DAY 6, July 13, 2013
With our rental agreement in hand and I have no idea of how many hundreds of euros now attached to our new agreement we set off back through the sweating crowd, down the three corridors, over the elevated walkway and back to the point we had originally been dropped off at. When we were first dropped off at the then wrong desk there was barely a sole in sight. By the time we returned we were fourth in line and directly behind a family trying to rent two vans with booster seats and no Italian to help them make a distinction between a booster seat and a baby carrier.
When we finally got our car the first thing we tried to do was connect the wifi device, no luck. The plug they had given us at the other desk was for plugging the device into a wall socket. I don't know about you but I haven't seen many cars with wall sockets built into them. We needed one that would plug into a cigarette lighter. I can't believe they still put these lighters into cars but we are in Europe and apparently most Europeans haven't got the message about cigarette smoking being hazardous to your health. At this point my troop were getting restless and very, very hot. It was time to start the car and get the air conditioning going. I had a key that was more like a big lozenge than a key and a slot that sort of matched up. I stuffed that lozenge in to that hole in every way I could imagine but there was no way I could make that lozenge turn or engage the ignition. I had to get out and see if I could find someone who could explain how to start the car. I'm surprised they didn't grab the key out of my hand right there and then and tell me I was completely unqualified to drive their vehicle. It turns out you have to press on the brake when you simultaneously insert the lozenge and then somehow the car knows it's time to engage.
We still weren't ready to leave, no. We weren't going to leave until we could get the wifi to work or we could find that nice attendant we had been promised would be there to help us with the wifi even though the wifi was "very simple". We did spot one attendant who knocked on our hood and with two fingers pinched on his nose told us to turn the damn car off before we asphyxiated him and all other people trying to pick-up or drop off their cars.
It was back to the desk one more time. By now the line of people waiting for their cars had grown to around twelve. I busted in unable to face a wait at the end of the line or the wrath of my family sitting in an un-air conditioned car we could no longer turn on without the fear of a burly Italian putting his fist through the windshield of our asphyxiation machine. It turns out there is no kind attendant at the pick-up desk as promised by the attendant at the rental desk. The exasperated woman behind the desk finally told me the wifi wouldn't work in the confines of the garage. It would only work once we were outside. This, of course, was a ruse to get rid of me because once we were outside and no longer in earshot of any helpful attendant, try as we might, we couldn't get the device to recognize the password they had given us or even find a network to connect to. AVIS beware of the phone call you are about to get once we get back to a place were English swear words will be completely understood.
DINNER IN ARMENA