Germany... Part 1

Apr 13, 2010

April is a very German month for me. I have not one, not even two, but THREE layovers in Germany. This morning I arrived home from Munich. It was one of my best layovers to date. I had such a great time from the moment I stepped onboard the aircraft. The passengers were amazing. So happy, so friendly, so much less than demanding than they are on some routes... I won't mention any names. The kids used manners and one lady made my day by her enthusiasm when we let her wear one of our hats and took a photo. "I see these photos of Emirates, and I dream of this!", she expressed excitedly with the very little English that she spoke. The crew was probably the best that I've flown with so far. Everyone worked hard but kept things fun.
Upon arriving in Munich, I was happy to have my passport stamped for the very first time since I've began this job. Most destinations don't stamp it, because as you can imagine we'd need a new passport every year if they did! We collected our bags and headed out into the cold to catch the bus to our hotel. The temperature was apparently +8 Celsius, but I've become acclimatized to living in the desert and I felt freezing even with my winter jacket on. (Speaking of the desert.... Dubai is getting grossly hot already. It's only April and we are already reaching 40 degrees. It's only going to get hotter, reaching into the 50's by August. I'm praying for a summer holiday in my much cooler home country.) Once we'd arrived to the hotel I was completely exhausted. I flicked through the TV, watched a bit of the only English channel that I could find, and decided to call it a night in preparation for the early morning ahead. The next morning I met up with Sanjana from India and Daniela from Brazil. Sanjana is also a new crew member, so we decided to go explore the city having never visited before. Daniela agreed to join us. First, however, was breakfast. We settled on the buffet at the hotel. I always feel as though people are judging the mass portions of food that I consume, but really, I don't care what they think. I explained that I'm Canadian and that we eat, a lot. If I want my bread and bacon and chocolate croissant, I'm going to have it. Why pay for a buffet to have a small plate of fruit and a bowl of cereal? The Captain, who was a fellow Canadian joined us and I felt a bit relieved to have somebody else who continuously loaded plate after plate of food. It was all so good... Germans love their bread, and I couldn't stop eating it. Don't even get me started on the pork... I overindulged on bacon and a delicious assortment of German sausages. Once I was finally satisfied that I'd ate my money's worth, it was off to the train station. Picture a Canadian, an Indian, and a Brazilian standing in front of a subway map without a word of English. It took awhile, but we finally were confident that we'd figured out where to go and hopped onboard a train. We got off at some unpronounceable station and set off to explore. I was thrilled when both girls pulled out their cameras and joined me in my snap-happy frenzy. Normally it's just me taking photos as everyone waits impatiently to continue walking. In no hurry at all, we wandered the busy streets taking photos of everything along the way. We spent awhile inside of an awesome toy store, full of all sorts of interesting knick knacks... cuckoo clocks, toy soldiers, toy trains, and toys that could have existed 100 years ago. I was tempted to spend my money but convinced myself that I had no use for such items. Wandering past a church I spotted a sign that said "tower", with an arrow pointing towards the door. We walked inside and spent a couple of Euros to go to the top. We were rewarded for walking up many stairs by a nice view of the city and its colorful buildings. More aimless wandering led us to a busy coffee shop where we decided to stop for a few minutes to take refuge from the cold. Bavaria is known for its soft baked pretzels, so I grabbed one to go with my coffee. Mmm, I'd be so fat living in Germany. We followed by walking down a few more streets, browsing cool little shops and chatting with locals. Time flies when you are having fun, and before we knew it we had to start making our way back to the hotel. Once again we stared blankly at the map before determining where we needed to go. We got off at the right station and on the way back to the hotel I told the girls to continue on their own as I needed to make a stop at the supermarket. Grocery shopping in foreign countries is so much fun. Dubai lacks variety, freshness, and tends to be a bit overpriced. I find far too much excitement in stocking up on food during layovers. I filled my basket with fresh berries... blueberries and raspberries to eat before my flight, and amazingly plump, juicy strawberries to stuff in my suitcase and take back to Dubai. I grabbed some sparkling fruit juices, cabbage rolls (which I left in the mini bar fridge... I probably will not get over my disappointment for quite some time) and then headed downstairs where I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven when I saw how many aisles were dedicated to chocolate. Even more amazing was when I spotted the "50% off sign" above the Easter chocolate. Lindt gold bunnies, you are coming home with me! I grabbed everything in sight before persuading myself to put some of it back on the shelves. I finally left with my Lindt bunnies, a few other Easter goodies, and a "Mozart" pistachio chocolate bar. I probably would have went a bit more overboard if it wasn't for the knowledge that I'll be back to Munich in only 2 weeks. Back in my hotel room, I attempted to nap before my long overnight flight. I'm beginning to develop insomnia, much to my frustration. Unable to sleep, I got ready for my flight early. The flight back was full of happy holidaymakers who chatted away in broken English. After we'd served the meals and the passengers began to fall asleep, I wondered how I'd manage to stay awake until we landed at 6:30 am. Fortunately, my amazing crew kept me laughing for hours, particularly one crazy Irish girl who tried to teach us Irish dancing in the galley. They made the entire flight fun, and I wish that we could all be together for every layover! I finally arrived home just before 8 and was relieved to find that my strawberries had survived the journey relatively intact. One more turnaround tomorrow, and then I have a few days off to catch up on sleep and practice the few German words that I know before I head back for more adventures and even more food!


Lori said...

I love your stories and as I said look forward to each new adventure! Your mom must be so proud! You are amazing, have fun and ENJOY!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Dianna said. Krysta, you are German on your Gramma Holden,s side. Friemuth, so of course you would love Germany.Happy you had a good time.Ttyl

Post a Comment

Comments really make my day... so stop and say hi!!