Day 2 – Victoria to Prague Part 2

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Getting Around, Prague
Tags: , ,

If there really is a hell, we have found it… Lufthansa flight 9432 from Vancouver to Prague… And it all started so innocently.

After grabbing a couple of cookies from Starbucks and hustling back to the boarding gate it was time to board our plane. Stepping onto the plane (a spiffy new Airbus A320 if I recall correctly) noticed that is one of the first planes we’ve flown on that had a true “first class” section – us economy class peons didn’t even get to walk through it – but we could glimpse its hallowed halls as we boarded. I have issues with the whole class distinction thing at the best of times but the class distinctions in flying really get my goat… As Marie pointed out, if they spread that extra square footage around for all the passengers we’d all be more comfortable. But I digress. Back to the flight.

We boarded. The plane was really new. The seats seemed comfortable enough (an illusion that would be shattered in the hours to come), the entertainment system excellent (like iPads mounted on the back of the seat in front of you) and the selection of movies first rate… With stereotypical German efficiency, we started moving exactly on time and all seemed well. We settled in to our various entertainments (I started watching Captain America – The Winter Soldier, Marie started a documentary on grizzly bears, Caitlin started watching Broadchurch – the original British series that was the inspiration for the Grace Point series that filmed in Victoria this winter) and waited for dinner… drinks.

And this is when things started to go downhill. Dinner was interesting – a chicken and polenta dish with a bun, a teeny tiny little salad Dinnerand a brownie-like dessert square. I’m no expert but I always thought polenta was supposed to have a cornbread-like consistency not an oatmeal-like one. And I’m not sure that the Asian-influenced sauce for the chicken was a good match for the polenta-like substance. And broccoli at 39,000 ft seems like a bad digestive decision. The worst part, though, by far was the Warsteiner beer (a solid 3 on my 10 point rating scale, a middle of the road 3 from Caitlin and a “that’s disgusting” from Marie). The Germans do a lot of things well… Warsteiner is not one of them.

After dinner, Marie and Caitlin decided to go for a “walk” to stretch their legs. Whereupon Marie’s foot was literally run over (has the bruise to prove it) by the flight attendant pushing her drink cart… No apology even. And then, to make matters even worse, the flight attendants coming around later offering cognac or Bailey’s missed Marie (at least they came down her side of the plane, they didn’t even offer it to our side of the plane). Marie was willing to overlook the crushed foot but being snubbed on a glass a free Bailey’s was too much. Lufthansa had two strikes and we weren’t even out of Canadian air space yet. I particularly loved the realization that there were 4 washrooms on board for the hundreds of economy class peons such as us… All in the middle of the plane… The line-up for the loos stayed 5-6 deep for almost an hour after dinner…

Then it was time to sleep. Ummm… No… Not going to happen. Those comfortable-seeming seats? Not. Especially when the people in front of you recline… Literally into your lap… I could not work on the blog during the flight because neither my 11″ macbook air or an iPad would fit on the tray table when the dude in front of me reclined… And while we’re on the topic of reclining… It’s sort of like backing up your car. Look behind you first and then go slowly. Or take the approach practiced by the dude in front of me… remember that cheesy 70s movie about a cross-country race where one guy rips off his rearview mirror and proclaims “what is in ah behind me is not ah my problem”? Yeah. Same guy.

Between uncomfortable seats, no room to take a full breath let alone shift position, a crying kid (he was actually really good but he did cry and that’s never a good thing), a guy with one of those really gurgly, phlegmy coughs – you know the ones that sound like the guy’s drowning in his own snot, a couple who kept opening their blind to discover that yes, the sun really is still shining, and the incessant roar of the engines, the air conditioner and the gates of hell beckoning you in, we did not sleep well. But at least they would be feeding us breakfast!

Ah. Breakfast. The most important meal of the day. Unless you’re Lufthansa then it’s an opportunity to desecrate the simplest of all morning repasts – bacon and eggs. Breakfast The bacon was fine (it’s pretty hard to screw up bacon after all) but the eggs… oh god! the eggs… I had to double check mine because those sure looked like a couple of mould spots to me (turned out it was just the dehydrated parsley they added for colour). I should have assumed it was mould and passed. I have never (even after years of eating dehydrated eggs while backpacking) experienced eggs with this texture… I think they might actually have been the left over polenta from earlier mixed with a binding agent… like glue… To this was added another roll with some butter and jam (interesting combo) and a small yogurt… It was best to just shovel the food in and try not to taste it… At least I only had to taste my once…

After breakfast, we watched the remaining flight time tick down. And that’s when I noticed that Marie was bouncing in her seat. I’ve known Marie a long time and that means one of two things – she’s either got to pee really badly or she’s not feeling well… There was no line-up for the bathroom so it had to be the latter – that and the incredible green tinge to her complexion… Looking around frantically for a barf bag, we discovered that Lufthansa is so confident in their flying that they don’t supply them… or maybe that’s only for the first class passengers. Fortunately there was a plastic bag in the seat back and kudos to Marie – she managed to puke up her dinner and breakfast into a tiny little plastic bag without spilling a drop or drawing the attention of a single other passenger. It was an Oscar worthy performance. And the award for best stealth puke on a crowded international flight goes to – Marie Doherty!  Caitlin would like to point out that it wasn’t very stealthy for her as Marie was basically puking in her lap… It was only the complete lack of another puke bag that kept Caitlin’s breakfast where it belonged. Marie was not a happy camper and it is a testament to her good nature and even temper that she didn’t punch out a flight attendant or first-class passenger while exiting the plane… Marie’s only comment on what shall henceforth be known as “the Munich pukefest” was “what a waste of a perfectly good chai tea latte”.

After that, it was time to make our way through the Munich airport to find our departure gate for the flight to Prague. We cleared customs without a hitch, made our way back through security (where my camera gear was quite heavily scrutinized – turn it on, show the screen worked, open up both ends of each lens, etc.) and then through the maze of twists and turns to our gate. Where Marie and Caitlin promptly stretched out and fell asleep… I just sweated. It appears that the Munich airport was built in anticipation of a prolonged period of global cooling… Air conditioning was not an option apparently. Normally a delayed flight is cause for groans… In Marie’s case, I think she actually cheered a little… But all good things must come to an end and soon we were boarding for our last flight of the day. The good news is that it was only a 30 minute flight (for some reason we thought it was a 70 minute flight) and all went smoothly…

We touched down in Prague. Picked up our luggage (it was actually on the carousel before we got there – a first in all our flying experiences) and grabbed a taxi for our pension. We settled in (translation, crashed on the beds for a power nap) and then dragged ourselves up and out for something to eat… We didn’t make it out for long… Jet lag, no sleep, nausea… it was all Marie could do to walk a couple of blocks, plop down in a seat, eat a bit and then make it back to the room where Caitlin and Marie promptly crashed (at 8pm local time) while I went back out to take few pictures and explore a bit… But I didn’t make it much longer.

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Comments
  1. how long is your trip to prague for? waiting to read more 🙂 but this time more about Prague.. 🙂

  2. sorry i did not see your “grand plan” before i typed my previous comment… waiting to read more on Prague!

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