the worst thing that has ever happened to me, part II........and then i flew to poland

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I landed in Munich and started to feel sick from stress. Because I had booked my flight from Munich to Poland separately, I had to check in with the new airline. Having landed (on time) at 7:30 am, I told myself, "Okay. You have from 8:00-9:00 to get your luggage and go through customs. You have from 9:00-10:00 to check in to your next flight. You have from 10:00-11:00 go through security. At 11:30, you board your plane. At noon, you take off." Can you tell yet that Chicago O'Hare has scarred me for life? (Oh, and can I just say that 99.9% of the comments I got regarding that airport only further validated my frustrations toward that place? It is official: everyone hates it!)

Well, at 8:00 am I was where I had planned to be at around 10:30, which I attribute to a) Munich not being Chicago, b) there actually aren't a ton of people at the airport at 7:30 in the morning, c) I was moving faster than everyone else in said airport, walking at the pace of an Olympic track star and d) having a visa in your passport makes things a lot easier....they were actually being a little strict with everyone at customs and I felt nervous, at first, when the woman was scanning through my passport ever so slowly, just until she saw my visa page and said, "Ach so! Sie leben in Deutschland, oder?!" ("Ohhh, so you live in Germany!") I smiled (smiling and being nice can get you so far in life...that, and crying) and said, "Ja, das stimmt. Ich liebe Deutschland!." or something to that effect ("Yeah, that's right. I love Germany!"...did I mention that feigning love for a country you don't entirely love also sometimes helps?).

Anyway, by 8:00 am, I was going through security, which was my last "task" before boarding my plane. This flight allowed 1 checked bag and 1 carry on. When I had originally packed my suitcases, I had prepared for this (items-needing-to-be-checked in one bag, carry-on-able items in another). However, when my dad informed me that my large suitcase was too heavy, so much rearranging was done that the contents of both bags were just...kind of...all switched around....and I was so flustered and in a hurry that I forgot I'd eventually have to carry one of those bags on a plane. Make sense? Thus, I checked my big suitcase and then tried to board my plane with a few......extra large......bottles of Pureology shampoo..... and conditioner....... The moment I saw them pull 4 giant liquid-containing bottles out of my bag at the security checkpoint, I wanted to cry. No, I wasn't concerned that I'd get scolded in German (I mean, that happens to me all the time, let's be honest) or be detained for security questioning of some sort. I was OBVIOUSLY devastated by the mere fact that that's, like, the most expensive shampoo you can buy and it was.....(brace yourself) thrown away right before my very eyes. And (it gets worse), they took away my little tub of Pillsbury cake frosting, too.

I called a friend while waiting for my plane and made him listen to the following monologue: "I know that it's just shampoo and conditioner but I am SO upset - like, I'm almost on the verge of tears, I mean - I've been flying for, like, 24 hours or something and I just want to be in Poland and now I am going to wait for yet another plane (albeit, a plane taking me to Poland) but I will have to buy more shampoo and conditioner as soon as I get there and those bottles I had were going to last me, like, 6 months and that's basically, like, throwing $100 into the airport security trash can!!!!!!!!!! Along with that little tub of frosting, which I don't really care about but Lord knows Germans don't sell anything as artificially made as Pillsbury cake frosting!!!!" (This is true and if you don't believe me, you can ask the airport employee who pulled it out of my bag and stared at it as though it were from the future or something...please picture me trying to describe that in German...yeah, real funny).  I then just kept repeating, "And. they. don't. have. Pureology. in Poland!!!"

  I eventually calmed down long enough to convince myself that one of the following 3 possibilities were true:

1) If I had kept the bottles/frosting in the checked bag (where they belonged), they definitely, absolutely, without a doubt would have exploded and ruined everything I own (and no, the shampoo and conditioner would not have washed right out, thank you).
2) If I had kept the bottles/frosting in the checked bag, the suitcase would have somehow weighed too much, gotten stuck on the conveyor-belt (due to its weight? 'cause that makes sense...), ending up on another plane, going to another country, never to be seen again.
3) Every day, the Munich Airport workers go through the trash and donate shampoo and conditioner bottles to the homeless.....and they just keep the frosting in the trash can because they still don't really understand what that is.

Once I accepted the above 3 theories as absolute truth (all of them), I boarded my plane, landed in Poland only 1.5 hours later and was greeted at the airport by someone I had not seen in 6 weeks! What. a. great. feeling that was. :)

And it was also a great feeling when I realized the Christmas tree was still bright and shining in the Wroclaw city center.

