Catching Up On Friends’ Blogs

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I remember well the Frankfurt airport smoking bars:

Frankfort is a cool airport. A bit retro while being completely modern. I suppose this is how a lot of Germany feels. The Germans are supposed to be supremely stylish, but I don't know enough to know the difference. One big problem in my opinion: too much smoking. In the US, it's almost a crime to smoke cigarettes, at least in the Washington D.C area, and I wouldn't be surprised if that personal freedom was one of the next to go. Frankfort Airport, in sharp contrast, has smoking bars. I'm not talking about a joint where you can get a pint and smoke a cigarette or cigar. I'm talking about an elbow-high counter-top, with nothing else around it, practically in the middle of the corridor in the terminal. And it's not just one... there are dozens of them.

I had a 2-3 hour layover in Frankfurt on my way to my mission trip in Manchester, England in 2002. We all also commented that, without any ventilation, the smoking bars were about as effective as designated urnating areas in public swimming pools. Spot on, too, with the description as a "bit retro while being completely modern."

There’s an art to avoiding madness during an airport layover. You can take the easy way out and sleep in the boarding area until your plane is ready to board. Or, you can do what we did and tour the airport, wandering aimlessly in and our of duty free, travel electronics, and magazine stands.

As I remember, we got bored of wandering relatively quickly, and turned to hackey sack. It turned out to be a great way to pass the time; unfortunately, we picked a relatively traffic-free area that happened to be right next to the office of a very large, burly, scary security woman. Said security woman would not have been an issue, had one of my teammates not made a flying leap into the wall to make a play on the hack. As we found out from the resultant, reverberating din, the wall was quite flimsy, and Helga's office was right on the other side. Our hackey diversion ended quickly when she came out of her office, yelling at us rather animatedly in (obviously) German, which meant none of us could understand her.
And after this blast from the past, we now return you to your regularly scheduled blogging...