Friday, March 11, 2016

Dulles to Frankfurt

Writing from the Frankfurt airport. We arrived in Frankfurt from an overnight flight from Dulles. Like most international airports it's huge. But some get the inter-facility transport (and restrooms) better than others. It took us an changed our gate apparently just to reroute the overcrowded gate we were intended to go to, eventually... so that an 2 coffee American + 2 croissant = $15! no creme for the 1/2 full cup of very dark brew. But they have recliners and free Wifi. Folks look a little more "grim" but are actually quite friendly.

Poor Phil - space between seat rows on Lufthansa is quite tight, thank goodness for the seat recliner's slide-forward mechanism or he'd have had to hold the seat back tray with one hand. We slept in doses, watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Not bad. Luke looks good in a beard and cloak. But why does the plot always revolve around absentee parents???

In the last hour of the flight, after breakfast, Phil struck up a conversation with the passenger to his left (Ana got the window seat), who is from Germany but works for its Pennsylvania based office doing systems work for a global crane supplier. They compared the two societies from various perspectives, including confirming the fairly common rumor that European workers get more vacation time than Americans. WAYYY more. Like 5-6 weeks vacation the first year of employment. Everyone gets healthcare. It was also important, somehow, to disavow Trump the Presidential Candidate. Really.

It will be cloudy and cold all our visit long.  $1.00 US buys .90 EUROs or 4 PLNs (Polish money). It was 84 degrees when we left Richmond yesterday afternoon. It was 41 when we landed in Frankfurt this morning.

Why are we traveling? A combination of conference, Wilayto family research, and tourism. The Social Forum Wroclaw, visits to Auschwitz-Berkinau Memorial Camps in Oswiecim and the Schindler Factory Museum in Krakow, and site-seeing in Wroclaw - the town of 300 apparently anti-communist "dwarves"?

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