Sunday, June 28, 2009

Day 1: On the road to Berlin: Nieburhstrasse 77

1. Quotes of the day
2. Airport comings and goings
3. Nieburhstrasse 77
4. UH OH...what did I just order?

O! from this time forth,
My thoughts be bloody, or be nothing worth!

Oh, what'll you do now, my darling young one?
I'm a-goin' back out 'fore the rain starts a-fallin'

We get to SFO and there are three lines for checking in at United.

Pop Quiz: which line moves slowest
a) A line for people who haven't checked in on-line and are going to Frankfurt
b) A line for people who have checked in on-line and are only checking bags and having IDs verified
c) A third line between the other two that has no identifiable title or meaning

Bonus question: which of the above lines are we in
Double Bonus question: How slow WAS this line?

Slowest and first bonus question answer: Line B. When we finally arrive at the one person assisting this line, she proceeds to tear up our boarding passes, admits she can't give us seats on the Frankfurt-Berlin flight, and can't explain why all the people in front of us struggled with what appeared to be something Southwest solved 5 years ago.

How long: let us just say that the third line, between the two, was empty for at least 15 of the 20 minutes we waited, with no clue as to what it meant to be in that line (or not to be in that line...that we figured out: slowness)

On flight, first real test of Bose headset, which definitely blocks out most if not all white noise and other sounds on the plane. Damn, we share but it is DB's b'day gift and she gets them whenever she wants. AWESOME product!!

Lufthansa is not be outdone by United. THEIR check-in process to get boarding passes takes 25-30 minutes. Partner sez this is what happens when airlines scale back on staff and cut flights (to make them more crowded). My response: see above re Southwest and issuing boarding passes for all flights.

Off to Berlin: very short flight made even shorter by the fact I slept for 37 of the 45 minutes. On-time arrival and a short cab ride ($22), and we are at our exchange apartment, greeted by Gerry, a German neighbor of owners who has a lifelong fascination with American Indians. We get the tour, our apartment is very spacious and quite handsome, and the owners clearly are artists, lots of work up on the walls. Pics to follow when we get camera off of jet lag, it's definitely had a day or two setback.

Ulrike, a young sculptor friend of owners comes over and we arrange (at least) one day of seeing her work, galleries, and possibly other studios.

Off to dinner, walking the 'hood, which is very pleasant, and roti chicken and potatoes (we don't order the everything combo that comes with 5 different versions of chicken and 7 of potatoes. Gruner veltliner for DB and dark beer for THB. $40

Now we realize that our German menu translation is way worse than we thought, crash brush-up course required (or we only eat in places with English translated menus, which may be everywhere).

later, THB and DB

5 comments:

  1. roti chicken and potatoes sound great (why don't they have that stand at my farmers market?!). glad the headphones worked out. i see a second pair in your future. enjoy the trip! (and hey- some of those airline workers may be working for free this month!)

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  2. why on earth did they tear up your boarding pass? and i'm with khb- i see a second pair in your future!

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  3. For some reasons those headsets make me worry about not being able to "pop" my ears apporpriately. not sure why, but it has always been a strange fear of mine

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  4. Not sure why the bother having you print boarding passes at home to end up redoing them at airport, since for international passengers you have to check-in anyway to show passports (at least, I think you have to).

    I think a second set of headsets would be most welcome (thanks in advance!)

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