I fear no volcano…

13 May

But their ash clouds give me the willies.

Hey folks – long time no blog post, eh?  Yup, three weeks of Army “fun” and on our return trip a handful of our unit got stuck in the Munich Airport thanks to Eyjafjallajokull’s volcanic ash cloud.

Now before you let your imagination run wild about getting stuck in Munich and spending hours upon hours in the Hofbrau House – let me readjust your expectations.

Getting stuck in Munich consists of standing in lines.  For hours.  For those that are interested – here’s a break down…

  • 0300 wake up and shuffle our gear and baggage to where the buses are supposed to meet us…
  • 0500 buses show up and we actually start moving toward Munich….
  • 0800 Hey we’re in Munich!
  • 0830 Most of the unit checks bags and heads off to their gate
  • 0831 Windpaw and 4 others hang out at a restaurant and bitch about getting stuck on a later flight
  • 1000 Windpaw and 4 others finally check bags and discover the duty free shop (!)
  • 1400 Windpaw and 2 others have some late lunch while muttering darkly about the ash-cloud flight closures…2 other party members have not returned from duty free….
  • 1600 Okay – we’re supposed to be on the plane now…delayed…
  • 1645 Flights are getting cancelled left and right – duty free vodka is consumed – airport security called when Windpaw and Co. try to voodoo sacrifice a Czech travelers Hello Kitty backpack to the gawd of the ash-cloud.
  • 1700 The airport is officially closed and everyone told to head to Lufthansa’s nearby customer service desk to get rebooked and to receive free vouchers for food, taxis, hotels…
  • 50 bazillion people all get in line….seriously – it was unreal….
  • Windpaw guards luggage while his team hits duty free again – hundreds of dirty copy cats follow….
  • Windpaw escorted back to the line and away from the burbling chocolate fountain in the specialty chocolate store…
  • 7-8 hours later….we make it through the line – get our flights rescheduled – head off to find the taxi to our free  hotel….
  • 30 minutes later…Windpaw and his Platoon Sergeant realize that “twin room” in Europe isn’t a room with (2) beds… it’s a room with (1) bigger bed….
  • 2 minutes later – Windpaw’s Platoon Sergeant tosses a pillow towards the floor – “lead the way, Sir” he says and promptly claims the bed.
  • 3-4 hours later back in the cab – heading to the airport….
  • A quick win – we’re now in Frankfurt!
  • ….
  • Seriously – the Frankfurt Airport is like the arm pit of German Airports.  Wanna feel fear?  Head to the bathroom and try not to rub ass-cheeks with the guy next to you as you stand by the urinal.  Hope he’s not smiling.  Run in terror when he looks at you and asks “Turkish?  Let’s GO!”   – No public bathroom should be *that* small.
  • Consume more duty free emergency rations – wonder why Coke Zero tastes so much better in Europe than it does in the states…wonder if the shot bottle of rum has something to do with it…..
  • Success!  We’re loaded like cattle onto some jalopy of a plane – we take off!  Chicago O’hare here we come!
  • Time to relax and watch a movie on the personal video systems.
  • 5 minutes later  realize that each of the personal video systems back in peasant class are actually running some old version of Windows CE and that they’re failing to bootstrap successfully.  The flight attendants apologize and quickly start offering free drinks.
  • 2 hours later – elbow battered – shoulders bruised…I hate asile seating –
  • 4 hours later – they give up trying to reboot the entertainment systems – guess I’ll finish this book after all….
  • 6 hours later – ass goes numb – realize I’ve been wearing the same clothes for 3 days….
  • 9-10 hours later – we land in Chicago and realize that Customs looks like the Battle of Helms Deep….
  • 10 minutes later – being military we avoid the fray and pass back into the good old US of A in our own private line.  We dodge thrown shoes and half filled bottles of water as the crowd realizes that we’ve escaped.
  • 30 minutes later – realize that our baggage has been irrevocably lost
  • 35 minutes later – realize we’ve missed our connecting flight by hours….
  • 40 minutes later – hop on a free shuttle with yet another meal and hotel voucher (thanks Lufthansa!)
  • 2 hours later – realize that nothing at the Hyatt O’hare can be purchased via the meal vouchers – ($18 for eggs?)
  • Sleep…
  • Shower
  • Shuttle
  • Same clothes – 4 days – full scruffy beard going
  • More lines – more delays – but ultimately set down in Little Rock, Arkansas
  • Windpaw forgets to turn his southern accent back on
  • No one understands him
  • Turns accent back on
  • Turns it back off – not worth it….
  • Smiles as he see’s Ms. Windpaw waiting for him by the baggage claim 🙂

It’s been a couple days and I’m back at work (still don’t have any luggage) and just happy to be here.  I haven’t played any WoW yet – but that’s okay – more time for family and the great thing about a persistant world is that it’s still there waiting for me when I finally decide to log back in.


4 Responses to “I fear no volcano…”

  1. Elionene May 13, 2010 at 19:16 #

    Glad you’re back! Quite the trip you’ve had…

  2. Tam May 14, 2010 at 09:21 #

    Welcome back and ye gods what a trip. I managed to get some of my folks back by making them take a ferry over the Adriatic … not really an option for you 🙂

  3. Nora May 14, 2010 at 14:33 #

    So glad to have you back, safe and – well, perhaps less sound but still glad to have you back. 🙂

    Look forward to seeing you around again! Though not this weekend – you need to enjoy quality time with Family Windpaw of course, and Ash, Ehr and I are all off causing chaos and mayhem at the Steampunk World’s Fair. (I’m sure pics will ensue somewhere…)

  4. SGT Ehr May 17, 2010 at 12:07 #

    Awwww…in a perverse way, this reeeeeeeeeeeally makes me miss military travel.

    But the best trip is always the one you come home from, so good to see you back!

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