Traveling

So I just arrived in Germany. I’m staying outside Munich for a night, and then hopping a train to Garmisch for a month’s worth of school. I know… rough life I got here.

I’ll be posting pretty pictures when the mood strikes me, but mostly I intend on being a nerd and studying.

But school doesn’t start until Monday, so I have a few days to screw around and do nothing.

First order of business is sleep. I will do that as soon as I post this entry.

United Airlines sucks. I’ve said this numerous times, because of numerous screw ups, but I’ll say it again. United Airlines sucks. This time they experienced a nearly 5 hour delay! So I was stuck at the airport for four hours, and on the runway for another 45 minutes or so until we took off. The good news was that the flight wasn’t even remotely full, and I had an entire row to myself to stretch out, which I did. I slept, albeit uncomfortably, almost the entire flight, and caused myself to miss the culinary adventure that is airplane dinner. Luckily, I overdosed on crabcakes and bloody marys before the flight, so the last taste in my mouth wasn’t what passes for food on airlines nowadays!

Now there will be a shower. And sleep. And maybe lunch.

Or sleep.

Interesting note – I took an Uber on my way to the airport yesterday. If you don’t know what an Uber is, it would behoove you to find out and immediately demand that this amazing company expand to your city! Uber is a tech company that affiliates itself with private drivers, who will pick you up anywhere you happen to be and take you to your destination of choice. You have a credit card on file with Uber. They charge the card directly after you are done with your trip. There’s no tip, and no cash changes hands. The drivers are polite and clean, and so are the vehicles, which range from black sedans (mine was a Mercedes yesterday) to SUVs. Depending on time of day, it’s a bit more expensive than a taxi, but not overwhelmingly so. Well worth the extra few bucks. The company also asks you to give feedback on your ride and your driver, and if you give anything less than four stars, they will get in touch with you and ensure they put things right, including giving you credits on your next ride. This is a phenomenal service, which forced taxi companies to actually improve their service to compete, prompting them to try and destroy Uber via their influence in the corrupt DC City Council. They failed. Fuckers.

But enough of the Uber commercial. The driver and I chatted the entire way. The driver came to this country 13 years ago from Cairo, Egypt, where he was born. He did his degree in engineering at a university in Rome, Italy. He spoke flawless English, taught at James Madison University, and also speaks Arabic, Italian an Spanish. After leaving his teaching job, he came back to DC and started his affiliation with Uber. He did not demand special services or telephone recordings in Arabic. He didn’t demand benefits or amnesty. He came here with marketable skills, worked, learned English from scratch (I was absolutely stunned at how perfect his English was, and he told me he didn’t know a word of it when he first came to this country in 2000), and got his citizenship. Gee… an immigrant coming here legally and attaining his dreams the old fashioned way, without demanding special dispensations. What a novel concept!

He also told me he was appalled at the administration’s policies after the coup in Egypt. He admitted he voted for Barack Obama, but that he is absolutely disgusted with his foreign policy, and with McCain and other RINO scum who are insisting on continued financial aid and support to Egypt after the coup. He was happy the Muslim Brotherhood was kicked in the nuts. He told me he’s absolutely positive they’re terrorists and couldn’t believe that having attained 51 percent of the vote entitled them to destroy secularism, dissent and religions other than Islam in Egypt.  Kind of like the 52 percent… uh… nevermind. We discussed economics for a while too, and he asked me whose economic policies were worse, Bush’s or Obama’s. I explained they were equally bad. Bush started this stimulus, bailout spending crap. Obama took it to a new level. Both were bad. I explained why. He was very thoughtful and thanked me for the explanation.

I like immigrants.

Smart ones. Ones who have something to offer this country. Not ones who come here expecting this country to offer them something for their mere smelly presence.

OK. Off to take a shower. I smell like plane.

 

13 responses

  1. Airplanes smell good, actually. It’s the passengers, crammed in like cattle, who tend to smell bad.

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    1. This plane smelled bad. Maybe it’s because I was angry at it.

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  2. Nicki: have a great trip! Imbibe a Heninger-Brau and have some pommes frites for me.

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  3. What is it that you do that requires “school” for weeks in Garmisch, Germany?

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  4. Nicki – Those are my old stomping grounds. On your days off, you should definitely try to get to Oberammergau (for some fun shopping), and Schloss Linderhof.. Get yourself up the Zugspitz or the Wank on the cable car I, for no other reason, than to see the spectacular view. And have loads of fun!

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    1. Karen, I’m actually going hiking with an old friend on Wednesday! I have an entire network of friends who are in the area, or at least somewhat close!

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  5. MMMMmmmmm! Cordon bleu mit jager sauce und grosse pomme frittes -und grosse Weitzen beir…. those were the days…. HAVE FUN FRAU NICKI!

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    1. Mmmmmmmm…. Om nom nom nom

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  6. I’ve tried “German food” once or twice and found it to be, if you’ll pardon the expression, “distasteful.” SOME of their beer is good, but certainly not all of it and Riesling wine is generally good. Admittedly, I did NOT try German food in Germany but in American restaurants purporting to serve “authentic German.”

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    1. Don’t judge German food by American restaurants. Come here and experience it.

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  7. When I was in Munich about 40 years ago, I took the train out to the Dachau station to see the Nazi concentration camp of the same name. There was a man at the station who made it his business to tell us that we didn’t want to go there.

    Which is why we went there!

    An emotionally draining experience, but necessary, else people will deny the camp’s existence.

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    1. I’m going to go if I get the opportunity. I’m also going to the top of the Zugspitze. Just to say I did.

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