Not London, Not Yet, Almost and Soon

 American Airlines, Chicago, airportAA (not Alcoholics Anonymous) leaves with a very tired me inside of it.  I hope to pass out and get some rest.  I don’t.  Flight is pretty full.  I am wide awake.  So I write and read and write again and land in Chicago.

Pilot mentions that it is windy in Chicago, which sounds about right.  Guess it’s appropriately named the Windy City.  35-40 mph winds give us a safe but rather bumpy ride.  Bette Davis and “fasten your seat belts we are in for a bumpy ride” in All About Eve comes to mind.

We have a delay in Chicago and I lose my Priority Access.  Both events unrelated but both highly important to me.  Air Berlin portion is next.  Air Berlin, Chicago O'Hare, Chicago airport  So I board with the rest and a lovely older woman sits next to me and I am immediately smacked by the smell of perfume.  So much so that I go to the male flight attendant and ask to please move.  He is extremely sympathetic but says there are only 3 empty seats and he will check if any are on the window.  He later comes back as I am fanning myself to be able to breathe and tells me that.  The lady is extremely sweet and asks me if I am hot and I decide to tell her I am highly sensitive to strong smells and her perfume is a bit much.  She says it’s her body lotion.  She is so sweet and friendly I automatically regret having said anything but I ask her to please not take offense but I will be fanning myself a bit.  She doesn’t take offense, understands, apologizes and we become friends.  I still can barely breathe though.

The service is amazing.  The flight attendant can’t do enough for me and as he passes by he checks on me every time to see if I’m okay.  I am.   But the seat in coach on Air Berlin is the smallest I have experienced even on domestic flights.  Almost to the point of claustrophobia.  I passed First / Business and it wasn’t much better. Review of AirBerlin in Life Live and Reviewed.

So I watch Hitchcock and am not that impressed.  The make up distracts me though it was nominated for an Oscar on that category.  Performance is great though.  I love Helen Mirren in anything and everything.  The sound on the entertainment system not the best so that reduces my enjoyment.  I watch videos, listen to music, watch a doco and don’t sleep much. 

We land in Berlin.  Tegel, Berlin airport, Air Berlin  I head towards the EU passport line and am greeted with a smile a good morning and a “gracias” from the official.  Best and easiest passport control I have ever experienced!

The airport is small though not quaint. Tegel, Berlin airport, Air Berlin  Air Berlin, Tegel, Berlin airport  Tegel, Air Berlin, Berlin airport  Everybody is uber nice and helpful except for the AirBerlin check-in woman who I ask where is the British Airways check-in counter.  She shrugs and says she’s AirBerlin.

We arrive at 7:00 am.  By 7:15 I am out of passport control, have picked up my bag and have found out where I have to go.  I try to purchase a pass for the lounge but can’t do it here so I buy a Red Bull and a pack of gum which costs me 5.95 Euros.  What?  I have just paid almost $9.00 for two non-nutritious items!  And they don’t take dollars.   I go to the exchange desk and give them $141 which gets me, after the 2% commission and 5 EU transaction fee and $1.41 dollars to a Euro, only $92!!  Okay, I really am in Europe now.

P1160930I go out and the temperature is a delightful 60 degrees F.  It doesn’t feel cold.  But then, I also have a coat on.

I’ve taken Tutu out so he can breathe a bit.  Tutu, koala  I swear I saw a twinkle in his eye and that I am forgiven for not taking him to Desert Hot Springs.  I put him in the side pocket and he elicits a smile from the security check.  He doesn’t see me seeing him smile.  I take him in my arms when they check my passport the control guy looks at me, at him and smiles.  Does he have a passport too?  A lady hears that and tells me that a woman traveling with a stuffed toy dog had a special passport around his neck and that when her passport got stamped, so did her dog’s “special” passport.  Don’t give me any ideas lady ’cause I just may do it and then I can’t fault anyone for finding me weird!

I love airports, I love traveling, I love, love the infusion of energy it gives me.  Or is it just the Red Bull working its effect?


Categories: Berlin, Germany, Tegel | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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