A funny thing happened on the way to Frankfurt. I think anyone that travels a lot gets into patterns. Mine as it relates to flying consist of sitting down, checking out the safety card, looking to see where the life vest is (even when flying in Afghanistan and they'd just about have to aim for a body of water to hit it), seeing where the oxygen masks would come from (real hard in a C-17), checking out the exits, and reading the flight magazine. I was dozing off while reading the magazine after boarding in Kuwait, so I put it away and waited. The seat next to mine was empty and I was hoping it'd stay that way. Not sure how long I was out, but I "woke up" and thought we were still on the ground. Felt like we were, nothing out the window. Then I noticed the beverage cart going down the aisle. I've never slept through takeoff before, but I can't say that any more. So, I stretched out and went back to sleep. A couple of times. Frankfurt is a neat looking city from the air and I love the layout of the airport. The terminal's all right, but the airport layout is neat. Later I would realize that it isn't incredibly functional from a "get into the air" point of view, but this was my opinion on landing.
Once inside I got racially profiled. The Polizei were at the end of the ramp, but they only wanted to see the passports of the Kuwaiti and Arabic-appearanced passengers from what I could see.
While standing at the Departures screens I saw a black man walk by and another Polizei stopped him and pulled him over to the side for some questions. Who would have guessed this was a good country to be a WASP in? Yeah, that's sarcasm and a half.
As an American who's only second language is to be able to talk like a Yankee I love that most of these people speak English here. I know it's a related tongue. I had a lady ask me if I speak German or English in German. But between that and saying I'm a jelly doughnut (thanks JFK!) I was out of German phrases I knew.
She asked me, in perfect unaccented English, to watch her stuff while she went to the restroom. When she came back we started talking. She lived in Wisconsin for twenty years before moving back to Frankfurt and is on her way to Seattle to help her son and daughter-in-law determine what course of action to take with her grandson who is ten and needs an aortic valve replacement. I just learned a lot about valve replacements.
At this point my coffee cup is long since empty, the shop is filling up, and I don't have anywhere to better to go. So I'll just look like a weird bearded dude typing on a MacBook in a coffee shop at the Frankfurt Airport. Go with what you're good at.
So eventually I was able to bored the plane. Where we sat. And sat. Then taxied, and taxied. Yeah, I meant to type bored.
I started watching a movie with Elaine Benes and Tony Soprano and in addition to watching half of it before we took off, it was kind of boring. I could see where the plot was going, it was like watching people on a first date, a real train wreck I couldn't take my eyes away from. Because there was nothing else to do. Lufthansa doesn't have the most up to date movies on their Airbuses. Among my choices were Amadeus, Cool Runnings, and Elysium. All movies I've seen, just different periods of time since I'd seem them.
Needless to say, the flight took off late because of the taxing issue, but we didn't land too far after we were supposed to. I was beginning to panic a little though because I had to get from the back of the plane to the front, through customs, get a new ticket, and find the right plane. And as Darth Stewie said in It's a Trap, ". . . we’re in a galaxy far, far away, and we still have to change in Atlanta."
If home is where the wifi automatically connects, I'm still not sure what that makes Hartsfield-Jackson Airport.
So, I ran. I wove through people, I paused, sprinted, squirted in between, and took stairs three and four at a time. I was doing good when I got ahead of almost everyone from my plane, but then I hit Customs.
Customs is huge, as it should be, and there was already a crowd. Not a big one, but I was about the 20th person in line. So I caught the lady controlling the line's eye and asked if she could help me make my next flight. She went to get someone else who escorted me through the lines and over to another agent. On the way he asked me how much time I had. It was then I realized, I actually had another hour because my clock, much like myself, was on an incorrect time zone still. I bought the watch because it has the ability to show 2 different time zones simultaneously, so that means, biologic, actual, and two different time zones are all out of sync. An impressively easy task.
Regardless, the agent still helped me break in the line, I got through, got the new ticket, and made it in time to buy an overpriced bottle of water and get to the gate about five minutes before they started seating people.
Here's the funny thing though. The guy I was sitting next to on this plane knew the people across the aisle from me and before we took off was talking with them. He revealed that their boss was two rows up from him and had a habit of running late even though this time he didn't. Had he been running late, the guy next to me was supposed to fake an illness to delay the plane taking off so the boss would get there. So I had coverage if I'd mistimed anything along the way.
From there it was all downhill sailing, I hoped off the plane and walked straight out the door, across the parking lot, into and across the field, and waited for my bride and youngest daughter at the end of the entrance to the Mobile Airport. American soil beneath my toes, green grass of Alabama all around and traffic that moved at faster than 20 kph everywhere.
Another successful trip home.