Friday, August 15, 2008

Czeching in...oh yes...yes she did.

Ross and I are safely back in the US of A, and though it is perhaps unforgivably dramatic, I really did feel like bending down to kiss American soil when we finally got through customs. Parts of the trip were excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed our time in Olomouc with Brandon (aka "big brother"), Lucie (aka "the mad Moravian") and their families. I think that we will go back there someday. I also throughly enjoyed seeing my old friends Ross (the other) and Hilary (of less than a shoestring). There was even a handful of time in Prague that was worthwhile. Maybe tomorrow I'll tell you about our morning in a deserted park, picking plums or the afternoon we spent in a print shop paging through folio after folio of artists' work. However, the majority of the time we spent in Prague was various shades of yuck. Prague is awful. Airlines are awful. Airports are awful. And...dare I say it...many Europeans are awful. Well, European tourists are awful, but in August many Europeans ARE tourists...so, there you go.

Long story short...Moravia is lovely, and Brandon, Luc, and their parents are some of the best hosts on earth. However, we've officially sworn off travel for a while--especially international travel, and ESPECIALLY international travel passing through the Amsterdam airport.

6 comments:

paisana said...

OMG, I had THE WORST experience in Germany. After flying through Amsterdam (see? totally related) where the airport security at the time was so lax that I was amazed and they were LETTING ME SMOKE IN THE TERMINAL, I got off the plane in Germany only to be singled out and pulled aside for NO REASON by some German official who INSISTED on going through ALL OF MY EARTHLY POSSESSIONS. I mean, opened every box, every bag, every container and even looked at my cigarettes individually.

When it looked like I was going to miss my connecting flight (and after at least 15 minutes of sleeping), I told him, "I'm going to be late. Is there something I can help you look for?"

"No."

"Is there a problem, then? Because I'm about to miss my flight."

"No problem. Should there be?"

"Sir, I--"

"We get you new flight."

*shudder* Never had issues in London, Italy, or Amsterdam though, and would gladly go back.

Wanderlust said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Less Than a said...

It was great seeing you two as well. I hope this becomes a more regular occurrence . . .

Are you too scarred by your AMS experience to elaborate? Most importantly, however -- how large is U.S. chalk???

kate said...

less than a...
Long story short, we RAN across the airport to make our connection and went through passport control into the non-schengen terminal, only to find ANOTHER security checkpoint at the freaking gate. They took the two bottles of wine that we'd purchased in the Prague airport (we finally found that vintage we were looking for) because they weren't sealed in one of those duty-free bags. They refused to tell us why. They refused to give us their names. The were unable to explain why the screen told us that we could have 1 liter of alcohol apiece. There was apparently no way for us to pay duty on them. They gave us a form we could sign that would allow us to complain to the Prague airport--despite the fact that we had no problem with the *Prague* airport. Ross refused to sign the form because it said that we were "voluntarily" ceding our goods to them (isn't that the point? that it was non-voluntary). At that point, they got mad and just walked away. Total assholes. I was shaking so hard on the airplane.

kate said...

To answer your other question--the chalk fit! He's so pleased with himself. Hopefully our travels will take us through Germany eventually. We need to pay off some debt first--which is hard, since the job market will cause us to *accrue* debt before we eradicate it.

Less Than a said...

Ah yes, the intraeuropean airport change which results in the loss of liquids . . . This is one time U.S. travelers may be thankful for a unified TSA. Europe had "solved" this problem with everything being sealed in those duty-free bags. Apparently that didn't help in your case. You should certainly complain to the Prague airport/duty-free. I will have to blog about this at some point, methinks.