An Alien in America

An alien's perspective on life and everything else

Trip to Germany

Posted by nickxyz on December 2, 2007

Been to Germany last week, almost a last minute type of deal.  Had to use up some vacation (strange enough in a 10 day / year country) before the end of the year, happened to be surfing the Internet across tiss (my favorite Internet flight search site) and found a fare that could not be beat. So I went 🙂

Spent a week with the family, ran some errands of things I can’t get in the US, most notably Milka Schmunzelmaenner und Nutella, baked some Christmas Bredla and generally had a nice laid back week’s worth of vacation. Works wonders for the workaholic mind 🙂

For only the second time in the last 10+ years, I was able to snag a red eye flight to Europe. Leaving via Chicago at 10.30 pm CST, arriving in Frankfurt a little bit after 1 pm CST the next day, using Lufthansa. Wow, I need to write that one down and keep it handy for the next few flights. It really does make a difference in the level of jet lag once in Germany. Having slept a few hours on the plane, the remainder of the afternoon was really an easy thing to take and stay awake until the general local population usually goes to bed. I did however, wake up at 2 am local time with an urgent need to check out the refrigerator for anything edible.

Spent some time with each family member the following days, ranging from losing big playing darts in the basement (I cannot stand ‘cricket’ mode) to lollygagging in town strolling through seasonally decorated pedestrian zones, picking up some early Xmas gifts. Even did some cultural excursions into nearby cities. The Christmas season in Germany is just something entirely special that cannot be replicated abroad, no matter how many Christmas markets are popping up. 🙂

The week went by entirely too fast, as usual and by Friday, I was back on the transatlantic flight headed for D.C. I am not quite sure yet what to think of D.C. as the POE on trips coming back to the US. As the nation’s capital airport I would assume that their ability to accommodate large amounts of immigration / customs traffic would be better than any other major hub; most notably with all the political VIPs arriving there (they might actually have “more direct” immigration procedures than us regular folk) on a constant basis. Compared to the previous international airports in the US, such as Chicago or Philadelphia, their average throughput and speed of processing in D.C. is fairly dismal. With us, several other large flights arrived and the hallways leading up to the main processing stations were cram packed! We were advancing an inch every 5 min. And I only had 2 hours layover to catch the connecting flight. Finally in the main hallway, there were only a handful of open stations… Given that it was early afternoon and the tendency of European flights to arrive at that time on the East coast, my professional mind kicked back in (system wide process improvements, streamlining entire work flows)… Anyway….

I actually did make my connection 🙂


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