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the second worst trip… only in terms of flights…

May 3, 2006

went to esslingen, a town 15 minutes away from stuttgart to perform a duo concert with saadet türköz who’s an excellent singer living in zürich… the concert was on april 29th but i decided fly a day before, then take a couple of extra nights there as some kind of vacation”… so that was my plan…
well, i was supposed to fly from JFK to heathrow in london then to stuttgart, germany… there was about 1 hour and 25 minutes between flights which i thought it should be ok… the plane, american airline that was, from new york left late due to some sort of technical problems and got to heathrow about 20-25 minutes late… then trying to get to the next terminal in that airport was just a nightmare… you have to walk about 10 minutes to get out of the terminal you landed, then go outside, take a bus to the next terminal for 10 minutes, then go through security which takes up to 15 minutes, then walk another 15 minutes to get to your next gate… so since i had only about an hour plus airport people were very slow in doing anything, i missed my british airline connection… then was rerouted to lufthansa which i had to go to frankfurt, which is another pain-in-the-ass-airport, first then to stuttgart… of course again the first plane to frankfurt had a problem with the door that didn’t open and we had to get out by an emergency door… then the one to stuttgart was delayed yet again due to a break problem… i was supposed to be at stuttgart at 10:30 am originally but with this disaster, i couldn’t get there until 3… on top of that they managed to misplaces my cello in a flight case at heathrow… which i still don’t understand how that was possible since 3 other people who went through the same rerouting got their bags fine… also while i was waiting at the baggage claim, german police came up to me and started to ask me questions…
then after filing the claim form for my cello, went to the hotel and had to wait… it was the very first time my cello didn’t make it through flights so i was literally freaking out and crying on and off… had a knot in my stomach… then whenever i called lufthansa and all they kept telling me was that they had no idea where my cello was… so i spent a very very miserable night worrying over my cello… the following morning, they still hadn’t found my cello and we had to arrange to rent a cello just in case for the concert that night… finally 2 in the afternoon they found it and said i should be able to get in before the concert… well, it didn’t arrive until 9:30 at night and my concert was at 8… so…
well, at least my cello was in a good shape… so i was relieved about that… then went to stuttgart and went to a couple of museums and zoo… especially kunstmuseum stuttgart is a fabulous building to be in it… kind of reminded me of MOMA here for iopennessess and the usage of the space… had very nice collections of otto dix and dieter roth and so on… the stadtgalerie was also very nice… all the rooms were naturally lit through the ceiling which was very unique and added very warm tone to the paintings… there were lots of picasso, giacometti, joseph beuys…
however i have to say the wilhelma zoo was the best thing over all… it was so beautifully laid out and filled with so many great animals and trees/flowers… well, although i saw this sumartan orang utan who covered himself with a sheet so people cannot see him – at least that’s my guess –– and stood at the corner of his cage, gazing at the birds in the neighboring cage… was so sad… he had such sad eyes and a sweet face… eh… wish we live in an ideal world that we all can be happy and safe…
eh…
also renate who organized the concert took me to a very nice restaurant called weinstube fröhlich and had maultaschen which is supposed to be one of the specialties from that region… was told it was some kind of ravioli but didn’t taste anything like italian ravioli…
also since i don’t have a tv at home, i get to watch some whenever i travel… although the only channels i could understand were MTV and CNN… i ran across this music video of Arctic Monkeys called the view from the afternoon which i liked a lot… they are like punk rock band but the video was really nice having only this guy playing drums to the song… i still haven’t figured out if i liked it because of the video or the music… although it was definitely a lot cooler than many rock tunes i’ve heard lately…
anyway finally i got back yesterday without missing the connection this time yet they did it again and my cello was left behind… so last night i had to stay up until midnight for them to deliver it… guess that helped me get over my jet lag…
have to say heathrow is not only way too big and laid out for connection disasters but also i was somewhat disgusted by all the shops they had in the middle of the international terminal… felt like i was in the middle of a shopping mall… they are all out there to make you want to buy and buy and buy… can we ever escape…?
so… it was very tiring journey… at least the gig was very successful and the people who organized the event were so supportive and sweet all the way… but mentally i was so stressed out now i feel like i need a real vacation… or at least disappear… but that’s not really easy either, is it…

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2 Comments
  1. Yeah… same shit happened to me when I first got to New York and went back home to Kuala Lumpur. Korean Air simply misplaced my luggagessssssss!! Luckily not instrument, since I am a violinist, I bring it with me everywhere. I’m very sorry to hear about your disastrous airflight. Hope next time will be better! And you’re lucky you got your cello in one piece….

  2. Where did you rent your cello from in Stuttgart? I'm looking for a good place. Thanks in advance!

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