• I returned to enter the meeting room while my partner, Matt, was running the program. A manager in the hall stopped me and said, “That meeting is already in session, are you sure you’re in the right place?” I pointed to the picture of me on the wall with the meeting name. He did a triple take. “You are so much better looking in person, sir,” he said as he opened the door for me.
• I told one group that they weren’t very enthusiastic. A man in the back shouted out, “We are German!”
• I was looking for the rest room and heard a man speaking German who exited another meeting. I assumed he was going where I was going and followed on his heels. He led me to the door and politely opened it for me. And we both walked into the ladies room.
• The front desk agent in Hamburg warned me that breakfast wasn’t included in my room rate. I hadn’t made the reservation, so I upgraded to a suite. “Then breakfast IS included,” she informed me. She escorted me to the suite and pointed out the water bottles were included in my rate, as was wifi, but the mini-bar was not. My morning newspaper was. I started to make a list.
• The German airports in Hamburg and Munich are quite magnificent. When you exit in Munich a series of cameras takes a picture of your face from varied angles for comparison with terrorists. If you cover your face, two guys meet you at the bottom of the escalator.
• A pretty, smiling blonde had on a flak jacket and rested her arms on a submachine gun slung around her neck, standing at her security post. I decided sexual harassment was out of the question.
• Matt and I got to the gate for a 6 pm plane at 4:45 so we asked to change our business class tickets to the 5:00 flight. We were told that we had to pay a couple of hundred euros in cash because of some kind of ticket variations. I said, “You have the seats open, doesn’t it make sense to just put us in them?” “No,” I was told, ” these are the rules.” “But you don’t lose any money, and you have our seats to resell on the next flight in addition.” “No, these are our rules.” “But the rules make no sense.” “But these are the rules.” Matt had already obtained the money from an ATM because he knew there was no sense questioning the rules.
• Lufthansa runs a great first class service to and from the US.
© Alan Weiss 2016