The Seven Hour Gap

Maryland Jazzband of Cologne

Maryland Jazzband of Cologne, Preservation Hall, NOLA.

When Alissa accepted a new job in Germany, she immediately negotiated the start date to be after our planed vacation to New Orleans. We go to New Orleans every year, but this year was special; we just got married a few months prior, and we rented a house and invited all our friends! So we couldn’t just cancel the trip, and we wouldn’t have wanted to anyway.

“We get back on the 16th,” she said, “so any time after that.”

“No problem!” they replied, “Here’s a new contract. You can start on the 18th!”

Flights from New York City to Germany are frequent. But even so, we ended up pushing back our vacation return flight to the morning of the 16th, and scheduled a flight to Germany on the evening of the 16th. In between the two flights was a seven hour gap.

As it turned out, the rest of the story is uneventful. We arrived home on time, threw out the rest of our apartment crap that we couldn’t take with us, returned the keys, re-packed our bags, said goodbye to our apartment, and dragged our bags to the airport.

Empty apartment

Our bags are packed!

Ha ha ha! Just kidding. We dragged our bags as far as the end of the block, gave up, and hailed a cab. Those bags were damn heavy. What do we look like, superheros? Yeah? Well we’re lazy superheros. Life is much better when you spend your money on preventing misery.

Four hundred seventy two billion hours later, we arrived in Stuttgart. A cab took us to our temporary apartment, but only after Alissa understood and responded to the cab driver in German. What is the street address? “Sieben und sechzig, bitte” (“67 please”). Ahh. Yeah. We are locals. He probably didn’t even know we were Americans.

The landlady was waiting for us. I have no idea how her timing was so perfect, but she explained the apartment to us in reasonably good English, and carried our lightest bag up three floors. The rest of the bags were up to Alissa and myself. After some discussion, we just threw everything away. Ha ha! But seriously, the landlady did make a point to confirm that we were only staying for two weeks. We had enough bags to appear we were staying for several months.

We were exhausted, but we had arrived. Finally. The adventure begins!

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