Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Sometimes, firsts aren't that great.

As my last entry was my first time in a German club, this entry will entail yet another first. However, it's not a "Yeah, it was great my first time" type story. No, my friends, this is one of those firsts that I'd rather not have happened. And what is it? I missed my flight to London. Yes, for all of you who know me, I'm always punctual, usually showing up 15 minutes before necessary, but this time, I missed my flight!

I woke up 2 hours beforehand and left my apartment with an hour to spare to get to the airport. Christian and Pablo (my roommates) said that it shouldn't take me more than 30 to 40 minutes to get to Berlin Schönefeld. I figured I'd still be early. Well, I was standing at the Warschauer Straße S-bahnhof when the S9 to Schönefeld shows up at a not-so-great-time of 8:25 a.m. My flight was at 9:40 and I started to panic. Final check-in closed at 9:00 a.m. Would I make it? I hoped so.

I get to the airport at around 9:05 and try to find the check-in desk for RyanAir. All I saw was German Wings. RyanAir? Anybody? I finally just cut the X-ray line, mumbled a panicked and rushed, "Es tut mir Leid" (Sorry), and ran to the counter, blurted out to the guy behind the desk, "I know I'm late for my flight, but can I still get on???" He shook his head and said, "London Stansted? Sorry, final check-in closed 15 minutes ago." I asked if I could get on the next flight and he directed me to the RyanAir office on the next floor down. He added, "You're not the only one who missed the flight" and gave me this sorry look.

I went downstairs and saw absolutely NO office for RyanAir and I had to ask Information twice about what they meant. The "office" was really this door that said "Virgin Express" (as in, Virgin Atlantic, which confused the hell out of me) and there were four of us that had missed the flight. One German, two Brits, and me (the American). I wound up paying an extra 60€ for my flight out tonight, and the woman behind the desk really stressed, "Check-in is at 7:55 and we highly recommend that you check-in two hours beforehand." Thanks, you don't need to rub it in.

So it's about 9:30 a.m. when I have my flight rebooked, and I'm thinking, "Hmm, what should I do?" Well, I might as well go home. I called Chris to tell him I missed my flight (did I feel stupid? Just a wee bit), and then I called Alex and bitched to her about my life. Yesterday public transporation wasn't working for me, either, but that's a whole different story.

I got back onto the S-bahn and sat down, and this guy a few seats away says, "Missed the flight to Stansted too?" I moved my seat across from him and we had a nice chat back into central Berlin. Turns out he's taking the flight tonight, too, so I'll probably see him later. He's also only been learning German for about 2 months now, so we conversed in English.

The weirdest thing happened on the train, though. This little old lady boards and says to me (in German), "I want to sit there." I thought she meant the empty seat next to me, so I got up so she could sit down. Instead, she took the seat that I was sitting in! There was an older German man who said to her angrily (in German), "There are other seats on the train! Why do you have to take the one she's sitting in? What's wrong with you? Look at how many seats there are!" (Which was true) I was like, ok, whatever, lady, take the seat. I sat down next to Miko (the British guy) and we continued talking in English. He left at Ostkreuz Bahnhof, which was one stop before I wanted to get off at Warschauer Straße, and once he got off, the little old lady (who was now sitting across from me), was eyeing me with really narrow eyes. Eyeing my shoes, the bottom of my pants, my coat, and finally she was just staring at me.

I got off with my very tiny luggage at Warschauer Straße, brought it up the stairs, and started rolling it. The little old lady had apparently gotten off at the same stop and as she walked by me, I think I heard something along the lines of "Verpisst dich!" (Fuck you) or something else. I didn't even know what to say...I was going to say, "Arschloch" (Asshole) or, "Hast du ein Problem mit mir?" but I was just speechless. What the hell did this woman have against me? I didn't do jack SHIT to her. I mean, c'mon, lady, you took my fucking seat, not the other way around. And the other people on the train thought it was rude, too.

Anyway...I guess that is just another asshole person just giving Germans a bad reputation. I came back to my apartment where Christian asked in German, "Uh, aren't you supposed to be on a flight?" I told him the whole story, including the little old lady, and he was like, "Yeah, crazy people in Berlin, can't really do anything about them." I told him she knew what she was doing (she seemed intent, not as if she was some crazy just being), and he apologized for it. Not that it was his fault.

So now I have almost 10 hours until my flight to London. I'm looking at it positively, saying that I am spending less money for the 60€ than what I would pay for by being in London. And I can be productive by doing some reading for class. Berlin's not that's just one day short of time in London, and considering it's my fifth time there, not a HUGE loss. At least I'm not missing Harry Potter, and at least I didn't get tickets for Guys and Dolls.


Joel W. said...

Sorry you missed your flight. I've never had that happen, but it would be a bit stressful and irritating, I'm sure. I think you should have kung-fu chopped that old lady on the train. After all, you ARE Kung-Fu Master Lee. (-;

Tzeh said...

ew! nasty old german ladies. yea, you should have given her the beatdown.

What's up with nasty old ladies in general? There was this cigar-chompin, robe-wearing, curse-spewing old lady at the east broadway stop (near ma-ma's). damn she had a dirty mouth. plus she was stinking up the station with her nasty cigar smoke.

Ben said...

I feel you pain, Sannie. I remember missing a flight home for spring break with Alison last semester by a mere few minutes. The next one left the next morning at 6 am. we were also told to get there extra extra early...ahh!! Hope you don't run into problems on your later flight and have a great time in London!!

Stiny said...

Well we're going to the harry potter premiere in madrid so there (despite it sucking im sure.) And oh lord, those pink roses were priceless.