I’ve thought about writing this post for a long time now but it’s been a struggle. It seemed like such an easy task to write about our adventures to India, and to report all that I saw and experienced while I was there. As simple as it seemed, I got lost along the way. Everything started moving along quickly, the words didn’t just get misplaced, they became complicated and extremely personal. Then I got sick. I have a lot to catch you up on, so let me get started. Hopefully by the end of ‘The Itinerary’, both to and from India, you will understand why it’s taken me so long. I hope you enjoy the read. — Mom
We left off at our arrival in Munich, Germany, correct? Yes. Once exiting the plane, we both immediately noticed how large, clean, and quiet this airport was. I mean really, really quiet. For a long while there weren’t even any announcements over the intercom. I think the entire time we were there we heard two, and the voice of the individual speaking was really mellow and calm. Despite it being quiet though, this airport felt more like a mall than an airport because of all of the fancy shops and eateries. To me, fancy shops are the likes of these: Gucci, Hugo Boss, Emporio Armani, Victoria’s Secret, M.A.C. Cosmetics, and Burberry/Ralph Lauren. Food places like Bistro Organic, Pano, and Weiner’s – Der Kaffe. The little eateries were cute because they were decorated so nicely. One place, Selmans Restaurant & Bar, was all pink and purple – the lighting, the chairs the miniature walls. I was taken back to a memory of Crystal’s sister, Mehgan, when she was a little girl. This would have been how she would have loved to have her room decorated – all pink and purple. Anyway, as we were walking, I was paying attention to what each one had to offer because I knew a sandwich would be in order. My brother encouraged me to find some brats. He said brats in Germany were an absolute must! To be honest, water was my number one priority, coffee #2, and then I would love to try a German brat.
The walking seemed to never end, but everything we saw was so interesting. I really did feel like a bonafide tourist. We came across an overhead sign for a prayer and meditation room. We both were wowed. It seemed to fit right in with the peaceful vibe the whole place had going on. Passing it by and not going in to look, meditate or pray became one of my regrets. I should have looked, but my feet were sore and I was running out of energy. I just wanted to get to where we were going. Next, we came across a red piano sitting alone in the middle of the airport, right by the place I would later go back to buy our food and water from. Next to the piano was a sign that simply read: “Play Me”. No one was on it at the time we walked by, but during our stay, a few people got on and played some very beautiful music. People all around would stop and listen and take pictures. I know that if I could play, I would have loved to have played for the people. We both fell in love with the concept. Venturing further down to find our gate, we happened upon an interesting little green area. There were signs on the outer wall of this little oasis that read, “sleep” and “relax”. Along those same walls with words were bar stools, a counter, and outlets for charging your items. Much to our surprise, inside this little place, they had sleeping pods – tiny, little quiet rooms for some sleep or alone time. Interesting. On the other side, but still inside of this area, was green, shag carpet, live plants, recliners, and a bookshelf full of books. It was just this whole little zen area right in the middle of the airport. It was awesome! We definitely wanted to partake in the relaxation process, but there were no recliners left. We found some chairs nearby in the direct and hot sunlight to rest our bones and charge our phones. I took some pictures out the windows on the other side of the airport. Where we are looks clean and green outside, at least what we can see of it. Ahhh Germany, we like you so far! What an amazing feeling I had! I was in another country! Finally!
It didn’t take long for that sun to kick in and bring to our attention that we were dehydrated. One of us had to go back to the eateries and find some food and water. A bathroom, and a place to exchange currency had to be the priority though. I wanted Crystal to go, as she is much faster than I, but she wanted me to. As nervous and I was, I bit the bullet and set out on this adventure alone.
I found the restroom and currency exchange station right next to one another. Perfect. I was nervous and felt like such a foreigner. I didn’t know how much to exchange… So I just told the guy that. He asked what I was looking to purchase. I told him just water, coffee, and a sandwich – for two. He told me $50 USD, would do. I was taken aback. Did he just say $50 for two people to have their basic needs met? I said, “Fifty dollars?” I just had to make sure I heard him right. He said, “Yes.” WOW. Surprise #2 – So I don’t know where I have been but I thought Franks were used in Germany. Apparently it is the Euro. Haha. I laughed at myself inside because I really had no idea and I wondered how long it had been that way. So with this fifty dollars in euros, I was off to find some lunch. The first place I ran across that carried water, coffee and sandwiches was the winner. Pano was the name of the little joint. It didn’t have brats but it had “hot franks” on the menu. I thought, well, that will be close, right? It was definitely interesting, to say the least. You must see the picture. It was a linked frank. It came with a semi-hard piece of brown bread. I really wasn’t exactly sure what to do with that… So I did the best I could. I got Crystal a veggie sandwich and we each got water and coffee. Out of $50, I had 5 euros left. That’s $5.50 USD. On this whole trip there were only two places that didn’t seem overly expensive even though they were in the airport. That was Starbucks in Chicago, because their prices were the same as at home, and a little smoothie shop in the Newark airport that I found on my way home. Everything else, CRAZY prices! Someone told me that Germany was just expensive period, but Australia is worse – their words, not mine.
We ate our little lunch and enjoyed our little coffees and then discovered our gate had been changed. Time to hustle to another part of the airport. My poor feet and knees. They were mad at me. Once we got to the right location, there was a huge, long line. We found out that the flight had been delayed because the computer system for United was down completely. We had to wait it out. Crystal volunteered to stand in the line while I sat down. Because of disabilities, I usually get to board first. I need extra time. Being that Crystal is my travel companion, she goes with me, because it just makes sense. They didn’t quite understand this in Germany. It was interesting to say the least, but they did let her through. Finally, after a delay at every airport, we were on our way to India!