I guess one can say I took my sweet time in between the posts about my trip, but to be honest, a lot of those memories are still a blur. So I decided to write about the trip when something comes to mind, like right now about how we lost our connection in Munich.
The flight from Bucharest to Munich went better than I expected. Although the flight was only a little over an hour, we spent it talking to a funny group of Texan young adults (in Romania to teach English to Romanian students). I know, right? What are the odds to find yourself halfway across the world, in a plane from Bucharest to Munich and be surrounded by fellow Americans. Comes to show how little our world really is.
Once arrived in Munich, we said goodbye to our newfound friends and off we went to find our gate. We were told by several airport employees to go to terminal 1, not knowing that there’s where our troubles began. After the shuttle buss dropped us, we went through a maze –I’m not kidding–maze of corridors, gates and check points, making our way to gate 17. We still had time for breakfast, stroll through duty free stores until boarding was announced.
As we waited to be boarded, my eyes fell on the display flickering our flight and I found odd that instead of Lufthansa there was EasyJet airline. Then looked at my boarding ticket and saw that the flight number didn’t match the one on the display, only the departure time and destination.
I’ve rarely felt as if the rug was pulled from underneath my feet, but that’s the best way to describe how I felt. Never lost a connection in my life. Never thought not one, but several airport employees can be that… well, I really don’t have a name for it, unless I’m willing to call them something bad. For crying out loud: I show you a boarding pass and you send me to a wrong terminal???
We made our way back to terminal 2 as our Lufthansa flight took off. At that time I was livid and sick to my stomach worrying about having to buy new tickets, and losing our train connection from Rome to Verona. Pat kept telling me to breathe deeply and accept the fact that was nothing I could do to change what just happened. Trust me, breathing exercises never helped that much as then. I managed to calm somewhat until, explaining to the Lufthansa rep how we lost our connection she said in an arrogant and dismissive tone, word for word: “That’s the most stupid thing I’ve heard in thirteen years working on this airport. Who here would direct you wrongly?”
With my minds eyes I saw myself reaching over the counter and grabbing a handful of her shirt, saying, “You call me a liar and stupid???”, but instead I said, “Ma’am, as much as your airport is a nice venue, I would rather travel to my destination. Hanging out on an airport is not my kind of fun time.”
Pat stepping on my foot made me pause and take my eyes off the Lufthansa rep, long enough to take yet another deep breath. I should’ve inhaled enough oxygen by now, enough to transform it in smoke puffing out of my ears but boy, I was aching to wrinkle that woman’s starched collar.
Somehow I managed to be civil. Fifteen minutes and two phone calls later we had brand new tickets that costed us only $105.00 each. If all worked out well, we’d make it to our train connection on time.
Eventually anger and frustration drained out of me, leaving me exhausted. The entire time we waited Pat and I talked and, the more we talked, the deeper in conversation we went. Like to survivors on an island we shared plans, dreams, memories–we talked so much and I have to say, there was nothing that could make me happier than my kid sharing so much of him. There’s a glow in Pat’s eyes when he talks about himself, a glow that makes the blue in his eyes so intense and so alive.
In looking back I do wonder if all of that happened because he and I had to talk. Not just any talk, but deep talk, the kind of talk that makes one vulnerable but also so, so human. The kind of talk where all masks fall and one’s heart and soul are out there in plain light, without holding back.
I always considered myself incredibly lucky to have a great relationship with my kid, but for some reason that talk we had waiting for our flight taking us from Munich to Rome, made me realized, my kid is not a kid anymore, but a young man making his way into adulthood, having incredible plans for the future. It also made me realized how much more mature he is now compared to myself at his age, but most importantly that, if I were to go tomorrow, I’m leaving behind a great legacy, a man who I have no doubt will make his way through life in a healthy, solid, clear, strong manner; that whenever life will throw curves and hurdles his way, he has the tools he needs to go through them all.
When time came to leave, I remember finally buckling my belt on the plane taking us to a brand new adventure. Pat reached over and kissed the top of my head, then interlaced his finger with mine. “Thanks, mom,” he said. “What for?,” I replied. He smiled and pushed his side onto mine. “For listening.”