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26.6.08

Murphy's Law Strikes Again

I already knew from previous experiences that traveling with students is more fun than bubble wrap, but yesterdays voyage to the Open Day at Oxford puts a good claim to the title on my personal things-gone-wrong-in-just- 24-hours hit list.
On our way to London, airline schedules made us get up at 4 o'clock in the morning, however, and surprisingly, everybody turned up almost punctually, so we were off to a good start to the airport - and my sense of foreboding lulled into peaceful delusion. The moment we turned up at the "Fast Baggage Drop" counter, however, it was clear from the angry mob queuing in front that not all things would run smoothly today. A faulty brake on the aircraft had been detected (luckily, whilst still on the ground, as I reasoned with my kids), and the spare part would be flown in from London. All in all, we'd be on our way by half past one that afternoon. Joy and Rapture. A voucher 15 Euros worth of delicious breakfast did the trick to keep everybody happy and we spent the morning strolling around the exciting city of Stuttgart thusly.
Landing in London, we headed for customs. It was there that things started to get a little bit more hectic. With a smile akin to blissful, one of my dear ducklings informed me that his passport had gone missing on the way from airport to airport. Strangely, not even an immediate search of the aircraft, his pockets and backpacks, and every body else's bodies and backpacks yielded the document. Oh, well. With immense charme I eventually managed to persuade the rather frosty looking officer to let us through anyhow (my god, you have to understand, the kid is gifted...), only to embark on an odyssey through Terminal 5 in search for the correct counter to report the tragic mishap.
It was to be found in a place called "Excess Baggage", I was informed at the British Airways Claim Desk at the Baggage claim. At "British Airways Excess Baggage", which is located about a mile away, they told me to go to the "Excess Baggage Company" on the third floor. I left my group in charge of our luggage in a meeting area, grabbed the unlucky student by the hand and headed for the new destination. When we finally found the company shop, which was full of suitcases standing around the main desk waiting to be sold, the clerk told me to got to the main office on the ground floor. By now I was grinning from ear to ear. This was better than Kafka. Happily, we sauntered off.
On the escalator down, I noticed that my unlucky student was pulling a very new looking trolley suitcase that had a price tag on it. It dawned on me that something weird was going on, and that this journey to Oxford was one I'd remember a long time. "Whose suitcase is this?" I asked, sweetly. The student looked at me in wonder. Looked at the trolley, back at me, before again smiling with such innocence as would buy any sinner a ticket straight to heaven. "Well... it's yours, isn't it?" I shook my head.

"Oh", he said, looking down at the object in question. "Well, I'd been wondering why it was so light. At least that's clear. It's empty." He beamed at me. "So, what should we do with it now?"

As I mentioned before, traveling with students is more fun than bubble wrap.

6 comments:

Hansi Flick said...

Himmel, wer hat denn die Reise nach Oxford finanziert?
Das LGH wäre auch gerne eine Privatschule, oder was?
Ich bin aufrichtig entsetzt.

Oscar said...

yeah, better than kafka :)

Ulf Iskender Kaschl said...

Who the fuck is Hansi Flick?

Lieschen said...

Hört sich ja nach einer richtigen Odyssee an...ich sage nur: Viel Spaß auf der Rückreise... ;)

Anonymous said...

Good job, Ulfi! Wish you luck on the rest of your trip and remember that`s just the fun travelling with kids-wherever!! Besos

Lisa said...

well, travelling with gifted kids is always a little like going on a journey with children under the age of 6, isn't it?
But you must admit: there is one important difference- your students know how to use the loo if the need to...at least, if Murphy is in a good mood :P
And now make sure that none of your students gets arrested or lost!

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