7 day press junket in europe with as many countries as days there.
at the end of it had an hour before the plane departed. they suggested i hurry. double backed instead and do that thing i do. got some real air in my lungs outside then a run up to the club for my version of breakfast. they always have soup in frankfurt. i do these new compressed routines like it was a self challenge and a hobby.
in the long line now for passport control to leave germany. very long line. the officer puzzled over my over stamped little blue passport. it had long ago gotten filled up and was stamped in so many places other then the correct pages in attempts to find more room to allow a stamp. now resembled a piece of art. so i had extra pages stapled into it once the inside covers got filled too and now it makes no sense.
he: “when did you enter germany ? there’s no stamp.”
me: “um .. i forget .. no wait .. it was yesterday.”
he: (turning page after page) “but where is the stamp?”
me: “oh yeah .. i came in on a train from belgium .. a few days ago
he: (still thumbing pages. . . searching)
me: “ .. no wait .. not belgium .. it was amsterdam, and not on a train
… it was by plane. flew into berlin “
he: (his brow getting bunched. still no sign of a stamp and my plane leaves in 20 minutes.)
me: “ok. let me think … first i landed in dublin … no wait, that’s not right either, sorry .. it was paris .. then dublin .. i landed in paris .. then i went to london .. after a night in dublin ..then i went to belgium by train .. i think… yeah… then up to amsterdam the same day by train. . . yeah .. then i flew from there.“
he: ( something in german to another officer) “i don’t see any stamps”
me: “yeah .. the book is a mess … oh wait … i flew here in from sardinia yesterday. “
he: (looking defeated. tossed the book back to me.)
he was so confused. me too. him by the stamps, me by my life. when he finally let me pass, no one else was in line behind me anymore.
i bought 24 kinder eggs and then got to my big seat. it was the bulk head next to the sleeping pilots. i watched the movie ‘up in the air’. here i was again watching tv about airports and having my dinner sitting next to a sleeping pilot. i eat, breathe and sleep in airports and planes. if ‘crazy heart” jeff bridges were cast instead of clooney, kept his hat and guitar, it would be my life on film… and hopefully it’d still be a comedy.