Monday, June 27, 2011

I Call It Riff Raff

Ah, airports. Man and his balloon creations featured below at 10:37am. 

An account of flying from Hamburg, Germany to Frankfurt, Germany to Washington D.C.

5:28 am: Jump Force myself to get out of bed, in order to turn off the three alarms I had set for all the same time.

5:32 am: Finish shoving things in my suitcase, and basically throw it down the stairs due to its weight.

6:04 am: Eat my last piece of German toast on the way out to door, and off to the airport!

7:04 am: Have a conversation about putting live chickens into checked bags with the Lufthansa kiosk person, and then surrendered my bag to the not so friendly Lufthansa counter lady.

7:10 am: At security, managed to not get groped a full body pat down, but instead walked through a normal metal detector.

8:05 am: Board the plane, with the other 26 people who also though it was appropriate to get up and fly so early.

9:05 am: Have my life flash before my eyes as the plane seems to collide with the ground, and the entire thing shakes like the windows will pop out any minute. Remind myself to check the qualifications of the pilot on the internet if possible.

10:37 am: After walking across the entire expanse of the airport, I find my gate at the clear opposite end from where I entered. Decide to just sit and wait for the plane, along with the man to my right making balloon designs (a flower, which he gave to the gate agent, and a marionette man) and the woman behind me singing some church music to herself, under her breath.

11:35 am: Boarding the plane, I witness some behavior that would not be considered socially acceptable when time is an issue in most countries. Finally make it to my seat, 39A, next to an elderly man reading a German newspaper. (After this was all said and done, I couldn't tell if he was a native English or German speaker.)

2:54 pm: Wake up to the sound of crinkling plastic. Find that Mr. Mystery Language has set himself upon putting every piece of his on-board meal that he won't need into a 3 inch plastic wrapper which previously wrapped his salad. His response to noticing I was awake: "Oh, did I wake you?" Nope, the sound of your plastic softly lulled me back to sleep, causing me to wake up.

3:11 pm: At the risk of being that annoying passenger I ran my flight attendant call button close to 25 times in order to inquire if hot food was left, which was distributed sometime between me falling asleep and the crinkling plastic incident. No one came, but I eventually got my food.

4:11 pm: Wonder the possibility of the plane suddenly speeding up to twice its speed in order to shorten the flight.

4:14 pm: Get up to use the lavatory, as every time Mr. Mystery Language got up to use the one located in the fore, I capitalized on using the one in the rear. This occurred approximately every 1.5 hours.

4:38 pm: Due to boredom, and the fact that I couldn't sleep, I set out on a quest to play every game on my iPod. After beating three games, because I had only downloaded the free/trial version, I gave up.

4:51 pm: In the name of boredom, and I'm embarrassed to say this, I watched Never Say Never (You know, Justin Bieber) twice. TWICE. And actually, it wasn't that bad.

5:51 pm: Lav break again.

7:30 pm: Confused how anyone thought a 9 hour flight would be a good idea, and decided to come up with an alternative method of travelling, preferably faster.

7:32 pm: Give up that mental quest, due to my lack of schooling in physics, aerodynamics or transportation. Plus, if it was possible, someone else probably would have come up with it before me.

7:32 pm: Decide to watch every video on my iPod. (Like my similar enterprise with the games earlier, this one ended after watching one video.)

8:03 pm: Almost become the woman singing church hymnals as the pilot announces we will soon be "starting our descent." 

8:31 pm: Externally smile politely when Mr. Mystery Language tells me about his fear of flying, and that this was an "easy flight." (In my mind, long does not equal easy.) Internally jump for joy that the plane is closer to the ground than it has been in 8.5 hours, meaning my salvation.

Notice: these times have all been in Germany time zone, or 6 hours ahead of the East Coast, where I was heading. Somewhere in the story it might have been appropriate to change time, but it would have just looked like I was going back in time.

Now for a change in time zones, to East Coast.

2:45 pm: Subject to a never ending line of people from several different countries to get to customs. I thought for sure that once the U.S. Citizens were separated from the Visiting Travelers, everything would run smoother. But, I overestimate the citizens of this country.

3:28 pm: Finally get to choose a line to see a customs worker, and of course, choose the slow line (out of 18), and have a less than pleasant experience talking to him.

3:34 pm: Retrieve my bag, that has now been put in the middle of the room in between baggage carousels, due to the fact that I just spent an eternity in lines.

3:38 pm: Finally walk out of sterile area, after a long 14 hours of it. See a familiar face, and go home to crash. (And shower.)

I'll continue on my quest to find an alternative method of travelling, preferably faster, and let you know what I come up with, although don't expect much.

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