Back in Germany again. We flew with Ryanair. We didn’t expect great customer service but it does seem like they go out of their way to be extra crap. Well you get what you pay for, I suppose – cheap ‘n’ nasty, as we used to say. I am not known for obsessive cleanliness, but the plane really was grubby. I say plane, and not planes, because we definitely had the same machine to and from Manchester. We know this because the lump of chewing gum on the back of seat 32B on the way out was still there a week later on the way back. It was a little less moist on the way back but definitely the same piece. Still, first world problems. We got back safely albeit a couple of hours late.
We had two light-hearted moments with security and customs. On the way out of Manchester one of the security staff told us all that once we got through the scanner there was a one-hour delay and we would all miss our flights. This was slightly alarming. After a comic pause, he then continued “unless you put all your liquids in a little plastic bag and take your laptops out too.” He was then pretty pleased with himself and proclaimed “got you there!” to the queue. When people ask me what I like about England I always say the everyday humour that you get when you least expect it.
One of the places you least expect anything amusing to happen is at the Stuttgart Airport Passport Control desk. When we proferred out passports the policeman behind the counter looked at my photograph and commented “oh, you’ve been to the hairdressers” in German. It is true that on my passport photo there was a vague shadow on the top of my head which did suggest that there had once been a thin covering of fluff up there, but now I have a fairly shiny dome like proper a proper bald should. I didn’t quite catch the joke so I had to crouch down to the little hole in the security glass for him to repeat it. This time in English. I gave a polite chuckle. What really threw me is that his delivery was completely deadpan. Germans don’t normally do deadpan when making jokes, but they are learning.
Considering how miserable air travel has become, I was quite encouraged to have left England with a joke and to arrive in Germany to a joke. Neither of which were particularly funny, but that’s not the point. At least we’re trying.