Thursday, August 30, 2007

The adventure beings.

This is going to be long, so you may wish to clear a block of space in which to read it... I shall start from the point where Mom, Tammy, and Noahkins so cruelly abandoned me to fend for myself in the wilds of the Philadelphia International Airport. After sobbing brokenly for a few minutes in a probably effective ploy to later guilt-trip my mother, I made my way to the search thingy, where they forced me to take off my shoes and put all my stuff in little plastic tubs to go through the xray thingy. Why do they have you take the laptop out of the bag and then still run it through the machine? I don't understand. But anyway, that went reasonably well. I had food, tried and failed to talk myself into spending $50 for a pair of earphones that I could get at Walmart for $4 in order to listen to music on my laptop for twenty minutes before it ran out of batteries, and then sat down and read Louis L'Amour for two and a half hours while waiting to board.

So, got on the plane (Noah: you will be pleased to know that there were four large German security guys with big scary guns and a big scary dog checking us all over as we got on the plane). It was extremely teensy for being such a big beast. The guy next to me was that dude with the big mustache. He was very nice, although we didn't say anything to each other besides "excuse me" and "thank you" the entire time (due to antisocial tendencies on both our parts, probably). That was wise, because he might've been irritating to talk to, and that's okay for, say, a thirty-minute flight, but you don't want to start an eight-hour conversation if you don't know if you'll like the person. Just bad news.

The food was hilarious. This weird maggot-y looking salad that I didn't eat, four pieces (I mean 1" square chunks, not real pieces) of attempted-barbacue chicken, a flavourless leaden brownie, and a piece of cheese that was really more effort than it was worth to open. The result of this delicious meal was a need to use the facilities, but alas, that occurred just as the attendants (who, incidentally, all had thick German accents) were clearing off trays, so I couldn't make it back to the bathrooms behind us, so I decided, perhaps foolishly, to go to the bathrooms in front of us. The ones near the Business Class section. I ran into the captain just as I was doing this. He was like "Vhere are you goink?" in a delightfully WWII-propaganda-film-style German accent. I replied, "Um, to the bathroom?" "Ze batroom ist bahck ZHERE! Back to coach with you, prole!" (except I made up that last phrase) So I had to wait for the flight attendants to finish up. Then I took a nap. It was cramped, and my neck hurt. So sad. Regardless, it was a nice long one - started when we hit Greenland and woke up as we were finishing up England.

It started getting light just as we hit the edge of Germany. Germany is really pretty from the air. It's about equally divided between dark wooded hills and farmland with little red-roofed villages in little clusters dotted all over the place. We landed then at Frankfurt, and I almost had a panic attack as I got off the plane and realized that I had to find my connecting flight all by myself in a busy German airport which happens to be one of Europe's primary transportation hubs. *gulp*

Fortunately, it was easy. Those crazy Germans - signs everywhere. Who would've thought? And clocks! There weren't any clocks in Philadelphia's airport that I could see. Frankfurt's had them all over the place, for which I was grateful. I didn't take any pictures there because there were lots of Polizei all over the place, and I really didn't want to be detained, even if some of them were very attractive and undoubtedly had awesome accents.

So, I made it to Cologne. The plane from Frankfurt to Cologne was much smaller than the other one, and much faster, and flew much lower, making it way more fun. The pilot was all banking this way and that way and making crisp public service announcements that made me wonder if he was actually steering at all. But it was fun, and I wished that one lasted longer. Also, I got my whole row to myself on that one, so I was very comfortable. Yay.

I found my bag easily, thanks to Rose's bright pink scarf. Then I got a taxi for the first time ever and he took me to my hotel for 25-odd euros. The guy at the hotel said I couldn't check in for another hour, so I left my heavy bag there and went for a walk.

Back at the hotel, the internet was kind of a pain to set up, but now it's done. And I'm not leaving here again today. I think I'm going to take a nap and get up in a couple of hours when maybe some of you people will be up. Tomorrow, my plan is to find a jacket and some warm shirts, because it's a lot cooler here than it is back home - it's maybe 60 here. So, tschau.

(also: photos later because it's taking forever to upload)


Emmaline, dearest... said...

I demand pictures of EVERYTHING. The scenery, buildings, peoples (typo, but I left it in because it sounds amusing), and EVERYTHING. I'm started to feel more jealous than sad about your departure. :)

Chuck said...

Indeed, I would like photos of the adventure...

Mommy said...

Your hotel room looks decent. My favorite pic was the pigeon, because I would love having a birdy eat from my hand!