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The Return Home, Part 1

December 17, 1999

Time to Pack

Well, we got to work early, and I fixed all of the last requests!  Looks like a successful trip!  Just before we left, I got a picture of our host and Alan enjoying a nice up of ink (which was used in our product...)

I never did find the Hard Rock Cafe, though!

Anyway, we head for the airport.  I picked up a few souvenirs at the local shops (mostly postcards) and we waited for our plane.

Blizzard!

Uh, oh!  We've been delayed due to a Blizzard in Frankfurt! 

By the time we got to Frankfurt, we had about 15 minutes to reach our plane: but by the time we got there, they said the plane was closed and we couldn't go on!!  This *despite* the fact that it was *still on the ground*!  Bastards.

So we wandered around the airport, trying to get new tickets and accomodations for the night.  Along the way, we met some guy who couldn't get past passport control because he didn't have a passport, just a temporary visa!  There's always someone worse off than you...

We met a bunch of other Americans trying to get back home, too: they had missed the same flight.  We all tried sneaking into the 1st class checkin area to see if the service was faster, but they sent us all back to ticketing.

Things were a total mess: the blizzard had totally disrupted schedules.  The airport staff wasn't much better: instead of being prepared for crises like this, they seemed to be running around with their heads cut off.  Finally after several hours, we got a hotel and new tickets: tomorrow we'd fly to Munich, then from there catch a flight to Dulles.

German efficiency? Don't you believe it.

Oh, and one other thing: our luggage had gone ahead without us, they said.  It would be routed to Dulles, and will probably beat us there.  It's a good thing I kept my shaving kit with me!

Trapped in Germany

We got a cab to the Queens Hotel after a futile effort to wait for the shuttle bus in the driving snow.  We saw some poor girl walk by dressed in evening wear shivering in the cold: she was clearly upset (what about, we didn't find out).  When we got to the hotel, we noticed that the shuttle bus appeared to be stranded in the snow at the side of the hotel!

We ate dinner at the hotel with a couple of fellow strandees: a telecommuncations worker and and a Norwegian guy who also works in America.  I thought it was amusing that the telecommunications guy looked like a twin of Alan: same style shirt, same goatee, only the hair was a bit different.

Straight to bed: hopefully we'll make it tomorrow...

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2000 William Geoffrey Shotts. Last update: Saturday, November 02, 2002