on Gozo) and waited for the bus to the Azure Window.
While waiting, we became aware of a lonely cloud in the sky...

It quickly faded, but was soon replaced by another one.
This was repeated a few times as we stood talking.

We eventually realised that someone was setting off fireworks at regular intervals - not really visible in the bright sunshine, but the clouds caused by them were VERY visible.  Strange to be doing that in daylight, we thought!
Anyway, our bus arrived, and we piled on, grabbing a seat before the other 3000 passengers could take them all.
The bus pulled out, and was on its way.
Then it happened.
The display inside the bus, saying where it was going, changed.  The bus was no longer the 311 to The Azure Window, it was the 302 the Ramla Bay.  We were going in more or less exactly the wrong direction.
We had a quick debate and decided to stay seated.  We would take the ride, see what the destination was like and then either ride back or get off and have a better look around.
The ride was the most insane of the week - not only were we hurtling along as usual, we were doing this on winding hillside roads - an accident would have been incredibly messy, with the 3000 passengers on the bus all squished together.  But we were OK, and got to the destination OK.
We were not the only ones who had been tricked by the identity changing bus, and made this clear to the driver, who denied responsibility for it.  The numbers changed on their own, and it was our fault for getting on before they had reset.  Hm, given that they changed AFTER WE HAD LEFT THE STATION, this was a bit of a bad argument, but hey, we did not want to argue.
The destination was looking like too much of a partying and diving centre, so we stayed on the bus and returned to Victoria.
Another bus came in claiming to be going to the Azure Window - we asked and found that, no, it was going to change into the Ramla Bay bus at any moment.
Time was passing with little sign of the bus we wanted.  And we were getting hungry, so we decided to go to Xlendi (the bus for there had just arrived) for dinner and then, maybe, try our luck with the Window on full stomachs.
We got to Xlendi, found the restaurant, grabbed a table and ordered Watermelon Lemonade while we looked at the menu.  In the end we both ordered what looked like a great meal - pasta with Gozo sausage, tomato sauce and feta cheese.
We waited, admired the view, drank our drinks and ordered more.
The people at the next table were having trouble with their order and seemed to be returning a lot of things.
I got a little uneasy.
Then our meals arrived.
It looked totally underwhelming.
Dried, not fresh, pasta.
A thin looking sauce.
Not much sign of the sausage or cheese.
We ate a little.
It was like eating pasta how it used to be served up in the UK in the '70s.
After a few mouthfuls, Mrs RC and I exchanged looks and stopped eating.
We agreed it was horrible, and decided to treat it as a rather nasty snack and have a proper meal in the evening when we got back to the mainland.
The waiter noticed that we had stopped eating and came to ask what was wrong.  So I told him!  In very plain English!  He took the food away and came back a little later, claiming that there was nothing wrong with the meals.
"Really?  It is supposed to be like that?"  I pulled a face and asked for the bill.
They gave me a 20% discount (and 20% off next time IF I ever returned), even though I was not actually going to dispute paying the full price (which was far too high for what we got even with the discount), so I payed and we headed for the bus, trying to get rid of the taste of 1970s pasta.
The day was clearly going against us, so we decided to cut our losses and go back to the hotel.
When we got off the bus, we grabbed some snacks at a shop to keep us going until the evening meal...

Now this cake WAS as good as it looked....
In the evening we headed to the local burger joint - Badass Burgers.
We looked at the menu and decided to have a couple of cheese burgers, some ribs and a couple of beers.  They did some really huge sounding burgers with names like The Daddy and The Obama, but we did not feel up to that.  I did make a little joke about The Obama burger - it sounded really good, but would it be a big disappointment when you finally got it?  Hey, it was funny at the time!
The beers came after a wait and a prompt to the waitress...
Then she came back and asked us if we wanted fries with our burgers.  No thanks.  Wow, looked like our luck for the week had really bombed today...
Then the burgers arrived - with fries.  The fries were free to make up for the waiting around.
We started eating, expecting the ribs to arrive at any point.
The burgers and fries were really good, but the ribs did not materialise.
We finished eating, and a guy came out to check if we were OK.
"Are the ribs still coming?"
"Ribs???"  Mild panic seemed to be settimg in.
"Don't worry, with the free fries, we are full up now."
"Is that OK?"
"Yes, it is OK, it is great and we will probably be back tomorrow to try your bigger burgers."
He smiled and went to get the bill.
Relieved that the day had not ended as badly as it could have, we returned to the hotel and crashed.
The pasta meal had not finished with us yet, though.  Early next morning I nearly blew bottom of the toilet out, as the undigested pasta rocketed through my system.  The next few days (ie our last day in Malta, the journey home and the days after that) were to be spent as close to the loo as possible.  20% discount if I return?  I think not!  My days of eating at that place are long gone.


ShadowRun300 said...

Oh no! That was even worse than my Grumpy's episode! At least I didn't get sick from it.
I'm sorry to hear you had such a bad day, but sometimes those days make good stories later. So many things went wrong that it had to have been laughable. Right?

Riot Kitty said...

You poor people! That really sucks.

I'm glad at least the cake was good.

PS That was fairly mild. I was waiting to read something like the John Hurt moment in Alien, only with pasta (although this sounds close.)

Rock Chef said...

ShadowRun300 - Oh yes, to be honest I think we were both expecting the entire holiday to go like that, so we feel like we got off lightly really!

Riot Kitty - There were times when we both felt like an Alien was about to burst out of us... We are both glad that we did not need to use the toilet on the plane too!

Abby said...

Well, at least you got the discount coupon(!!!).

Iffy Day is right! Lying buses, evil 70's pasta, fireworks at daytime! And in my opinion, The Obama Burger doesn't even sound good...
So glad you survived to tell us about it. At least there was Watermelon Lemonade, but I was looking forward to the actual Azure Window (not that your bread sculpture wasn't superb).

agg79 said...

Wow. Lady luck was definitely not in your corner that day. Sorry to hear that the day turned into a total bust from start to finish. After your '70's pasta, I would have given up and just settled for some local beer (if the didn't screw that up). I keep thinking that one take away from the whole adventure is that this will be one that you will remember for a long time.

terri said...

I've always admired your adventurous spirit when it comes to food. Sorry to hear that this time, it clearly led to a case of food poisoning. What a way to spend your last days of the honeymoon!

meleah rebeccah said...

Oy vey! That's terrible!