Whilst I am home and safe from placing myself in large predicaments such as the one the title suggests (debatable), I have yet to relay my experiences abroad. So, over the next weeks (probably months), I'll set about writing up the moments that I'd like to share. It's my way of saving my Facebook friends the misery of unrelated statuses. If you wish to read, carry on, but I warn you, I can be frustrating at times...
By the time I got off the plane in Munich I was ecstatic. I could see Blanca on the other side of the glass, waiting in the arrivals section.
Yes, I did knock on the glass, and yes, I did break the emergency door handle, and yes, all the other passengers did stare and/or laugh at me...SO awkward.
Anyway, Blanca waited, for the line for non-European citizens to have their documents checked was a tedious one. And somehow I ended up at the back of the line. The tribulations of being less-than-average in height.
After an hour I made it through. I collected my baggage and the next stop was the bathroom. I envisioned a perfect reunion with my beloved Blanca, and I didn't want to ruin this through pressing bladder problems.
I can't put into words the excitement that I felt to see Blanca and her family again. Two and a half years is so long but it still felt like I'd never left. Well, it did obviously, but you know what I mean.
So we're in the car and I'm checking my backpack like the #smarttraveller that I am. And then I realise. Passport? Phone? Definitely not here. Definitely still in the bathroom.
So Blanca and I jump back out of the car and power walk back to the entrance. There are many sad things about this situation but one of them is that we can't remember which way the entrance is. Multi-storey car-parks are confusing and even once we do find our way in, we have about 10 minutes to walk to the terminal. My brain is in override. The only word I can conjure is 'shit' and slightly more crass relatives.
Of course no one is at the information desks. I'm trying to make light of the situation but really this is no laughing matter and actually I feel very ill. We walk up and down the terminal looking for someone who looks remotely helpful and even begin to approach a lady who is sitting in a chair guarding nothing whatsoever, when I hear an announcement. It goes something like this:
*german* *german* *german* Monique Langford *german* information desk *german*
As you can see I am not very proficient in the language of German. Anywho, we approached the nearest information desk, which, as I have already said, no one was present at. So we waited. We were finally approached by a lady who informed us that we should go to Police Department A, as they had my belongings.
I could feel the relief in literally my entire body.
Well, we approached Police Department A: up a few escalators and it looked like a small deserted shopping centre, ie. there was nothing there. A lady popped her head out of a door. It was one of those doors where they can see you but you can't see them. She told us to go to Police Department C.
So we went to Police Department C.
They told us to go to Police Department A.
You, dear reader, are forgiven if at this point you either a) have no idea whatsoever, what is going on right now, or, b) you are fed up with my level of patheticness and decide to stop reading altogether. However, I encourage you to continue because a happy ending is nigh.
So anyway, we're on the escalator leading up to Police Department A, and there is a man at the top, and he is holding my belongings. And now I'm laughing but I am also singing 'Stairway to Heaven' because this man is my saviour and the escalator is technically a form of stairway - just the 21st century version.
Back in the car and the relief is enormous. Now it's just us, the road, and a two hour drive full of catching up. Blanca is talking about an appointment she is running late to. I feel really guilty.
"Did you finish making your dress for tonight?" Blanca asks me.
"Yup I finished the dress, but...tonight?"
"Yeah." Why did I think it was tomorrow night? Fair to say I'm a bit surprised. Not that it really matters, its just there are some people that I have not seen for a long time. And I've waited so long to see them and now I only have to wait a few hours.
Blanca makes it to her make-up appointment and I hurry to get ready. We are leaving in five minutes and my hair is still damp and I hate that I'm using the hair straightener anyway. Maybe it's just my imagination but I can hear my hairdresser crying.
The night is warm for some time and it is long. One of the best parts about going to your best friend's graduation on the night that you arrive in her country is that you are guaranteed to see someone and everyone.
And I do. So I dance and forget that I am jet-lagged.