I am back in Puerto Rico and it feels great to be home, but also a bit weird after two full months in Europe! I haven’t done much today, slept until 10, tried to unpack (boooring!) and get some order in the apartment. O had already done some heavy cleaning in parts of our home (bathroom, kitchen) but I think we need to do a proper spring cleaning (inspired by Anne in Oregon!).
My trip back yesterday went ok but some remarks:
- Why is it impossible to plan the security check zone in a more practical manner? There is always a buildup after the x-ray scan where people are trying to put on shoes, belts, put laptops back into bags as soon as possible (and still you are told to hurry up)… And very often there is no place to actually sit down while putting back your shoes – I feel sorry for old travellers and people with children.
- Why is it not possible to buy credit for your mobile phone in an American airport? I have a “pay & go” AT&T phone and the credit expires so quickly (I think it is 30 days if you recharge with $15) that my credit was no longer valid when I got back yesterday. In Europe every news agent sells phone credit!!
- The Delta business lounge in Atlanta is a joke – internet is not for free if you are not a Delta member (not the case for Continental in Newark), there is hardly seating for everyone and they only serve some sad looking snacks. In the Novia lounge in Copenhagen I had a great breakfast with a choice of different rolls and bread, cheese, jam, cookies and pastries + newspapers in almost every European language. I actually left the Delta lounge because it was too crowded and not very nice at all – I preferred sitting at the gate!
- Why are you questioned as a [young] woman travelling business? While waiting for the check-in desks in Copenhagen to open I was asked by three staff members if I was really travelling business… Just because I am not wearing a suit and tie!?
- Why are all the in-flight movies in economy either action or a true story about a baseball / football team? Fortunately I was travelling business and got to watch 3 films that I have wanted to see for a long time: Changeling, Doubt and The Secret Lives of Bees.
- In the last two months I have travelled to / from / via the airports in San Juan, Newark, Copenhagen, Sturup (Malmö), Bromma (Stockholm), Brussels (Zaventem), Charleroi, Zaragoza, Madrid and Atlanta – and Copenhagen remains a firm favourite! The atmosphere, shops, restaurants and service is the best according to me. Madrid was a disappointment, where there seemed to be no independent shops, only boring old duty-free (I don’t usually do a lot of shopping in airports but it is nice to “window-shop” while waiting for a connection)!
- I met the nicest immigration officer ever yesterday in Atlanta – he turned out to be Puerto Rican and we had a nice chat about electricity prices in PR (very high compared to mainland US), the housing market and what to visit on the island!
- Am I the only one who never drinks alcohol on planes? I get so dehydrated anyway so I stick to lots of water! In the Copenhagen business lounge two Swedes (of course!?) drank beer at 07 in the morning!
But really, I prefer taking the train – which I did last Thursday when going back to Skåne from Stockholm; a 5½ Inter-City train-ride! No worries about liquids in your hand-luggage, no stressful security check (which you actually have when travelling by train in Spain for obvious reasons), space to walk around and a great view from the windows! However, the people travelling from Stockholm to Sävsjö can’t have been very happy as the train driver forgot to stop at that station!?