Travelling again. I’m now in Paris CDG waiting for the flug to Berlin making a hat-trick of European capital cities for me today.
This morning, Warsaw was enjoying -25C and I fully expected that “frozen tin can” experience including a trip to the de-icer station. I was therefore pleasantly surprised to reach a warm and ice free Embraer after we exited the obligatory bus transfer. Why have all those gates, I wonder, when I always have to get a bus to the plane? Has anyone actually used a ramp at Warsaw airport or have san-epid condemned them because they have no toilets?
Arriving CDG I stepped back in time when confronted by the familiar curves and darkness of the fractal-shaped terminal in all its white mosaic and steep rubber escalated glory. I used to pass through here a lot back in my travelling days.
Saw an Airbus A380, the one that looks like a Beluga whale, for the first time. This one was Singapore Airlines. Quite impressively huge but too far away for a decent Blackberry photo, not that that stopped me taking one!
€40 satisfied the taxi driver who got me hassle-free to Neuilly sur Seine (sp?) where I embarked on a string of business meetings and a chicken lunch. All fairly uneventful but nice to finally meet the French team and get a feeling for what they are up to.
€65 satisfied the second taxi driver who bought me back here. Note to self, don’t keep Parisian taxi drivers waiting because the clock is ticking!! Both taxi drivers were trying hard to fulfill the tourists dream of French guys being jazz loving free spirited intellectuals. The first one even had wild hair and a beard. They didn’t fool me though. Traffic jams were very French.
Someone built a huge stadium on the way into town since I was last here (2000 I think). Would that be the Stade de France??
(Sod it – 30 minute delay now!)
Amusing experience waiting outside the terminal when a lady failed to communicate with me in stereo! Firstly she couldn’t speak (mute) and secondly the paper she was showing me was written in French. I suspect it was a petition to the EU to ask for better conditions for mutes in CDG airport but all I could offer was an apologetic shrug.
Guy in front of me took 3 hours and used 54 plastic trays to get through security X-Ray, asshole!
I’ll be sick of course. Everyone around me is sick. Woman on the plane coughed the entire journey. Japanese lady sitting opposite now looks very dodgy and they have all kinds of nasty bacteria over there don’t they!
The company don’t compensate you for these things on business expenses do they. The early mornings, the extra work for my beloved wife while I’m away, the fact I only got 36 Euro for my 40 GBP cash at the change booth, the 22:30 arrival shagged out at a chilly Berlin hotel, the stuff you leave in planes and taxis by accident, the security bullshit……
Anyway, travel does broaden the mind like nothing else and for observant types like me it is better than going to the theatre so there is an upside.
Better go now, there’s a danger this plane might be ready to leave soon.
UPDATE – arrived in Berlin safe. Ended up with a 50 minute delay leaving and 30 minute arriving. Cruddy Air France plane. Temperature here is -10C so today I’ve gone from -25C to +10C and then back to -10C. The bacteria must be loving this! Mind you, I have a nice bottle of hand-gel in the room here which “helps maintain optimum hygiene levels wherever you are” so that’ll help kill a few. Even more sick people on the last flight. There was a couple who were training for the sickness Olympics a couple of rows back.
This taxi driver was happy with only 35 Euro and for that I got his entire life story from kid in Iran to his two wives, his girlfriends in the Philippines and Cuba who all want to have babies in their ‘abdomens’……. How it’s 18C in Iran now and that’s way better than -10. How the Shah of Iran was a bit of a wally and people are much freer now…..etc.
Like I told you, better than the theatre this travelling lark!