airport thoughts

1. I really like the fact that the Austin airport restaurants are almost all local businesses. Mangia, Austin Java, Amy’s Ice Cream, Maudie’s. It will make it easier to find something to eat if I get hungry.

2. I’m looking at a seeing-eye dog right now (a yellow lab), and it makes me miss Maude a lot. I know she’s safe and comfortable at a friend’s house, but I wish she were here to keep me company while I wait for my flight. Which wouldn’t really make sense. She’d have to buy a cheap ticket to get through security, and then she’d have to drive my car back home after my flight left. If she could do that, I’d get her to pick me up from the airport, too.

3. My flight out of Austin is delayed by an hour and a half, but I had a three-hour layover in Newark anyway, so I should make it. According to the check-in lady, “Ooh, you’re one of the only ones who will be okay.” Good to know I’ll be okay, thanks.

4. I really hate the fact that the Austin airport has no water fountains. I had to fill my water bottle with hot sink water.

5. It’s been a long time since I’ve flown anywhere (December 2006, maybe?) and an even longer time since I’ve flown internationally (July 2004, Ecuador), so this trip has made me really nervous so far. Do I have everything? Did I turn off the stove? Will my plug adapters work? Where’s my passport? Oh god, I don’t know any German!

6. Since I’m traveling alone (I’m meeting a friend in Europe, but the packing and driving and flights and such are all me), all those worries and nerves are confined to the inside of my head, making me feel alone in a way I wouldn’t if I had a flight companion. I could say out loud, “Did I turn off the stove?” but nobody else has the answer.

Update: the seeing-eye dog is going to be on my plane!  I hope his seat is next to mine!

8 thoughts on “airport thoughts

  1. I like the fact that the Austin airport has BEER! And Amy’s ice cream. You can’t ask for much more when your 45 minute flight gets pushed back three hours.

  2. International traveling is just like riding a bike….a little wobbly at first, but otherwise you never really forget it! You’ll have great fun! Take lots of pics and tweet often!

  3. Most Germans speak at least a little English, and many speak it very well, so you will be fine, but here some useful phrases (Individual German vowels are pronounced roughly the same as in Spanish. ie sounds like ee and ei sounds like eye. Ch sounds mostly like ck.):
    Tut mir leid, ich spreche kein Deutsch. (doitch) I’m sorry, I don’t speak German
    Sprechen Sie (zee) Englisch? Do you speak English?
    Bitte – Both please and you’re welcome.
    Danke / danke schön (halfway between shown and shane) – Thanks / thank you
    Ein Bier, bitte – One beer please
    Was für (~foo-er) ein toller Hund! – What a great dog!
    Darf ich…? – May I…? and then make a petting motion or wave your camera or whatever.

    When using the old point-and-hold-up-fingers approach to ordering foot and drinks and whatnot, be aware that Germans start counting with the thumb, not the fingers. Holding up your forefinger may get you two of whatever.

  4. “I like the fact that the Austin airport has BEER!”

    Are there airports that actually don’t carry beer? Never run into one. That would be hell.

  5. I always wish Sophie was with me too…I start to miss her as soon as I walk out the door! I’m sure Maude will be delighted to see you when you get back. Have a great time!!

  6. It’s more a matter that at the Austin airport you can buy a bottled beer and then carry it to a communal eating area. I think you might even be able to take it up to the gate (didn’t try this, but I did not see signs indicating otherwise). You are not sequestered with your drink in a Chili’s restaurant with a waiter/ress like most airports I’ve been in.

    Have a good time in Europe, Alison!

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