Sunday, May 23, 2010

August 10, 2008

The morning was rushed and urgent. It was a Sunday morning, and we failed to account for the dramatically reduced subway schedule on Sundays. This made us a little late getting to the main Düsseldorf train station. We concluded that it would be a bad gamble to try to make it the rest of the way to the airport via connecting subway train. We got a cab, and told him where to go. The cab was a minivan, and the driver drive it like it was a NASCAR race. We feared for our lives, but made it to the airport an hour before our flight left.

We checked our bags with a short-lived feeling of relief and satisfaction. As the woman at the desk checked in my wife’s bag, she asked how we’d like to pay the overweight surcharge for her bag. It was six pounds over the weight limit. The surcharge was 50 Euros. My wife didn’t want to pay it, so she took out one of the Belgian beer samplers and put it in her carry-on. The crisis was seemingly averted.

Moments later at the security desk, they went through my wife’s carry-on and explained to her that she couldn’t bring liquids on the plane. She was frantic. I was already through security, waiting for her and pissed off. She asked if she could go back to the luggage desk and check in her carry-on. They said that she could, and so she did. My wife is a woman, and thus her carry-on bag was actually a bag of bags. She simply put the Belgian beer sampler in its own bag, and took that back to the woman at the desk. They were kind enough to jump her to the front of the line, and she got the bag checked. She returned to security to an ovation from the whole staff. She smiled and I wanted to choke her. We raced off toward our terminal with barely sufficient time to stop at a vendor and eat a croissant before boarding our flight.

The return flight was much nicer than the initial flight. Given that it was in broad daylight, I was able to look out the window at the ocean and various land masses as we passed them. I took pictures and read my Leonard Cohen book. It felt good to be on my way home.

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