I've landed in Berlin. I spent nine hours in a plane from SFO to Paris in a somewhat disoriented state from rushing all morning and managing to get through security and gate check in with about twenty minutes to spare. Found myself on an AirFrance flight where although the flight attendants where all bilingual, my fellow passengers were mostly not. I wound up using my extensive knowledge of the French language, mostly gleaned from French cinema... perdone moi, excuse moi, misure, madam, un eau see vous play... oh yes I can say “excuse me I'd like a water” and point like a monkey just fine. As I got further and further into my book of choice I became sadly aware of how poorly written it was and I began to try and analyze the passengers around me. I had the fellow behind me who so badly wanted to be left alone and never have anyone ask him to move or have food or anything that involved moving... perhaps he was hung over or petrified of flying. I had the nice French couple next to me who I would talk to in English and dance like a monkey and they would in turn talk to me in French and dance like monkeys as well and somehow we could understand pretty well. The woman to the front and right of me I decided in my head was from a communist country. She was very concerned that she was being treated the same as everyone else and was constantly watching what the flight attendants were doing (as though they would forget to serve food or drinks to our side of the plane or that someone would get a better meal than the other). I tried to sleep but it was for naught. I just wound up sitting very still with my blanket on and my sleep mask on listening to the white noise around me.
We had a stop over in Charles De Gaulle airport where there were a lot of “Bonjour, perdone moi, oui, and un eau petit see vou plays” and that is about all I could manage... new stamp in the passport... and a wait to get on the next flight. CDG airport is beautiful, unless you are actually there. It was full of narrow passage ways and unclear sineage, also it was oppressively hot and humid. The plane ride had already tired me out and dessicated every cell in my body but CDG was a cigarette scented sauna.
Happily I landed in Berlin and my oldest and dearest friend was there waiting for me. There is nothing better than getting where you are going to be greeted by people you love.