Just three weeks and an excruciatingly long plane ride separate us from EuroVacation. As we research, plan, research and plan, I’ve tripped over the following problems, and solved them in my own special ways:
1. Problem: How does a person who chronically over-packs fit 13 days worth of clothing into one manageable bag? Solution: I buy a monstrosity of a rolling duffel bag, and convince myself that I will pack for a single week and wash my clothes in a Paris hotel sink halfway through the trip. I’m already striving to show off my classy self well.
2. Problem: Our flight from DC to Munchen is 8 hours. How does a person who can’t hold still and can’t sleep on a plane, well, sleep on a plane? Solution: The airline helped me out by bumping our flight to Dulles back three hours. We’ll hit the Dulles Happy Hour first, and I’ll experiment with Melatonin a little while after we take off towards Munchen. I’ve never taken it, but now have a bottle in the medicine cabinet that stares at me. Should I take one before we leave? As a sleepwalker, I can only imagine how I could behave on a plane under the influence of melatonin for the first time…
3. Problem: I don’t speak German. I don’t speak French. I don’t speak Dutch. Solution: Behave like a clueless American. Actually, we bought Rick Steve’s guides for every location. Each guide contains common terms and their phonetic pronunciations. I’m not taking 10 pounds of guidebooks, but I will copy the previously referenced pages. I love words no matter what the language; I’ll make an effort to respect their languages. After I make that effort, disrespect may be a more appropriate word.
4. Problem: Oktoberfest is insane; how do Americans hang with the Germans when slurping down litres of bier? Solution: The first guide to Oktoberfest I came across suggested that we “train” our tolerance in advance. I have consulted no additional guides. Training begins in a matter of days.