I’m in Frankfurt, and have a couple hours’ layover until my flight to Budapest. My flight over was fine, as uneventful as one could hope for.


The view from the plane– we didn’t land at a terminal, but instead took a bus in

This airport is huge. I’ve been here before– once or twice before– and my overwhelming impression of the place was that it’s gigantic. Given that they have something like 80 flights an hour, I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise. And they’re to everywhere: on the same board you see flights to Singapore, Denver, Dakar, Moscow, and Miami, all leaving within twenty minutes of each other.

One of my colleagues loves Frankfurt, but he flies first class, and thinks quite highly of the service he gets; I’m in a somewhat different league.


Lots and lots of flights

It still feels enormous, but it feels a bit friendlier than in the past. I think it’s that this time I didn’t go through a security gate that had guys with machine guns hanging around. That’ll really make a relationship feel formal. I also remembered this time that the protocol is a bit different than in either the UK or US: you’re supposed to completely empty your pockets (including wallet, passport, paper, etc.), but you keep your shoes on.


Don’t remind me that it’s almost 1 in San Francisco

I went ahead and went over to my gate, which was a bit of a tactical error: I’m now trapped here, with only a little take away thing for sustenance. Fortunately I’m not all that hungry, but it’s a caution to not be too hasty about leaving the international shopping area, despite its overwhelming number of handbag, liquor, and perfume stores, and proceeding to the gate. At least the Diet Cokes there only cost two Euros, rather than three here.


The red awning of the Take Away

I can see a wireless network here, and it only costs double the already high SFO rate. Ah, the romance of travel. Still, I think I’ll go online briefly, if only to post a couple things and download my e-mail. There’s no way any of my friends are going to be online. Distance may be conquered by the Internet, but time zones are still an undeniable reality. On the upside, I found a table beside an electrical outlet, and had the good sense to bring my two-pin European plug, so I can watch Firefly without running down the batteries.


A display of fine watches, with a statue of a reclining Goethe visible in the background, just to the right of center

On the flight over I ran into a consultant who occasionally works with the Institute. He’s on his way to Croatia for a few days, and I think we’re going to be on the same flight back to the States next week. Small world.

Actually, the wifi isn’t working for me, so I’m not going to upload anything, I guess. But I wonder if I should go get a seat. That would be a good idea, I think.

[To the tune of Yoshinori Sunahara, “Summer,” from the album “Take Off and Landing”.]

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