Monday, 15 September 2008

Okay, after the wedding on the weekend, I obviously had a few more plans for my vacation. Most of them involved doctors, dentists, opticians and a good number of my friends.

You'll be glad to hear that after parting with large amounts of money I now have new glasses, a new filling in a tooth as well as a new haircut (well, just less hair really). I hope all of you will be even happier to hear that the blood test confirmed that my final expiry does not seem imminent and that I have not brought home any nasties from my travels. I was advised to eat less meat though...

Most of these errands I ran on foot or by bike and it is just astonishing at what pace my little hometown changes. Shops and bars disappear, whole new industrial zones get stomped out of the ground and there is construction everywhere. There is a sushi restaurant! What once was the most familiar territory, is now a bit uneasy.

Not to be outdone by the town, my parents have gotten a new kitchen recently. You have no idea how frustrating this can be. The place that held plates for the last 2 decades now has glasses.It would obviously be too easy to put the plates where the glasses were. And so it is with everything. Bowls, cutlery etc. Hours of entertainment... The only things that have not moved are the fridge (phew!) and the stove. Aaaah, the stove. The stove represents the final straw.

You see, it is operated by some sort of touch button system intended for really clever people. I have spent quite a bit of time trying to figure it out (hunger can be quite motivating and I'm not really into raw eggs), but to no avail. I had to eat cold. 004 005

Cold, hmmmm. Yes, that is also a subject here. While the first week was bathed in late summer sunshine, this morning it was 4 degrees. WTF? But let's not linger on that. There is one more interesting change:

Once upon a time, I was charge of mowing the lawn. None of my glorious brothers ever took up that task and my parents now don't have a lawn, but a meadow. Yes, a meadow. And tell you what: It looks really cool. And in case the hop farmers in the Hallertau can't keep up, the Bendls are ready to step in: With our very own hop! Bet you don't see that everywhere. Have a good one!


Monday, 15 September 2008 13:09:06 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  | 
 Thursday, 11 September 2008

My apologies again for not writing more, but live is just too hectic. However, I am on vacation now, so I will try to make an effort to post one or two blogs.

I imagine some of you associating the word vacation with some more travel and you are not wrong.

I have made the trip home to Germany again, this time via Miami and London. This is certainly not shorter than the Amsterdam option, but quite a bit cheaper. It also stands to hope that the Miami-London flight is not a plane full of families with tons of overheated and restless children returning from a holiday in the sun.

When I booked this in what seems like ages ago, American Airlines was servicing little Curacao twice a day from Miami, once in the morning and once in the afternoon. I had booked the afternoon flight to connect to the London flight in Miami which would eventually get me home in something like 20 or 21 hours altogether.

Alas, you know it is usually not a good sign when you receive an email from your caring email with the subject line "Your itinerary has changed".

You see, with the economy in the US slowing and Curacao being somewhat of a luxury destination, our friends at American Airlines have figured that the demand would drop and have swiftly axed one of the two daily flights. That meant if I wanted to get off the island towards Miami last Thursday, I'd better be on the 8am flight. As such, that would not be a problem (other than supposedly having to work on the day and having to get up at 5 am), however, there is no suitable connection in Miami to go anywhere in Europe at around noon. I pleaded with the guy to change the flight to Paris, Zurich, Madrid or wherever the hell else they go, but to no avail. It was London or nothing. It also meant a good 8 hours in Miami. It also meant that the overall duration of the trip was now somewhere around 29 hours. You can almost reach the International Space Station in 29 hours!

Anyway, I was off at 5:30 in the morning to the airport, where it seems to be some sort of standard that I always meet our General Manager. With that out of the way the flight to Miami was rather uneventful. Once you shuffle off the plane and even though you won't be staying in the country, you have to clear Immigrations. If, like me, you have loads of time to spare this can be somewhat entertaining if you watch others despair at the impossibly slow progress of the unbelievably long line. So, if ever you connect in any American city, brings loads of time to make your connection. In my case it took one hour and ten minutes to provide the US Department of Homeland Security with another set of fingerprints and a digital photograph.

When I then had collected my luggage, entertained US Customs and rechecked my luggage, I still had about 7 hours to kill.Kirche St. Michael

Now in case you don't know: If you have nothing to do, 7 hours is a looooooooong time, even if you're trying to cheer yourself up with Quesadillas once in a while. Luckily, I have about a gazillion episodes of House on my laptop and that makes it a bit better. But then of course a laptop only lasts so long, so you could have seen me sneaking around Miami Airport looking for a functioning power socket.

Well, I don't wanna bore you forever. Eventually they let you on a plane and fly you to London (I was so knackered I even slept for a while!) where you wait another 3 hours for your next connection. In London at least there is a bit of let-up as I have never been to Terminal 5 and so have something to explore, my phone works and internet is free.

Eventually I do really get to Munich where there is glorious sunshine and my dad waiting for me. I'm home 20 minutes later and will finally go to bed about 2 hours later.IMG_0012

However, that is only for a nap. Another 2 hours later I'm up again and back on the way to the airport. No, not to take off again myself but to pick somebody up. You see, one of the major reasons for going home is to attend a wedding. Now, I have developed a certain dislike of attending weddings on my own. Because of that, and because all the local ladies suitable to accompany me to such an event are unavailable, I have to resort to flying in a companion. Is that sad or what? Thanks Tine for doing that for me!

We of course go for a drink before we go home, but in contrast to the 2 previous weddings I manage to not get properly sloshed and cling to the Apfelschorle until 2:30am.

The next day brings glorious sunshine again and is the day of the wedding. My brother is invited too and so at about 11am we set  of for about 45 minutes drive to the church where my friend is getting hitched.

I know Wuschi for about 20 years now, which means that we do know certain aspects of each other's lives suitable for print and others not so suited, which I guess is what makes friends. It also means that we are getting old.

They had already married at the Registrars Office earlier this year, but this is the BIG ONE now.

Ballonaktion 4 The wedding goes of without a hitch (well, he almost did not get to kiss her) and soon we are at the hotel where the party is to take place. After some heart cutting and balloon action, we do get down to the real wedding stuff like eating, drinking and dancing.

The mix of people along with the weather make for a very nice atmosphere and we party late into the night in what will remain a very memorable wedding. I am very glad I made the long trip home for this. No, I did not catch the garter and I think I did not misbehave too badly otherwise either. Just this once jetlag works in my favor and I manage to hold out right until the end 4:47am.IMG_0002

And with this, I will leave you know. I attach a few more pictures to try and convey the atmosphere to those of you who weren't there.Wuschi & Nicki Hochzeit 060908 046 

Have a good one and I'll be back soon with more news from my holiday.Brautwalzer 2


IMG_0108IMG_0161 Wuschi & Nicki Hochzeit 060908 058 Wuschi & Nicki Hochzeit 060908 084 IMG_0075

Thursday, 11 September 2008 11:34:26 (GMT Daylight Time, UTC+01:00)  #    Disclaimer  |  Comments [0]  |