Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Gallivanting, German-Style

Merhaba!  Or, perhaps since this post is about Germany I should be saying, Guten-tag!  Today marks the two-week mark that Michael has been in Germany, and Arion and I have definitely felt his absence.  I'm afraid to say that between the two of us, he has probably had much more to blog about than I  and without question has had far less time.  His travels to Germany were strained, to say the least.  He decided to take "the behemoth", my giant orange suitcase that can pack 150 lbs of clothes and belongings. It seemed perfect for the job, since Michael is going to be gone for six weeks in the very cold Germany.  His TDY orders allowed him a certain amount of weight for his travels and he was careful to pack just that amount. 

His troubles began at the airport.  While his luggage was within the limits of the military standards, it was too heavy for the commercial airline.  It was above even the over-sized luggage requirement, so after much deliberation the airport personnel kindly told Michael to get rid of x-amount of weight in his bag.  When questioned where he should put it, the man shrugged. 

Once that debacle was settled it was time to fly to Germany.  Michael being the planner he is had a reservation for a shuttle from the airport to the base he needed to report to set up ahead of time.  He was also traveling with several other people, one of which had been allowed access to a rental car.  The plan was that he would take the shuttle, and the individuals in the car would follow the shuttle to the base.  When they landed in Germany, Michael’s shuttle was nowhere to be found.  After much waiting, calling and questioning he was told his shuttle was waiting for him on the other side of the airport.  By the time he got there, it had left.  He called the shuttle company and they confirmed he had just missed the shuttle and the driver was off for the night; and the company was closed.  He attempted calling the other two shuttle companies and got the same response.  When he returned to the place where his travel-partners were waiting, it became apparent that they assumed he found his shuttle and was on his way to the base and decided that they had better do the same.  At this point it was very late and Michael had two options.  Take a cab, which he was specifically told not to do, because he would only be reimbursed 40 euro, or sleep at the airport and catch a shuttle the following morning.  It had been a very long day and night for Michael and after much contemplation, decided to take the cab.  Traveling from the airport to base in Germany via cab is not easy on the pocket.  It’s not even hard on the pocket, its worse.  I’m not going to name a dollar amount, but it is very clear why his orders specified to not take a cab. 

Michael’s not-so-trusty cab driver did take him to a base.  Unfortunately, not the correct base.  When he learned he was at the incorrect base, he then had to get on another cab and pay more euros for a cab to the correct destination. 

The start to NCO Academy did not begin well; however my husband does have a very positive attitude, and was feeling somewhat better then next day when I was able to talk to him.  Because Michael is a Master Sergeant Select, and the rest of the class with the exception of one other student are Tech Sergeants Michael is a group leader.  On top of knowing and studying everything for his class, Michael is also responsible to make sure the other students in his group understand the assignments as well as organizing study groups.  He seems to have a good group, so this is an immense advantage to him. 

At this point, Michael has been studying hard and has been managing his course work well.  I am very pleased Michael is completing this big career requirement, but I do miss my husband already and look forward to his return.  

1 comment:

  1. I'm sorry that happened with his luggage and the wrong base :( bummer but he'll be home soon! We were stationed at Spangdahlem AFB (I think it's been closed) and we lived just off the base. I went to Trier Elementary School. Good times.