There’s this goofy video my husband took at the airport hotel in Nuremberg. In the video I am getting tea from this coffee/tea machine, and the machine is playing music. I then say my goodbyes to Europe. We had just spent two weeks exploring Ireland and Germany, and it was time to go home. I hate this video. There’s nothing about the content that should make me hate it. It’s really a nothing video, a goofy clip, a last shot of our trip. What I hate about it is the fact that while we are giggling over a musical coffee maker, they are calling our names for the last time over the airport intercom, at the airport directly across the street, where we’d soon arrive, taking our time, and where we’d find out that we had miscalculated our departure time by an hour. I say miscalculated, because I want to make it sound more complicated than it was. But in reality, I simply hadn’t checked the itinerary in days. I remembered that the departure was scheduled for 6am. I knew this. I didn’t need to check. I was wrong. It was scheduled for 5am.
The plane was still there, we just couldn’t get on it. Boarding was simply closed. Not an ounce of my American tourist tears would penetrate the stone cold German on the other side of the counter to give me the slightest sympathy, much less to do anything about it (as if she even could). It turned out to be a very expensive mistake, but that’s not where it ends. You see, in order to save money, I had purchased our Buffalo to Dublin tickets, and our Dublin to Nuremberg tickets as two separate round trips. The problem with that is when you re-route a ticket, and the final destination is Dublin, they could care less if you actually, then, have to catch a flight from Dublin that is not on the ticket you are re-routing. So, not only did we miss this flight, but we could potentially miss our Dublin to Buffalo flight as well, which was a completely separate ticket.
We eventually made it out of Nuremberg, transferred in Paris, and arrived in Dublin, with VERY little time to get to our flight home. We only had carry-ons, no luggage to check, so we had that on our side. We were wearing our merino wool Aran sweaters we had gotten in Ireland, as well as our hiking boots, in order to make room in our luggage for all of the teddy bears that we’d gotten in Germany to bring home as Christmas presents for our nieces.
So here we are sprinting through the airport, sweating under the weight of our heavy wool sweaters and boots, teddy bears nearly spilling out of our bags, and my husband, who I had sent ahead, is waiting in this huge line for customs, when I yell, “You have to cut! They will have to understand!” This made my rule-following husband very nervous (we’re talking about the guy that had perfect attendance in high school). But the thought of costing us another several hundred Euros made me nervous, so I grabbed his arm and pulled him to the front of the line, apologizing quickly to everyone as we passed. We were now officially The Obnoxious Americans. We arrive at our gate, sweating under our woolen souvenirs, walking heavily in our boots, teddy bears all accounted for, just in time to board.
My mistake that day really bugged me. I couldn’t stop feeling really, really stupid. But my husband, who was not laughing about it, did promise that someday we would. He was not happy, but he was gracious. And thankfully, as much as I hate the video of the musical coffee maker, there is a part of me that chuckles at the ridiculousness of it all.
It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so. – Mark Twain