Airport check-in for my flight to Munich was really funny.
First, the agent asked about the fact that I had a one-way ticket stopping in Germany, so I had to show evidence that I was flying on to Russia, then my visa for Russia, and explain to her that I didn’t really have plans but would make sure to have whatever documents necessary lined up before landing in Russia and getting them in trouble. After a lot of questions, she finally checked me in and accepted my bag.
Passport control was easy: the guy was watching the Real Madrid-Manchester City UEFA Champions League semi-final match, so I talked to him about how much I want to see Man City win, I’d be OK with Real Madrid winning to face Atletico, he was stoked that an American was talking to him about soccer in Spanish, and he asked me exactly 0 questions, looked at my passport for exactly 0 seconds, and just stamped whatever random page fell open without making him look away from the game. Easy peasy.
After that, nothing was good about the KLM flight Delta had put me on.
1. The boarding process and separate areas at the gate were pandemonium and caused a rush like going to see The Who.
2. I had booked an aisle seat in the middle part of the plane (you know the middle seats between the 2 aisles of a large plane), showed up to find a lady with a newborn baby in the middle seat next to me, and—of course—she wants to switch. She also speaks about as much English as I spoke Japanese, so communicating with each other was fun. I told her to wait, asked the flight attendants if other aisle seats were available, and then the bad news came: the flight was 100% booked, they want me to “please” switch with the lady, so she can get up and down with the baby, and I’m now in a middle seat next to a crying baby for the next 9 hours. Superb.
3. I woke up during the middle of the night to find that the same flight attendants who made me switch seats couldn’t remember that we had switched and gave my vegan meal (with my name on it) to the lady who was now in my seat, and she had eaten half of it. Rock solid, KLM. Rock solid. I tried asking the lady why she was eating this special meal she didn’t ask for, especially since it had my name, but the whole concept was lost on her, and she thought they brought her something special because of having a baby. That makes so much sense…
After 9 torturous hours, I finally got off the plane and thought about kissing the ground. I told passport control that I was only staying for 48 hours, showed the bus I had booked to my friend’s house and back from the airport, showed the onward confirmation for Russia, and they honestly seemed like they were more interested in saying “oh wowwwww” to how many passport stamps I have, my visas for Russia & Brazil, etc. After several minutes of asking me about places in Central America, I finally said, “Can I have my passport back now, so I can leave?” Thanks for being so nice, but I’m sure the rest of the line hated me.
In a miracle of all miracles, my bag was the 2nd thing to come out at baggage claim. We had also landed early, so I had a faint hope that I could get on the earlier bus to Innsbruck, Austria, rather than waiting 2 hours, and ran to the bus point. Germans being Germans, of course the guy told me that I can’t use a ticket for the 7:30pm bus on the 5:30pm bus. If I want to go on the other bus, I need to buy a ticket for that one. It’s the most German thing anyone has ever said to me.
The one high point of waiting was getting a falafel and some Spezi in my system (I was super hungry, mind you), talking to my parents on the phone, and then getting on the bus to see one of my favorite people in the world (and one of my favorite dogs in the world). 2 continents, a horrible plane, and a laughable bus story later, I arrived in Innsbruck for what was now less than 48 hours of hanging out, but it didn’t matter.
Next post: awesome hangouts in Austria.
48.135125311.5819806This entry was posted in austria, central america, Europe, germany, innsbruck, münchen, munich, north america, panama, panama city