This has been a bit of an odd week – between the funeral on Monday and a day of planes/running around airports on Tuesday before starting my working week on Wednesday, I’ve spent the last few days a) feeling completely exhausted and b) being completed confused about what day it is! Then this morning I had to come in to work early to do something that I had planned to finish from home last night, except I couldn’t because we got a new modem yesterday and the Internet wasn’t working. Grrr! I can’t wait for things to get back to normal next week (even if that does mean working for five whole days ;-))
Dear grandpa. We had a lovely send off for you on Monday. It was sad (of course), but the things everybody said about you were lovely. I’m so proud to have been your granddaughter. Love you always.
Dear Paris airport lady. I would have thought having to repeat the first few things you said to me in English might have given you a hint that I don’t speak French. Apparantly not though, as you then proceeded to repeat the same thing to me in French three times before eventually repeating it in English in a very pissed off tone. Yes, I can understand that having to repeat yourself is annoying, but in this case you brought it upon yourself!
Dear Internet provider. So, first your technician tells the boyfriend that our Internet will be back up and running within an hour, then your customer support hotline claims it will take 12 hours only for us to still have no working Internet at 6 o’clock this morning. Your 12 hours were up at midnight… get it sorted!
Dear books. I’ve read a lot of you over the past few days. This makes me happy 🙂
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Dear airport staff. If any of you decide to do something stupid like go on strike this weekend I may be forced to do something drastic…
Dear weather/Mother Nature. Please be kind! Let there be no fog, storms,volcanic eruptions or anything else that might prevent my flights from actually taking off on Sunday!
Dear family. I will see you soon and we’ll give grandpa the amazing send off he deserves.
Dear readers. Thank you for the clothing advice! I think I’m going with the black dress, black tights and I’ll take a black cardigan along in case it’s cold.
Dear boyfriend. Thank you for booking my flights for me! I really should get a credit card…
Dear Oscar Wilde. I saw your play The Importance of Being Earnest on Tuesday. It was very funny.
Dear summer reading challenge. 9 days in, I finally have one of the books on my list so I can actually get started with you!
Happy Friday everyone. Hope you enjoy your weekend.
Let’s go back in time shall we. Back to the day Jan and I left for England, Friday, 9th October 2009…
Picture the scene, if you will.
Amazingly the boyfriend and I have both managed to be packed and ready to go with plenty of time to spare. We head off to the train station, arriving there early enough to have a meal before we leave, then we jump on our train to Frankfurt airport. So far, so good. But then, about five minutes before we reach our destination a thought occurs to me. I turn to Jan and say:
“We’ve got a problem. Or at least I’ve got a problem. I didn’t pack my passport”.
Yes, dear readers. It is true. Your eyes do not deceive you. On the day I was flying from Germany to England, via Amsterdam, for my Grandparents Golden wedding anniversary I didn’t think to take my passport out of my work bag and pack it in the handbag I was actually taking on the plane with me. I’m not even sure the word idiot covers it…
The first thing we did after getting off the train was rush to a ticket machine to see whether there was any possible way to get back to Karlsruhe, pick up the passport and then get back to Frankfurt without missing our flight. Naturally there was not. So we turned to thought number two – finding out whether we could make it in a taxi. “Run like mad” said Jan, and so we did. Or at least he did. I was unable to keep up with his long, long strides, then my bag decided staying on its wheels was overrated. Not wanting to slow down, I attempted to get it back onto its wheels while running… and then the inevitable happened. The stupid bag got under my feet somehow and I went flying across the airport floor. Luckily hardly anyone was around (only one man who asked if I was ok) so I wasn’t too embarrassed, but my knees hurt. A lot. It’s now a week later and I still have the bruises! So at this point I was not only passportless, but also limping and alone… I no longer had any idea where Jan was! Luckily I hadn’t broken my mobile phone during the fall, so I phoned him and found out he was down by the taxi rank, where the driver had told him there was no chance of making it to the passport on time… not on a Friday evening right around coming home from work time. So we took the shuttle bus over to terminal two and headed to the KLM desk. There we found out that there was no chance of changing flights… at least not in that price class. We could upgrade to business class, said the KLM lady, but only at an extra chage of 1000 euros! But then she had a brainwave: “the German border police sometimes give out replacement documents for Germans,” she said. “I’ve no idea whether it works for other nationalities but you can always give it a try…” And so we headed up the stairs to the German border police. We explained our story and the very nice policeman asked me what ID I did have on me, if not my passport. I gave him my (provisional!) driver’s licence, which he said was good, but he would need something else as well, did I have anything else with my date of birth and a picture on? Luckily my UWE student card has both of those things on it. I was saved! All that remained was to go and get some passport photos taken (10 euros it costs! Ten!). Then, for a fee of 25 euros, he made up an emergency travel document for me, valid until 14th October… or, in other words, long enough for me to fly to Englsnd, go to the party and fly back to Germany. Not exactly the best beginning to our trip, but all’s well that ends well as they say, and from that point on everything the rest of the journey was just fine…