Tip #475: The Flight from Amman

“I feel about airplanes the way I feel about diets. It seems to me that they are wonderful things for other people to go on.” Jean Kerr

My flight was at 2:45 a.m. on Lufthansa. Mohammed picked me up a little after midnight. I tipped the bellhop 10 JD for hefting all four bags into his car. It is interesting that Mohammed has a clear sense of role expectations, because while you or I might help put the luggage in the car, he just sat there.

At the airport, two porters came to help me. Thank goodness! They showed me where to go for this and that, and then negotiated down the payment for the extra luggage. I was allowed 1 piece, which was overweight (probably 90 pounds). Then I had two other extra bags, both also overweight. I think I was looking at paying 600 JD in fees, until the porter argued and argued, got the manager, and finally achieved having me only pay for a standard weight extra bag: 150 JD. Wow!

I can’t remember all of the maneuvers I had to go through (4 or 5 stations at least), but the porters took care of me all of the way. So I took care of them- I gave them my last 50 JD as a tip.

Upstairs at the gate area, there were maybe a hundred people in various Arabian dress. There were also women wearing very colorful embroidered dresses that had little cap hoods (like little red riding hood) attached. They were very bright and very pretty. It turned out that these folks were going to Zaire.

The flight to Frankfort took about 4.5 hours. Around 4 a.m., the man in the seat in front of me turned off my reading light. I had probably been the only person awake. It was so dark, I couldn’t figure out how to turn it back on. I had to go to the back of the plane to get a stewardess to help me.

I finally nodded off just as we arrived in Frankfort. Then, when I tried to get my carry on luggage out of the overhead compartment, it fell sideways and clunked the man in the seat in front of me in the head with one of the wheels. I felt absolutely terrible- and thankful it didn’t knock him out. With all the travel I have done over the past 15 years, I have never bopped anyone in the head with luggage before. I hope I never do again!!!

I had to go through customs, and then I had about 1.5 hours to walk around. I decided to purchase another adapter (anticipating future travel to countries requiring one). In retrospect, I should have just purchased the same type as before on board. When I got home and compared them, the one I just bought is much larger than the other one. Oh well.

I also looked for an Internet connection place so that I could call Jenny to tell her I had arrived safely. I finally found a small standup machine with a keyboard, but I couldn’t figure out how to pay because the instructions were in German. A young man came over and asked me if I needed help, but by then I realized that I didn’t see a symbol I would need for entering my password, so I gave it up.

It wasn’t until I was on the plane that I realized I could have used a different email account…

When I got on the plane, I had trouble finding somewhere to put my carry on bag in the overhead compartment. One man came over and I actually thought he was going to put my bag in the clear spot I was looking at. Nope, he pushed me aside and put his briefcase there. Luckily, the young very tall man sitting next to me offered to help and was able to place it directly overhead. Bless his heart! When we landed, he took it down immediately.

May your learning be sweet.


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