With the COVID-19 pandemic I have started to go back and look at stories that started and yet never finished. So here is one about a fun weekend in Vienna but how it ended was not fun as you will see enjoy this little story of mine. At the time I was a complete chain smoker, smoking around 30 cigs a day I do not promote smoking at all….
We have all been there, we have gone out to celebrate a friends birthday the night before and perhaps over indullged just a bit, not getting home till the early hours of the next day.
So you kind of have the scenario there I was in Vienna staying with my sister and her husbad in their spare room, having gotten to bed at 5 am having had a very fun night indeed at a friends 30th. What I forgot to mention is that my sister has four young children, who wake up at 7am…you see where this is going yet?…so yes I got woken up at 7:30am with very sweet kisses, cuddles and being questioned as to why my eyes were so red…ahhh the innocence of youth.
The reason why they were up so early on a Sunday, is because the Austrians are a rather Catholic lot and one her children had some sort of ceremony in which they were central to the proceedings.
Anyway I am not one of those people who can go back to sleep after having been woken up, especially not after the amount of gin and tonic’s that I had guzzled down the night before.
They went to Church I went to the balcony to have the first of many large cups of coffee and to top up my nicotine levels. All whilst listening to Cigarettes and Coffee by Otis Reading a great track by all means go look it up. I then proceeded to play on my nephews Nintendo Switch for a couple of hours. I had heard much of Zelda Breath of the Wild and had been longing to try it out for my self.
Eventually after some nice family time and schnitzel over lunch we said our fond fair wells at Vienna airport. I could only count the hours till I returned to home, however I didn’t have a direct flight back to Nice I had to fly to Munich first. This is where things started to take a turn for the worse…still suffering from a sincere lack of sleep and a hangover which was ever increasing in severeity. The affects of the beer I had at lunch was starting to wear off. The first flight I had went with out too much drama, I did the standard bit of duty free shopping namely a carton of my favourite cigarettes Parisian Jaune and a Sacher Torte from Hotel Sacher (the worlds very best chocolate cake). I then proceeded to the smoking section till my flight departed having picked up a pretzel and a beer on route as one does.
The issues really started once I arrived in Munich airport, it all started with my plane being delayed by an hour. During this time it had begun to snow a bit, luckily I had my trusty travel companion with me, my fully charged Nintendo 3DS the utlimate time killer. All the while my hangover is getting progressively worse with the tiny pinch of a headache and the slight twist of nausea forming. At least Munich airport has plenty of well placed and spacious smoking sections, which allowed me at least enjoy my bad habbit. After waiting for a couple of hours to board my flight to Nice, by this time its closing on 8pm. I boarded the plane and made my self comfortable wanting to do nothing but sleep. We were informed that the plane needed to be defrosted which would take half an hour or so.
Fine so I put my headphones on and passed out…only to be woken up about an hour or so later expecting to wake up in Nice. To my shock the plane hadn’t left German soil, myself and my fellow passengers were informed by the pilot that the plane had been canceled due to a technical issue with the plane. You can only imagine what I was thinking at the time my language wasn’t PG. So instantly I grabbed my phone and low and behold I had an SMS with the same info and a link to where I could choose my replacement flight for the next day. I took a gamble and chose to be put on the waiting list for the morning flight.
At this point my hangover has grown to include slight nausea and a light shooting pain of a headache, the one where you can muscle your way through proceedings but it looks as if you have a nervous tick when the light changes.
We were escorted off the plane and lead towards a service counter where the line was full aparently ours wasn’t the only flight to be canceled. So of course I arrived at the very back of the queue (line for our American cousins). I can only imagine that at this point I was looking as bad as I felt, remember I was going on less than 3hrs sleep and its now close to 11pm. This is where I have to give the Lufthansa team in Munich airport every credit possible. They did all they could to make up for our flight being canceled. This included going up and down the queue with complimentary airplane snacks and bottles of water.
Having been rather stoic throughout keeping my English stiff upper lip I stood patiently waiting, just working my way through the queue. But at this point having stood for more than half an hour my aforementioned hangover took a turn for the worse. Leading me to ask one the Lufhansa staff for some pain pills as I briefly explained that I was hungover as all hell. As she dissapeared off, this is where I was reminded of the how great the human spirit is. As some of my fellow passengers had obviously over heard my plight hahaha, that and my false facade must have fallen off my face like a ton of bricks and took sympathy on me.Sympathy that I did not deserve in the slightest, but I was very grateful for, not that I doubt you couldn’t see how bad I was feeling at the time. Remember that body language accounts for roughly 93% of all communication. Infact I was being mothered by one of my fellow passengers. She just grabbed me and got someone to get off one of their chair so that I could sit down, I should also say that was the only chair in the area and I am big strong man in my 30's. I have to say was feeling rather embarresed by this point, because by all means she should have been sitting down…not me. Then my fellow passengers started to pass me high strength pain pills of all sorts. It was good to see that there seems to be a common understanding of what it is to have a bad hangover.
Okay and I might have been a bit cheeky, and used my charms on her to see if there was any way she could help me skip the queue as well. Hell you sometimes you have to play the game by the rule of “If you don’t ask you don’t get”. Any way to cut this long story mine short it worked and I was lead by the Lufthansa employee to the front of another queue at a desk that had just been opened grabbing what was likely one of the few complementary hotel rooms left. This was pre-pandemic so hotels were at their normal busy state. This was one of the worst and at the same time most memorable journeys I have taken in my life.