Monday, September 1, 2014

From Amsterdam to Saint Paul

I am home in Saint Paul again after a bit more than nine weeks in Europe. Believe me, coming home is as much a culture shock as leaving! I left Poland on Saturday afternoon, but not without making a mistake on the KLM kiosk. I thought the question was about how much luggage being checked when in fact it was about having a passport. So I had to wait in a line to show I had a passport and get a boarding pass. Other than that my trip between Warsaw and Amsterdam went smoothly, but I was very tired.

Got to Citizen M hotel at Schiphol Airport and couldn't check in. Turns out I had badly confused the computer when I made two reservations for the same night. This all stems back to when plans were up on the air in early June. I couldn't find any evidence of having made a reservation for my August return, so did it again. The attendant at the computer check-in area was very helpful, sorted out everything. The next morning I went brain dead again and left my hotel card at the cashier's desk -- for I was trying to juggle a plate of food, a cup of cappuccino, and my Kindle all at the same time--having figured that out I simply walked away! Went back to ask about it and it was all bundled up waiting for me.

Went to check in for the plane about 10:00 and then had to do the baggage drop. Had about an hour to wait before checking in at the gate. At the Amsterdam airport the security check is done at the gate. Got a funny question: the security agent at the end of the usual questions asked if I happened to having chewing gum. I don't know if he wanted some or this is really a security question!

The trip home seemed long, long, long -- the flight being about 8.5 hours due to some headwinds. On the plane as usual we were given the usual paper form to fill out for customs and immigration. Then inside the terminal we find computer kiosks that gather then same information. These were not there when I returned in May, so the Automated Passport Control (APC) is a new feature. I had to make a second stop for agricultural inspection because I was bringing home tulip bulbs for a friend.

All this done I took the light rail home -- home to an apartment I had lived in only one week before leaving this summer. My granddaughter, who lives with me, was at work, but had left the apartment in sparkling clean condition.

This all is quite mundane, but some mundane things are part of life. And the heading on this blog promises mundane once in awhile.  

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