Sunday, April 18, 2010

Operating through the ashes

In the morning I went to the airport, to make changes to my reservation. As the telephone lines are always busy, one needs to go to the airport counter physically and make necessary arrangements.

After I finished the ordeal, I went back to the city center. I love Munich. I have visited the city many times. I know some of the backstreets by heart. And yet I never expected to wander around in my beloved city in a spirit of exile.

I went to the National Theatre, in a ritual that must be done every time I come to Munich. I then meandered through the narrow paths. The Hofbrauhaus was too full of people, so I sought a quieter bierhaus instead. Prior to this "spazierengehen" in the evening, I had already learned that the Tokyo flight I meant to take had been cancelled. So I needed to stay in Munich for at least one more day, unless I started searching for other routes.

The decisions are not so simple. The distribution of the volcanic ashes are unpredictable. At present Rome and Madrid are open, but one does not know if the wind would not change. It is reported that Lufthansa started test flights to see the plausibility of operating through the ashes. That adds new elements of uncertainty to be considered, albeit in the direction of hope.

There is a heavy cap on the logistics. Since one needs to move on land because of the blocked airspace, once one makes the critical decision to try Rome or Madrid there is practically no turning back. Number of additionl uncertainties make the decision extremely difficult. Thus the procrastination.

There is one consolation, though. Despite all this, the city of Munich still allures me with its charm. Maybe I will stand in front of the New Town Hall (Neues Rathaus) in the evening breeze and forget all about it.

The famous New Town Hall in Munich. Standing aloof from the ashes.


Junko said...

I just hope your good luck.
Nobody resists Act of God,so I really prey for a divine blessing.
Take care!

(ma)gog said...

As it is such a beautiful day, I couldn't resist going for a walk.

I live quite near the airport, so the stillness of the blue sky seemed to be noticeably free from everyday's hustle, and just for a moment I wished only the airports in the south would open and get back to regular schedule (for you).

And then, I heard something vague, but familiar far up in the air. I didn't look up because I believed there should be no flying object in the sky today... Then in a few seconds the sound had become clearer, and I couldn't deny that wasn't the sound of an airplane anymore, so I finally looked up.

I saw it.

I checked the news. A few airports in Germany are gradually opening.

I hope you don't have to wait for too long till you get your seat on the plane.

Please enjoy the beauty of Munich during your stay and the delicious dinner in "Spatenhaus".

Kou said...

I am working at the University of Munich (I am a Japanese psychologist/neuroscientist). I am sorry to hear the ash trouble. Actually I planned to fly out yesterday but the flight was canceled. I hope the situation is getting gradually better in a couple of days, and I believe this extended stay would give you a good rest which stimulates your research ideas.