Tuesday, January 12, 2010

What a journey!

Last Monday, I made it safely all the way from Colorado back to Brussels. It was quite an exciting journey with some unexpected happenings.

The first interesting encounter was with the driver of the shuttle bus in Loveland, Colorado. He asked me where I was from, and I told him that I lived in Brussels, Belgium. He said: "So you are a EU bureaucrat!" I was astonished about this statement, as the Americans usually don't come to such conclusions when I tell them where I live and work. But this man (maybe in his 60's) turned out to be from Australia. So we started a general discussion on politics, the economy, as well as conspiracy. I decided to give him a leaflet on prophecy and world history, as well as a small handout called "Why alcohol is not good for you". When he read this title, he told me that he had been with AA and that he was dry for 37 years; and he also asked me whether I was a recovering alcoholic! In fact, he used a more elegant word than alcoholic, but I can't remember. Anyway, I told him he could give the handout also to someone else.

In Atlanta, I had to get on my plane to Paris. My travel agency had informed me that the flight would leave two hours earlier than originally scheduled, but somehow, I didn’t internalize this, and so I was too late to check in! I was very upset, but they told me they would put me in standby for the next flight to Paris. I got on this plane, and this turned out a real blessing. It was a plane operated by Air France (and not by the code-share partner Delta), and I realized that the service was much better than on any Delta flights I had ever been on before. In addition, I ended up with a seat that gave me much more room for my legs than usual, so this made the journey more pleasant.

Arrived in Paris, I was supposed to take a high-speed train to Brussels, as Air France doesn’t operate flights anymore between these two cities, but they cooperate with the French rail company “TGV”. Sitting in the waiting room, I heard an announcement that there was an earlier train coming then the one I was booked on, and of course I wanted to get on it. So I went to the counter of Air France and the representative sent me down to the gate, but he said I had to be quick, as the train was going to depart without any further delay. So I hurried up and at the gate I addressed one of the employees of TGV, asking if I could go on this train, even though I had a reservation for the later train. He said that this was impossible unless I changed my ticket with Air France. I didn’t understand this kind of bureaucracy, as I saw there was still a lot of room in the train, and I started arguing with him. Finally, they sent me to the Air France staff located at the very end of the train. I approached them quickly, so they probably assumed that I’m just late on the train that I was booked on. The doors were about to be shut. I explained one of the employees the situation and asked if I could go on this train. He promptly gave me a new seat reservation and told me to get on immediately. I managed, and of course, I thanked this helpful man profusely. Then it popped into my mind that I still had some French health flyers in my bag, so I called him and gave it to him. Next to him there was one of his colleagues witnessing this and he was curious about what I had just given him. So he opened it and began reading to him: “See, it’s about sunshine, water, air…”. So I thought I could also give one to his colleague. However, the doors where about to close, so I had to be very quick. So by accident, I took one of the French flyers on Prophecy and World History that I also carried with me! Well, maybe this was exactly what this man needed, who knows! Anyway, later on I realized that I was even seated in a first class compartment!
I was home at lunchtime, and I'm very thankful for the Lord's intervention throughout the whole journey.

1 comment:

Janet said...

You lead an exciting life, Daniela. Perhaps you ought to travel full time. You might get to witness more that way than at the EU Commission. I'm grateful you made it home safely. Frank