The adventure begins
Trip Start May 13, 2008
5Trip End Sep 04, 2008
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I sit here today a nearly broken traveler. Orbitz managed to give me a nearly impossible itinerary for a second time in a row. More accurately, they gave me a completely impossible itinerary last time and a nearly impossible one this time. The three boarding passes I was handed in Cincinnati for my three consecutive flights were actually one boarding pass and two meaningless pieces of paper, calmly advising me to check in before departure. In order to do this, after arriving in Washington I had to leave the passenger-only area, brazenly cut in front of literally about a hundred people waiting in line before me without explanation, check in, go through security, again, take a bus to my terminal, again, and eventually make it to my flight with minutes to spare. And the steps in between that I didn't mention were all spent at a dead sprint, making me a bit soggy by the time I reached my gate.
This, however, is not the bad part. It's not even a bad part, just something that happened. I flew on to London, and then Duesseldorf, without event... until neither of my bags showed up in baggage claim. Still, being a moderately seasoned traveler, I did not panic. I reported it and was told that it should be delivered to me that night or the next day. The next day is now winding down, and it has not been found, much less delivered to me. So I sit here without my meticulously assembled ensemble of material goods that essentially represented the entirety of my material existence. Highlights include my brand new digital camera, my (not critical) prescription medicines, my mini-library of highly specialized and difficult to acquire engineering software, my brand new (first ever) suit, and my carefully assembled travel-sized wardrobe. And a bunch of other little things. Furthermore, Skype has inexplicably refused to work, making phone calls prohibitively expensive, and my cell phone refuses to work in Germany. So I sit here filthy from wearing the same clothes for four days, including the sweat worked up sprinting around the Washington-Dulles airport.
It could though, of course, always be much, much worse. I do have my laptop, I-Pod, and health. In that order. And it least I'm not rebounding from decongestants like the last time I was in Germany starting a trip (see my first travelogue for details).