Berlin Schönefeld Airport, 3:38 p.m.
I’m sitting here in an uncomfortable metal chair watching the world of travelers go by – it’s like a big screen featuring the most real and unscripted reality show you could ever watch. The cities creep up on the departures screen every few minutes whenever a flight takes off and EasyJet’s bright orange counters gleam before me – their uniformed personnel looking tired and robotic.
I have a layover of about 4 hours here in Berlin. I’ve decided to sit here and wait rather than venture out in the city where, at present, it’s misty and gray. Anyway, I will be back here in two days to spend the night.
There is no better place to people-watch than airports. The hurried pace, the mixed emotions, the anticipation – that’s what a traveler’s life is in a bottle. Next to my own home, I can safely say that the airport is my next favorite place to be. Until they build a B&H store around where I live.
There are plenty of hotheads, frantic rearranging, fidgeting on seats, and running around, but the best part are the long kisses and hugs and the never-ending goodbyes that go on until the other person disappears from sight.
It is funny what people do to their suitcases to make them fit into the size-measurement basket. They squeeze it, stomp on it, sit on it, turn it upside down. There’s a lot of taking-out and putting-back-in going on in front of me. I don’t need to worry about any of that. If any, these budget airlines need to pay me for making their overhead cabins a pound or two lighter.
RyanAir has been messing up on their passenger list lately. On the plane at Hahn, an attendant announced over the speakers, “Ladies and Gentlemen, just to remind you, this plane is going to Berlin Schönefeld.” And then a few minutes later, “We have one passenger missing and one who’s not supposed to be on this plane.”
They resolved the problem quickly but not without much whispering and head-turnings.
Similar thing happened on my flight to Stockholm, only even worse with 5 passengers who were not supposed to be on the plane. They made each one of us show our boarding passes again, and some of us had to get up and retrieve them from our suitcases already in the overhead compartments. The plane missed its spot on the flight queue so we were delayed for more than an hour.
RyanAir boasts after each flight that “You have arrived at another on-time RyanAir Flight. 90% of our flights arrive on time.” So far, I’ve been to the 10-percentile twice already.
[…Rain Follows Me…]
Copenhagen, Hotel Room, 11:47 p.m.
What can I say? Rain follows me everywhere I go.
My flight arrived in Copenhagen at 7 p.m. under a canopy of dark clouds and drizzles. I took the train from Kastrup Airport to the city and did not have problems finding the hotel at all. It is not very far from the famous Nyhavn harbour. By the time I got here and got myself all settled in, it was past 8, but I knew I had plenty of time until blue hour, so I walked to the harbour and found myself a place to eat.
The rain would stop once in a while and then pick up again. That explained why there weren’t many people around tonight. The few that I passed on the streets are hidden under the shelter of their umbrellas or were running from under the roof of one corner to another. Meanwhile, I seemed to be re-living Stockholm once again with these dreadful conditions, only this time I did not come with an umbrella but only with sheer guts and insanity.
Also, I had another opportunity to use my camera raincoat tonight, but it did not stay on for long, not because the rain had stopped, but because I hated using it. It’s just way too much plastic and I’m one who always want to be in touch with my camera with its hard magnesium-alloy body screaming out “feel me!”
Nyhavn looked like a scene from previous centuries, way before Ben Franklin flew a kite during a thunderstorm. In short, the place was dark. In fact, not only in Nyhavn but everywhere I walked tonight, it was hard to find something that was lit up. Not even the Amalienborg palace and its famous Marmorkirchen showed any signs of life. So I walked down to the next canal down to the Borsen building, liked what I saw and took a few shots. My joy was temporary though. At exactly 11 p.m., the lights went off just like that. I took the hint, so I called it a day and this Cinderella went back to the hotel damp and dripping, and feeling defeated by nature’s mind games.