Friday, September 9, 2011

Der flughafen

I’m really getting slack with these Wednesday posts. My reason this week was a successful outing to the Proms, and a trip to an animation exhibition the night before, and feverish packing and preparations the night after. I have time now, though, because I’m sitting at London Stansted Airport (where they have wi-fi costing only 11.95/month, which I have not partaken of) about to fly to Frankfurt Hahn, which is not really in Frankfurt but an hour away. At least, I hope I’m about to fly. I had my first proper proper Underground delay this morning, where they advised us to get off the train and get a bus, and the train spent about 20 minutes at one station, fifteen at the next and ten at the next before we finally started moving properly. So, based on that, I’ve done my delays for the day. I even got through customs with an hour and three quarters to spare.

Later that day...

And I even got a window seat!

So now I’m sitting in Frankfurt Hahn airport, which is a big converted hangar that reminds me of the old old Wellington terminal, but without the fascinating carpet. Without any carpet at all, in fact.

The flight before ours arrived a bit late, so we left late but still arrived on time (they do a bugle call announcing an on-time arrival), possibly due to their scheduling one hour fifteen minutes for a fifty minute flight. Once we’d boarded, the pilot informed us that the air conditioning on the plane wasn’t working, which was part of the reason the previous flight had been late. It was bearable, just, and after I got over the imagined connection between air conditioning and oxygen supply it was fine. Possibly the air conditioning started working later in the flight, because it did seem to get cooler.

It only took fifty minutes to get to Hahn (which amazes me. Fifty minutes and I’ve left one country, passed over another or two and landed in another) and was cloudy most of the way, although I did get a glimpse of the Channel as we went over. It was raining here when we landed, and the plane bounced a bit before settling onto the runway and everyone screamed. They should try landing at Wellington airport in crosswinds. When we came to a stop something coughed and all the electrics in the cabin died – main lights, seatbelt lights, annoying voice advertising something – while the engine whirred down outside. I’m not sure why this happened, but we stood in the rain-light for about ten minutes, passing half-recognisable bags down from the dim overhead lockers, before the lights came back on again.

Apparently they’re swapping aircraft for the next flight out.

There was a clap of thunder as we ran through the rain to the terminal, and then we queued through passport control and got to customs, which was two doors labelled Goods to Declare and Nothing to Declare. No customs officers in sight, and when I went through the ‘Nothing to Declare’ door, I saw that the ‘Goods to Declare’ door opened right next to me, straight into the arrivals area. Presumably it was the customs officer’s day off.

The green is different here, darker and with more blue than English green and more saturated than New Zealand green. I’m formulating a theory as to each country having a different sort of green, and there does seem something distinctly German about the trees here.

My final destination is Heidelberg (where I’ll hopefully get to post this on The Pirate Pianist’s internet), but that’s a two hour bus trip away. My plan this weekend is to post every day, but we’ll see how that turns out. You can be assured of getting a minute by minute account in any case, some time before next Wednesday.

Here ends today’s post. Next post: last week.

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