Friday, May 6, 2011

Sleepless in Quakenbruck

The hours before my delayed 1:10pm flight pass easily in the Amsterdam Airport.  I decide to wait by the gate.  But I can't find it.  Gates 15-30 one way, Gates 10-14 another, Gates 1-7 somewhere else.  Where are 08 and 09?  Near the security exit of the Terminal, there is a smallish sign that says, "Gates 08-09 -->" pointing to a door sealed with a key-card lock.  An employee comes along, opens the door, and when I try and follow he says, "No, no."  Apparently, the door to Gate 09 doesn't open until an hour before the flight leaves.

Sometime later I return with the door open, and descend a flight of stairs to the secret gate.  We bus to the plane, and I realize my sense of déjà vu stems from the fact that Andrew and I were delayed to this same gate a year ago.  Uneventful Flight.

In Munster I head to the help-ish desk to find my delayed flight luggage, making friends with the old German woman I saw back in Frankfurt being delayed to the same flight.  To my astonishment, the luggage followed my progress perfectly and I walk out in time to catch the 2:30pm bus.  But the bus costs money, and there's no Currency Exchange in this airport either.  I ask around, find a Geldautomat, and bus to Osnabruck.

Nadine meets me at the stop, and we bus to the secondary campus--which I remember from the barbecue party last year--where I meet Dr. Figura.  He drives me to Quackenbruck--which I learn comes from the onomatopoeia of the German frog croak, "Quack," (I don't mention we think that's what ducks say, but I do say we think frogs go 'ribbet' [much smaller frogs in Florida]) and the "Bruck" which means "bridge," together referring to the noise made by crossing a bridge sounding like a frog (he didn't show me a specific bridge so I don't know if it's a certain place)--while I try to stay awake.

He drives me all around Quackenbruck--literally, the whole town--in under an hour while pointing out restaurants and shops.  He shows me where I live, and how to get to DIL.  I'll show you in a picture, there are signs up in the shape of arrows so I can't get lost on the way to work, they knew I was coming.  Inside DIL I meet several people and the janitor/caretaker, who hands me the keys (1 for the outer door, same for the inner door, 1 for my door, 1 for the balcony [really], and 1 for the mailbox [I'd say, 'send me letters,' but I'm not sure of my address]) and shows me around my new home.  It's quite nice--I'll send pictures--and he proceeds to show me around town.  All of it.  Again.

But, I'm tired and probably need to see it again to remember anything, so I welcome it.  He shows me the train station, which I'll need tomorrow (this morning), and a local pub where we drink a coffee.  He leaves, and I realize what my room is missing.  A closet.  (more on that later.)

I spend the rest of my time that night trying to unpack while fighting waves of intense sleepiness.  I manage, mostly, and go to bed early enough to wake up at 7:00am the next morning.  You'll see why soon.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting pictures on FB. Between your excellent writing and informative images, I am getting a sense of what your life is like in the new place. Get the address of your flat and post it. Many of us would be glad to surprise you with mail from time to time!