Returning to the UK was not as trouble-free as the journey to Dusseldorf. The situation I am about to describe was exacerbated by the fact I had enjoyed a lot of beer – we drank small beers until 0400, which meant we had only a few hours of sleep before breakfast finished! Fortunately, hunger was not a issue as we found ourselves in a McDonalds at 0100. Like Tenerife, there’s at least one thing on the McDonald’s menu that we don’t’ get here in the UK…I had a bacon jalapeno big mac thing – it was wicked, the jalapenos really set it apart from the tastelessness of big macs in the UK.
I travelled by British Airways so I enjoyed the benefits on on-line check-in, 24 hours before departure. I was able to choose my seats and print my boarding passes at home. Luckily, the Dusseldorf IBIS hotel that I was staying in offered free Internet access. So, after the conference and after copious quantities of beer, I made sense of the German keyboard and printed some board passes for my return journey. That was at around about 0105 on Friday 28th. At 0242, British Airways “eService” sent me a text message advising me that flight from Dusseldorf to London Heathrow had been cancelled. British Airways were pretty good and got me booked on a later flight to Heathrow and managed to change my “unchangeable” ticket such that British Midland would take me from Heathrow to Edinburgh. Anyway, I suppose it was good of them to send me a text message, albeit I did not receive it until 1100.
Killing time at Dusseldorf Airport
So, I had five hours to kill in Dusseldorf Airport. I could have jumped on a train back to Dusseldorf and taken some time over a few of the sites, however the weather was looking threatening (visions of angry clouds waving fists at us springs to mind). I chose to stay in the airport, there are plenty of shops, it wasn’t too hard to kill a couple of hours window shopping. Some of the remaining time was spent just people watching and typing up the text of a few blog entries. Which reminds me, I must get myself an offline blogging tool such as BlogJet or w.Bloggar (as recommended by Scott Hanselman over here.) Of course, I also had my generic MP3 player loaded with tunes – the DJ, Andy Kafouros, at the after-show party last night played Juanes, which happens to be on my playlist. As it happens, I’m also listening to Summer Holiday Hits which contains a great selection of late 80′s and early 90′s tunes that take me back to Malta: tunes like Culture Beat’s Mr Vain, Laura Branigan’s Self Control, Balitimore’s Tarzan Boy (yes, for real, that was a super summer tune) and the epic Life is Life by Opus.
Baggage on another airplane
My baggage did not follow me home. It decided to get on the British Midland flight that left Heathrow after mine. No major problem, I can live without a bag of laundry! The bag was couriered to me on Saturday…annoyingly one of the compartments had been opened and the contents had vanished. Whilst the item that is missing is of little monetary value, it would be nice to get it back – it was the lanyard for my first international conference.