Driving to Kassel

So, this was the day we go to Germany. This very night is the night of the ship collectors’ dinner-before-the-show. We must be there to converse and create good feelings and maybe even new alliances.

we CANNOT miss the flight. Or the train to the airport. Or the wake up call.

These were the things Chris was concerned with the night before.

We did not miss the flight, or all it’s predecessors. We arrived in Frankfurt on time.

NOW, the plan was to meet a fellow American ship collector. He got a great deal on a rental car (because of his employer) and invited us to save even more money by sharing the bill and riding together. At the end, there was car-deal guy, another ship-collector friend, and Chris and I.

All in Frankfurt airport, to meet on the same day.

Car deal guy was going to arrive the earliest, so he was waiting around (according to the plan) before we got there. Shipcollector was arriving at about the same time as we were, but from America and therefore required to go through customs. We were all supposed to meet at the car rental counter and sally forth.

But Frankfurt is a big airport. We found a map, went off to the rental counter. No Car Deal guy.

Maybe he is coming.

But were is Shipcollector?

Are we in the right place?

Being the Murphy that I am, I asked the question. Rental counter said Car Deal guy had left a message that he was at a different rental counter.

OH!

So we ran off to find the OTHER rental counter. We saw Shipcollector from far away, and Car Deal guy was right there too. Oh good.

…should I be frustrated at the lack of question-asking gumption of those around me? Should I just feel superior and enlightened? It is unlikely that anything I do will cause a change in the behaviour of others…so maybe I should just feel smugly superior, since that is a slightly happier feeling than frustration…

Although, to be honest, it was my asking for directions that led us to that (wrong) rental counter in the first place…

Okay, so we are settled in a nice rental…Ford…? Tooling along the autobahn in a ford station wagon, everyone had print outs of the directions, but Chris actually got us there.

It was a pleasant ride. I do enjoy the conversation with the ship collectors. They are smart people, and almost uniformly polite and gentlemanly. There is an on-going discourse about “the Wives” feelings concerning the hobby of ship-collecting. Many wives feel a bit of resentment towards it.

I feel a bit of resentment at the phrase “the wives” (what a horrible stereotype of a phrase!)

But then again, as the wife-to-be of Chris, I see the ships as an inflow of capital. The other “wives” see it truly as a drain on the family budget.

So, I am free to enjoy the company and conversation of these nice men without resenting their peer pressure to spend wads of dough. It is a little odd, though, when at ship event I am shoved towards “the wives” as if our shared gender will mean LOTS of THINGS to DISCUSS. These ladies are all very nice, but I seldom find much to really talk about.

I’d rather go hang out with the men. I guess this is what comes of being the youngest with three brothers..”Whatcha doing? Can I see? What’s that? What are you talking about? …cool…”

This will be Chris’s 3rd Kassel meeting. Shipcollector had been once before, and Car Deal guy had never been. I’d been once before (and met Shipcollector for the first time then). After our traipsing through Scandinavia, Germany felt like home.

The hotel was cozy, and they gave us free coffee in the lobby. We quickly packed our bags into the room (hey, we got a free upgrade! Look at this suite!) and came back down to begin early schmoozing. There was beer served in the patio and garden, and a generous show of empty glasses. The party was on!

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