Well, it has been a little over a year since writing in this blog. One year ago, Andy and I were backpacking through Europe for summer vacation. Now, it is strange and almost surreal to believe that we are not just visitors (or should I say, “wisitors” as the Germans would pronounce) and that this is our new home!
It took a couple of headaches for me to get here. One might argue that I am a seasoned traveler. I love seeing new places and have traveled world-wide several times. However, I have always had a companion on each of these adventures. This was the first time to wander out into the world on my own. Therefore, flying internationally was a bit of a daunting challenge for me. Little did I know what hurtles I was about to jump (ok, I’m being a drama queen (surprise surprise) it really wasn’t THAT bad).
In Omaha, the plane that I was supposed to leave on was smoking and we had to wait for a new one. This meant that I would be missing my Chicago flight to Munich. Surprisingly, I wasn’t completely freaking out and instead, going through my Facebook friends in my mind thinking of who lived in Chicago that I could bum a couch off of for a night if need be. Luckily, after several cancelations, re-bookings and misguided information, I was told that there was actually another flight out later that night that I could get on
Long story short (kinda): my original flight was delayed and I could have made that, but because apparently, people don’t like to know what is going on, I was unable to get on it. Therefore, after a few hours of standing in lines, while also being on hold on the phone, I was back to the later flight. Finally, I could get to Munich…..maybe. Oh, did I not mention there was supposed to be an air traffic controller strike in Germany on the day I was supposed to land and that they might have to re-route me to another COUNTRY?
As I took my seat, I started to get settled in, ready for some sleep when the snoring man’s head in front of me was suddenly in my lap. Almost synchronized with the seat being jerked back into my personal space, the baby next to me started screaming. Awesome. However, I was just happy to be on the flight on my way to see my husband, so I put in my ear plugs, got out my Husker Snuggie (Thanks Tom!) and tried to ignore the hoopla around me. It was only a matter of minutes when the screens came on to tell us what to do in case of an emergency. This really was not frustrating at all until my screen started flashing and going in and out. It started out as a slight annoyance. When the video was done, everyone around me was able to watch movies and tv shows while I had to be blinded by the strobe-light effect of my screen. I did not want to be that complaining person, so I took my book and covered the screen for the time being, but my arms started to get tired. After about an hour of this, I started getting a major headache that I knew I would not be able to tolerate for the next nine hours. I finally took the blanket, which I did not care to put over my body anyway, over the screen, which helped only until the blanket kept falling. Eventually, they let me move (sorry people who thought they would have an open seat next to them!)
Finally, nine uncomfortable, sleepless hours later (as most economy international flights are), I got through Munich customs easily where I was greeted by my amazing husband, whom I had been missing for the last three months, who was doting beautiful red roses. (all together now…”aaaah”)
The smell of sauerkraut and smoke as soon as I stepped off the plane beckoned, “Welcome to Germany!” While I do not enjoy either the smell of sauerkraut (I know, how can I be German!?) or stale smoke, I felt ready to conquer the next chapter of our lives in Germany.
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