Friday, May 12, 2006

Missed it in Munich

After my anxious phone calls to Lufthansa regarding the very short connecting times between my two flights – I should have recognized the tell tale signs of a bonafide premonition. After all, six years ago I had been left behind in Sarajevo to fend for myself, catch the local bus in front of the bombed out terminal and head to Tuzla. The experience has served me well through the subsequent years, knowing that if I could make it through THAT "Lost in Sri Lanka" was no problem.

Our flight was delayed out of Dulles due to heavy thunderstorms. We sat them out and with each passing minute the realization of catching my next flight became and impossibility. Nothing to do but sleep and figure it out when I arrived.

Munich is far better to be in a mess in than Frankfurt. Fewer crowds, not as big and quite manageable. Of course, I was not the only one who had problems. Fully a hundred passengers found a similar mess in Munich! We were told to make our way to the service desk and all irritated, angry and jet weary souls descended on the lone agent behind the service desk. Her eyes widened and the sense of imminent attack loomed as the old Russian enemies found just cause for barking at their former nemesis.

The rest of the crowd was told to move to the next counter found farther in the terminal. Ah is there a German 'Murphy' lurking around the corner – or should I maintain my position? It seemed the more impatient those of us in the line grew, the more had to be typed, corrected, entered, pounded, investigated – finally Murphy or no Murphy I went to find the next line.

It wasn't too bad and the agents were helpful even directing me to a service desk where they would place a phone call to Bosnia for me. My memories of trying frantically to purchase a phone card, dial the right numbers, and finally get through to Ulla only to be informed I should overnight in Sarajevo and then take the first bus out.... haunted me.

Today, it went much better in Munich.

The agent dialed the number, Ulla was at home (having sent one of the workers on this errand) and gladly communicated he would be waiting the NINE hours until I finally arrived.

I found a spot to stretch out and voila' another four hours sleep under my belt. Tomorrow I should be good to go.