(Caution: before reading this, be aware of skipping thoughts of the author – the ones who know me, know exactly what I mean … Comments on this Blog are welcome BUT please: do not write anything bad about me – it is only my nature! It’s not me – I am a pretty organized type of person.)
The title of this story has a long long tradition and therefore, was suggested by a friend of mine for a short story – my first adventure on this trip. I love travelling as most of you know! It always provokes a mixture of feelings which put me in a strange mood. The feeling of pleasure to be totally independent (okay, I admit, this is a bit exaggerated – you always need some money at least) makes me feel free. But this feeling is always connected to this melancholic mood leaving everything behind. Everything has some kind of materialistic touch but I mean as well my friends (this might be you). So, leaving everyone behind is not always as easy as it sounds … you have to make a first step.
Taking a first step here was to book a flight. You might have read about that just before – so I won’t get on your nerves and tell the same story all over again. Coming back to the title, one of the first things you normally do before starting travelling by plane – thanks to technology – is to check-in online where you can already choose your seat – your favorite seat. Now the mystery of the title is almost explained BUT the funny thing about mentioning ‘A27’ to my friend who suggested this to be the title follows:
As you all know, the German soccer team was playing the day before yesterday – right at that time when the online check-in started. I joint friends at the public viewing on Innsbruck’s Marktplatz where no Internet connection was available – bad for me, because I definitely wanted the seat ‘A27’. I do not know who of you already had the experience flying with a Boing A340-300 from Munich to Soa Paulo – I did though. In 2008, on my way to Peru, I hardly caught my flight due to bad time management. The ones of you who know me this might not be surprising BUT I really thought that 5 hours from Innsbruck to Munich Airport would have been sufficient. Unfortunately, the driver of the shared car (I was low on budget) drove slower than allowed on the highway. Then, arriving in Munich Downtown the most unexpected situation happened: the driver could not find an underground station. Is this possible? I never thought so. Right, being already late because of speeding up to 80km/h on the highway, trying to find a station in Munich I started getting stressed. Finally, I sat in S8 directly to the airport. Somewhere between two stations the train stopped because of technical problems and could not continue. No one could leave the train but finally, the train worked again and I made – running – 30 minutes before departure to the check-in. The Lufthansa service was really good, they still let me check-in and made the plane wait until I arrived at the gate for boarding. People looked at me entering the plane, I sweated as hell and sat down next to a young Brazilian soccer player. ‘A27’ is the last seat in the middle part behind the 1st class. This part of this plane has some kind of familiar atmosphere due to only 4 lines of seats (32 people – most Brazilians). Two Bolivian musicians started playing guitar and sang, we got served beer and other alcoholic drinks, started dancing and it was a great Party on Board. Even people from the 1st class came to dance in the narrow paths in-between seats. Since that flight, my favorite seat is ‘A27’ and before getting to my seat, I always feel curious who will sit next to me. After the soccer game I went out with friends and back at home I did the online check-in. It was about 3am and nearly all seats were already reserved BUT ‘A27’ not. What a lucky start to my trip!!!
Regarding time management, ok, all this was 2 years ago. I got older and the good thing that comes along with getting older is that you get more experienced if you do not only stay at home and watch TV. And this experience taught me several things which I do not forget anymore. First, since that trip, I always bring my mobile phone – it does not only help you if you are in danger – it even makes you feel saver just because of knowing having it in your pocket. In case you are late, you could phone and inform others. At least, this is my conclusion. Second, expect the unexpected – even if it is something totally irrational! This time, for example, I tried to imagine all possible scenarios that could happen during my trip to the airport (If you are not interested in the scenarios just skip reading the next paragraph and continue the next one. If you are not interested in ‘A27’ anymore, switch to a greater Web-page, read a good book or phone your Mum – do never ever forget your Mum! BUT Mums: please do not phone just when the soccer game starts – this is bad timing! I would have talked to you more than screaming only ‘I will take care and yeah, I love you too’):
Data to ground the scenarios: Train from Innsbruck to Munich Airport: 4:36-6:55pm; Flight: 9:35pm (see: there seems to be enough time between arriving at Munich Airport and leaving Munich Airport BUT you never know. This great time space let me think about things that could possibly happen during the train ride … excluding, missing the train in Innsbruck because there would be at least 4 other trains to catch to arrive in time in Munich BUT what could happen to my train?)
I swear, just after Rosenheim I decided to switch off the laptop and get prepared to change trains in München Ost – that’s why I did not finish writing about the imagined scenarios. And now, I just do not have to tell you anymore about these scenarios. My intension writing about the scenarios was to make you laugh. Exactly the second after switching off the laptop the train stopped. Some noise let me think that we had an accident but everything was quiet. After some minutes (and I will not continue to talk about time – otherwise I freak out), a broken catenary and a stop of unknown duration was announced. Due to the lack of energy the air condition did not work. I never talked to so many strangers on a train and I was never heated up to 35 degrees in a train before. We were not allowed to leave the train, to open doors because of the tons of volts on the trains’ roof. I started feeling the electricity – my feet pickled. Anyway, I promised you not to talk about time. After two hours without drinks – they did not even offer us normal water – we went back to Rosenheim. 2 other guys and I caught a cap, at least, try to catch our flights. During the taxi ride one of the two, Xafo (something like that – I just remember the name because of Xaphod) called Munich Airport to get some information about our flights and to tell them that we would arrive late … the other fellow, Clemens, was informed that his flight was cancelled – there is at least one other person in this world who is even unluckier than me J
Finally, I made it to the airport, check-in and gate. Boarding was fine, the food was good, I watched a movie and fell asleep. A short midnight snack followed and back to bed – chair, again. During breakfast I watched another movie (ah, by the way – the first time travelling by plane I had my own personal TV and I was the boss to decide what movie etc. I wanted to watch. Okay, there is always limited choice BUT there IS a choice.) Only some kilometers away from Sao Paulo, we just started the landing procedure, we got informed that due to the dense fog in Sao Paulo, the airport was closed. The next airport in Campinhas was closed as well due to an emergency, so we had to fly in to Rio de Janeiro. I felt happy to stay almost 2 days in Sao Paulo before catching my flight to Lima. Originally, I planned to continue my travel directly from Sao Paulo (landing at 5 something am) to Lima at 8:55am – luckily I did not book that flight, I would have missed it by now (12:05pm European time – 7:05am Brazilian time: in 4 hours Brazil plays against Portugal – maybe I can make it. They just started to prepare the plane to fly back to Sao Paulo).
Now, you might be already bored by reading BUT you have to understand that I get bored of travelling by now too. Whatever: What can I do? The second time on this trip I am not allowed to get out of the vehicle – the authorities do not allow us to. My butt hurts and I get hungry – and you all know what this means:
HAVE A GREAT DAY!