Friday, 12 December 2008

Flight from Nazi Germany

It was like a scene from The Great Escape, but with aeroplanes instead of motorbikes.

I am writing this while waiting to board a flight from Schonefeld Airport in Berlin to Luton Airport in “London”. Luton is not in London, of course. It is in Bedfordshire. This always amuses me – once, an American tourist asked me, during a flight, how to get from Luton Airport to Oxford Street.
“Go to London, fatty”.

Anyway, the train journey to the airport should have been simple, but weirdly, someone decided to privatise the train service, seemingly during my journey.
The ticket Nazi demanded three extra Euros. This has never happened before, and the only money I had with me was a bunch of English coins.
I might have missed the flight, but the guy I was standing next to – a friendly Kurdish man named Karpox – bought my ticket for me. I gave him one of my books in return. If you’re reading this Karpox, thanks again.

But I wasn’t out of Hitler’s grasp yet. Unknown to me, my luggage contained two – TWO! – cigarette lighters. And this was against whatever law that they had just made up.

Actually, most bombs have two fuses that have to set off simultaneously.

No they don’t.

I was told by security staff at the airport that that gas from the lighters might “escape”. Two lighters would do untold damage. Not one though. Just two.

So the woman stole my stuff, and it was “problem solved”. Stealing really is breaking the law (as opposed to taking a second lighter onboard a plane). Although the woman who stole my stuff was Steven Seagal in the 1988 film “Above The Law”, so that’s OK then.

But still the ordeal was not over (and it still isn’t. I’m scribbling this on the back of my boarding pass).

Burger King! A Whopper Junior with cheese please, at only a slightly criminal exchange rate.

Burger King at the airport has a new law too, presumably so they won’t feel left out. What is this law? No coins. Just notes. I had the correct money in coins, but they refused to serve me. I’m going to write to Burger King about this. Arseholes.

At least I could find the smoking section. Except I couldn’t, because smoking here seems to be against the law too. When I pointed out that the German government is polluting the Middle East with depleted uranium that has a half-life of half a million years (which might even be true) and that these people shouldn’t tell us Allies what to do, the guy just shrugged.

There is no trial by jury in Germany, and you really can end up in prison for simply saying the wrong thing at the wrong time to the wrong person. Just ask Sylvia Stoltz, lawyer for Holocaust denier Ernst Zundel. Stoltz got a three and a half year prison sentence for simply repeating her client’s claims. Although before she was dragged off to the cells, she did make a rather outrageous and goading comment, telling everyone that she thought the Holocaust was “the biggest lie in the history of the world”. Steady on, Sylvia! Mad or not, these people should be either debated or ignored, not locked up. Remember, this comes from a country that started a second world war after PROMISING not to only a few years earlier. Etc.


Two people just stood up in the waiting area, and within a minute, everyone in the room was on their feet, holding their bags. But we are not boarding yet. I am still sitting here, and have just said “Why are you all standing? It isn’t musical chairs. The last one in line doesn’t have to cling to the wheels.” Ten minutes later, only one person decided to sit back down. People are idiots.

P.P.S I love Germany really. I have to say that or they’ll arrest me next time I go there.