Hamburg Trip Report

Instead of flying out of my usual Gibraltar airport I had to head about an hour up the coast to Malaga to catch my flight. The problem with Gibraltar is that you can fly anywhere in the world from Gibraltar as long as you’re going through London. All Gib flights except for a very limited Gib/Madrid route go to either Luton, Gatwick (most), or Heathrow.

Unfortunately, the quickest route to Hamburg is Malaga to Frankfurt to Hamburg. So off to Malaga I go.

At check-in I got stuck behind this family of Germans that pressed the boundaries of what’s socially acceptable. They were just annoying when they kept unpacking their bags in line and moving stuff from one suitcase to the other but daddy German guy decided that before he left the sunny south of Spain and headed back to cold and gray Germany he would change from shorts to slacks. Literally this guy dropped his shorts in the middle of the check-in line, in a crowded airport, and put on a pair of slacks. I mean, we were at least 20 minutes from the counter. He could have gone to a restroom and done his striptease act but he did it right in line with women and children all looking on. What a jackhole.

I can only imagine what this guy thinks is appropriate in places less public than the middle of an international airport. Granted, Malaga isn’t exactly LAX but my point stands.

From 1987 – 1990 I lived about an hour outside of Frankfurt in a small little town called Wiesbaden. I was in the US Army and there was a small army base there. Wiesbaden is known, if at all, for the Air Force hospital there where everybody who’s injured east of NYC is sent to. The 52 American hostages in Iran were shipped directly to the hospital in Wiesbaden upon release. In fact, a wing of the hospital is dedicated to them.

What I’m trying to say is that I’ve spent some time in the country before and I used to be able to semi-speak the language. I was far from fluent but I could say what I needed to say and could understand the language far better than I could speak it. Languages are a funny thing and I’m not sure if I process languages in some perverted form but if I hear a word I can immediately associate it with the definition but if I have to think about what I’m saying I can’t always call up the word. For instance, if you asked me what the German word for pharmacy was I would draw a blank. But if I hear the word or see it written I know immediately what it means without any translation going on in my head. The German word is as clear to me as the English word.

Anyway, that’s my way of saying that it was kind of interesting to be in the back of a taxi and being able to understand road signs, billboards, and business signs even if you would have stuck a gun to my head and asked me how to say those words in German just five minutes before.

It hasn’t gotten cold in Gibraltar yet so the crisp air was a little unexpected. But being a California native I kind of dig that fall/winter chill. The trees are filled with orange and brown leaves and you get to experience something other than an endless summer (yeah, I know, boo-hoo).

Not much to talk about in terms of what we did there. No sightseeing or anything. Saturday morning we had an event to host. Good turnout and I met some interesting folks.

Sunday was back on a plane to Malaga.