Touching Down in Munich

My flight was delayed for two hours because of some ominous computer trouble. Some woman loudly complained that she would “go without her on-demand entertainment for this flight, if someone could just get this thing in the air”. She pointed to the small screen mounted on the seat-back in front of her, which was buzzing and spitting code. The flight attendant had to patiently explain that no, the plane was not delayed because the pilot was afraid passengers wouldn’t get to watch Dragonball Z on demand, but rather because computers are used for other things on planes. Unimportant things like navigation, take-off, and landing.

The second highlight of the flight came when a confused-sounding German woman was given the responsibility of hawking the usual Duty-free wares over the intercom. Her accent was so thick that no one could understand what she was saying, except to realize that she was methodically listing EVERY offering in the duty-free catalog–ending with, “fine Godiva chocolate-covered blueberries, and of course, our luxurious….Jelly Belly? …ok yah, jelly belly…” and then she whispered, “Vat is de jelly belly?”

My favorite part of flying is looking down at the city as the plane descends. Every place has such a distinct character when seen from a bird’s eye view. Miami, for example, looks like a city poised on the edge of the world, as the gleaming skyscrapers seem to be merely floating on a thin layer of sand before meeting the endless sea. Philadelphia’s river water is fascinating shades of brown and green when seen from the sky, and it looks so dirty that you can almost make out the layer of scuz on top. Philly’s sprawl and its worn industrial areas are an eloquent plea for environmental consciousness in themselves. Munich looks like Ohio, of all things. I couldn’t see much of the city itself from my unfortunate middle-section seat (squashed between an obsese woman and a Navy Seal with biceps the size of my torso), but the land surrounding it is the familiar patchwork that Ohioans recognize. The countryside around Munich is so lush that one is almost tempted to lie down in it.

Munich airport is probably my favorite out of all the airports I have passed through. Once I stepped through customs, I was immediately surrounded by the kind of luxury boutiques and stores that most Americans would associate with a luxury-goods shopping center–Michael Kors, United Colors of Benetton, Hermes, and Tommy Hilfiger, to name a few. Even better were the Audi and BMW dealerships located within a sort of shopping-square near Terminal One. Even the airport restaurants, normally so tacky and depressing in airports like Chicago O’Hare, were done up with hanging lights and fake mountainous scenery, as if to drive home the fact that yes, you are in Germany!

The town of Anger, where my boyfriend’s family lives, is breathtakingly beautiful. I took a lot of pictures, but unfortunately don’t have my camera cord on me. Suffice it to say that every house looks as if it were part of a cuckoo clock carving, and that the mountains surrounding the village are wreathed in mist. Sheep dot the rolling hills. Even the water here tastes better, somehow, and the air feels fresher than any I’ve ever breathed.

Internet is pretty spotty, but I will try to post more soon!


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