Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Notes from Berlin's airport 

I'm quite early for my flight to Zurich. So early, in fact, that the
relevant Lufthansa desk isn't open to accept my bag and bestow my seat.
Naturally, I wanted to use my time efficiently, so I went to a food stand
and bought a beer. One of the great things about Germany is that you can
drink a beer before noon, in public, without looking like a drunk.

You see interesting things when you travel. To my right, there is a gaggle
of French businessmen, trying to order food in French. The woman behind the
counter understands not a word, but responds in English, apparently under
the assumption that if they aren't speaking German they must speak English.
They do, so French businessmen traveling in Germany get the job done with
our language.

To my left, a young fellow and his girl friend are eating cheese sandwiches.
This is interesting only because the bread is a giant soft pretzel, sliced
horizontally. I suppose this is no more surprising to a German than a bagel
sandwich is to an American, but I confess that I have never considered the
possibility of a pretzel sandwich.

Finally, I notice from my perch that Tegel airport is less "mallified" than
other airports here, or in the United States. However, among the small
number of shops there are two that are a tad unusual for an airport: a
florist (people fly with flowers?) and a racy lingerie shop. Is Berlin's
airport a rendezvous for liasons dangereux?What's the deal?


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