Oh and it was also a great feeling when I was unpacking my luggage in Poland, opened my (carried on) purse and realized that I had boarded my flight to the US and my flight back to Europe with a box of Salzburg's Mozart Cafe matches zipped away in an inside pocket. Good job, airport security.
Good job.
Megan said...

oh the poor thing. When Collin and I were boarding our plane to the UK from the US for our big move..we have two extra large suitcases, and two regular sized suitcases stuffed to the brim, and two other small carry-ons. We were hoping to be able to carryon two (because u can have one purse and one other carry on) and then check the two large ones...when we went to the check in ALL of our bags weighed over 50 lbs (the limit) and they were going to charge us 200 dollars to check we have to get out of line, and rearrange all of our luggage and re-distrbute the the crazed hassle collin put the cologne bottle in the carry-on. Needless to say his almost full, $200 cologne was confiscated.

and yes, I literally pulled almost my entire body weight in luggage through LAX, London heathrow, the underground, St. Pancrease train station, and Nottingham train station.

SO not looking forward to our treck home.

vintch said...

oh my goodness, dear! what a hassle, but so happy you ultimately made it to your beautiful, gorgeous destination! i had a little bottle of foaming face wash in my suitcase one time and i had to spray it on a little piece of paper to prove it was not hazardous. i'm certainly appreciative of all the security, but it still felt a bit silly:) enjoy your time in poland!

Mighty Burns said...

LOL I want you too keep flying but for my blog reading entertainment only .. if you dont mind ;) I have had the smae thing happen to me with shampoo that in a rush I out into the wrong bag. But look man I pack like a champ! Noone gets more in a bag than I, except maybe you lol. I also once had them REMOVE my very expensive large bottle of COCO Chanel and not put it back in the bag I packed it in.. it went ALL over my clothes for NY stained a lot of them.. however my bag still smells really good to this day (2 yrs ago)

Jan said...

Oh that's terrible about the shampoo that I got you!!!! Also the icing - I know how badly you wanted to ice the cake. Pretty picture in front of the Christmas tree.

k said...

YOU FLEW WITH MATCHES?! I flew with a lighter once. I'm sorry about your shampoo, that is awful. But face it, while they might not donate it to the poor, I am sure they kept it for themselves!! When I went through my big bath and body candle was looked at very suspiciously and tested..i was nervous!

Laura said...

Glad you're back in Poland!!

I've just been reunited with your blog and will now devoting the next 8 hours of my life to reading the adventures and witty words that have been missing in my life since September.

I'm going to mail you a travel sized luggage scale.

Anonymous said...

I love this post. I love your logic. Your absolute truths are wonderful.


Nice blog)cool!

Diana said...

what a nightmare. You have a great attitude, though about it. Don't let it get you down!

AbbieBabble said...

NO! I would have cried. A lot. And fought with airport security.

And they don't have tubs of frosting in Germany? That's just crazy!

Brooke T said...

hah the ending! I'm sorry that happened :( I hate airport security. I've never been out of the country though so I can't even imagine what kind of day that must have been!

Kayla said...

Awwww, that's the worst!!! And bad things are always so much more when you are traveling/jet lagged

kimbirdy said...

okay, first of all, i would devastated if they threw my nice shampoo/conditioner out too. especially if it was my nice stuff, and especially if it was full. i'm so sorry!!!

secondly, i didn't get to comment on the o'hare airport on your previous post, so i will say it here: Worst Airport Ever. i got stuck there overnight twice in the same trip with NO baggage. sucked!!

third, you are a fantastic writer and i love your blog!

Barbara said...

omg! that's terrible!! and about the matches, well that definitely made me laugh :)

kimbirdy said...

you have synesthesia?!!! that's awesome! we've totally just become best friends. :) i know a couple people who have it, but that's probably because i've made friends with a lot of artists, which is what a lot of synesthetes end up doing. i didn't know i experienced the world differently from others for a really long time. now that i know i'm different i've been rediscovering myself in beautiful ways instead of feeling like i'm weird {which is what i always thought as a kid}. i feel so happy for you! haha!

Jessi @ Life: The Epic Journey said...

Hi Jenni,
I was reading my friend Kelsi's blog and I saw that you started following her, so I thought I would check out your blog!

It's wonderful! Right now I am trying to work towards making "living in Europe" happen for me, I am so glad that you are able to experience it!


defining amy said...

oh my goodness. why is christmas just soooo much better in europe?? i swear they know how to do everything just right. love reading about your adventures over there.

ashley // chasing heartbeats said...

i brought back aveda liters of shampoo and conditioner after the holidays and would have been devastated too if the security had ended up with them :( SORRY! At least you and your luggage (minus a few items) made it there safely!
one time I checked my purse after a trip and realized I had pepper spray in my purse and i managed to fly to and from the states without it being discovered. oops.

E. Charlotte said...

I just stumbled on your blog and loved this post. What an experience! I was traveling once and left a small pocket knife in my carry-on. The security guard took it out and shook his head. It was a gift from my boyfriend of the time and was strangely very sentimental. I just couldn't leave it behind! I had to go through such a process to mail it to my home from the airport. What a mess! :)

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