Swapping Homes Anybody?

NOW THAT WE'VE WALKED THE WALK, WE CAN GIVE YOU THE STRAIGHT TALK ON HOME SWAPPING. (Season 6)

Downtown the world famous spa resort of Baden-Baden

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

“When somebody makes a journey, he has a story to tell”

The German poet Matthias Claudius in Urian’s Journey around the World coined what became a famous phrase in the German language. Oh, so true, as most will admit. I’ll spare you the details of an otherwise uneven full trans-Atlantic flight (thank God), except that I didn’t sleep one wink and everybody else was snoring. The guy in front of me couldn’t be shaken awake shortly before arrival. The flight attendant had to put his seat back in the upright position. That straightened him out.
"Could I have some of what he was having...?"
The scene upon arrival in a new unfinished Terminal in Dusseldorf practically took our breath away. The narrow unventilated hallways leading to passport control were mobbed by ca. 600-800 people. Four other planes had arrived at the same time. There was NO GETTING in LINE. Just a sea of heads and throngs of sweating, irritated bodies shoving along inch by inch encountering the oncoming work crew.  For hundreds of yards of corridors, down steps, more hallways and more steps to be greeted by 8 German officials who remained totally unfazed. Inconceivable at US Immigration where crowd control is managed with serpentine liens --like at Disney--and by some fierce immigration officers hollering at you: "Keep moving, Sir! Stay in line, Mam!"
The site resembled an evacuation scenario in a crisis area somewhere in the world, not my good old Germany.  This leg of the trip -plane to passport control took over an hour. Hope this picture tells the story. Some wondered about German efficiency. 
Seven hours later we arrived in a hotel at our destination and met up with our lovely exchange partners. We were zombies. They still had to face the flight to the US next morning.

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