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When things go wrong: my trip to the Intermot

My trip to the Intermot was a lot of fun, but at times also quite stressful. Not a lot went according to plans, and at times I’d wish for a less adventurous life.

 

I was supposed to fly to Cologne on Saturday to meet my friend Dennis, but on Friday in the gym I dislocated my knee. It has happened before, too, and I figured I’d be able to move if I just waited for a while. However, as I was unable to take a step after 45 minutes, they had to call an ambulance.

After the ambulance ride I waited 4 hours in the emergency as they checked that nothing is broken, gave me some painkillers and sent me home. I still wasn’t able to take a step, so my friend Renni promised to give me a lift to home via a pharmacy to get my meds and crutches. Luckily (?) his g/f Katja also had a busted leg, so I was able to borrow her crutches to move about.

They picked me up at around 8. Most pharmacies were already closed, but after one failed attempt, we found one that was open. They didn’t have crutches, however. There was another nearby that was open to 9, but they had decided to close at 8.57, and just waved us off. Surprisingly shouting at them didn’t change their minds. Eventually we found one that was open 24/7, and they even had crutches.

As I got home, I realized I still wasn’t really able to pack, so that would have to wait until the morning. My flight was at 7 and I woke up at 4, in order to make it. As I was still mostly unable to move, I decided I wouldn’t even try to get to the airport and headed back to bed.

 

Luckily, the knee got better during the day, and I was able to start moving about. Mind you, on my trip to the supermarket, I was overtaken by approximately 150-year-old lady in a fashion not unlike Troy Corser overtaking John McGuinness at this year’s Goodwood Revival. Still, the knee kept getting better, so on Sunday I decided to book another flight to Cologne, to make the Intermot.

I was flying from Tallinn via Riga and Stockholm. In Stockholm I realised I’d fly with the same plane as my Swedish co-worker Linus. We were waiting for the flights and enjoying refreshments, as there was a first notification of delay, and they just kept coming. We were supposed to meet other co-workers at the airport and share a ride to the Indian presentation, which was to be held that evening. Eventually they headed out without us, but we made it with a taxi, but only minutes to spare.

 

The foot kept getting better and better, and the bike show itself went without problems. I was actually impressed about people’s politeness towards a person with a crutch – I’m seriously thinking about starting to use one on a daily basis.

Tuesday was full off press presentations, but on Wednesday I met with Alan, whom I hung out with after getting press kits and photographing all that was to be photographed. Things started to go wrong again, however, as while having a bratwurst, I nearly chocked on the dry bun they served with it. Just before I had to leave, I also met with Thomas, whose bike was on display at the custom bike hall, and Isa.

 

As I met with my Finnish co-worker Janne, with whom I was supposed to share the first leg of the return trip to Munich, we learned that the flight had been cancelled. We still went to the train station to get to the airport. On the train station, there was a sign saying the airport trains depart at track 9. We had bought tickets to a certain train that was supposed to depart at 16.41. On track 9 there was a train scheduled at 16.40, so I became suspicious and started to look for information. After eventually finding the train service website, I found out that the train would depart on track 4. We just made the platform to see the train pull off. There was another one, departing at 4.43 from platform 9, where we were before, so we had to run back. Luckily we didn’t miss it, or get controlled for tickets.

At the airport, Janne was sent to Frankfurt by train and onwards to Finland, but getting me home took a longer time. As I hadn’t made the original flight there, they were wondering how I had got there in the first place, and asked for proof of my accident at the gym. Luckily I had photographed the doctor’s statement for the insurance company and dug the picture out of my phone. The next problem was that I wore glasses and have long hair and a bit of a beard now, whereas in my passport picture I had short hair, shaven face and contacts on. As I got them convinced that hair in fact does grow, they agreed to reschedule me to another flight in Munich.

 

There was a while to wait until the flight and I was growing hungry. There were nice restaurants before the security control. I decided to play it safe, however, and go to the gate side. On that side there were just crappy cafes. I bought a currywurst and a beer, and went eating.

I got 2 bites off the sausage, when I tasted the bun provided, and again almost chocked, this time it was bad. My gagging the fucking bakery product out clearly made the lady at the next table uncomfortable, as she left I apologized to her husband about any discomfort my nearly dying had caused. Afterwards I went to the toilet, where I managed to get the rest of the bread out, followed by vigorous vomiting, which not only removed the little sausage I managed to eat, but also what little else I had in my stomach.

 

Then I started to wait for the plane. There was no sign of the plane 10 minutes after the boarding should have started, so I was growing worried again, and thought the plane would probably crash if I ever made it.
Eventually the plane arrived, and I got to Munich. There the schedule was really tight and I’d have to check myself in at the Lufthansa service counter, as per instructions. The flight was operated by Lot, however, and at first the guard refused to let me to the service desk. As I eventually had myself checked in, and got to the gate, almost everybody had boarded already. Still, I made it, and the flight was even the same one I had originally booked!

All’s well that ends well!

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