For the 3rd time in less than a year, I am off to Europe to continue filming “Forget Us Not” a documentary about the lesser known groups targeted by the Nazis during WWII. In addition to hauling an entire suitcase full of Victoria Secret and Ugg boots for my sister in law Anna in Munich, I’m also hauling my cameraman Art and my still photographer Theresa. The check in dude is looking dubiously at the amount of bags we have to check. There are a lot of them and they are all heavy. A fact I know well after having them all topple off the luggage cart one minute after I started pushing it towards the terminal. Too bad there isn’t money in my budget for a Sherpa.
In short order, we are all tromping on the 747 Boeing plane. “This is the exact type of plane that plunged into the ocean during the Air France crash” Art helpfully informs me. Theresa is wistfully looking up towards to 2nd story of the plane where we imagine the 1st class has their own bar and a personal butler named Fritz. The plane is huge and has 56 rows in the lower level. Theresa and I are in the last two seats in row 56 right next to the bathroom, which is great for small bladders but sucks for light sleepers. In order to pass the 11 hours in the air, Theresa and I play the world’s longest game of Scrabble on my Ipad. She gleefully holds the letter Q so she can spell Iraq the whole damn game waiting for a chance to double or triple word it and then discovers on her 2nd to last turn there is no using proper names in Scrabble. She’s duly upset but there is no crying in Scrabble either.
We land in Frankfurt with only 40 minutes to get from C terminal to A terminal and spend 39 of it just getting off the plane from row 56. Thankfully the connecting flight is slightly delayed and we all hustle to try and make the flight. While LAX couldn’t be bothered with any in depth security, the Germans screen you to death. We have to go through both customs and another round of x-ray to get to our gate. Art gets flagged at customs and Theresa then gets pulled from the security line. I guess I just look too sweet and non threatening. Theresa is being quizzed by a security guy as I approach and he rummages in her bag and comes up with a flask. When Theresa and I were in Poland, we kept a little flask of vodka handy for a much needed shot after long weeks in 13 concentration camps. The security guy gives Theresa a look that suggests she is trying to sneak through a little liquid contraband and she assures him it is empty. To prove her point, she uncaps it and tips it over forgetting she has some residual water inside. You know what looks just like water? Vodka.