Frankfurt airport is vast. It extends for seemingly miles in all directions and in spite of immense passenger throughput, it rarely seems to be crowded. Unless of course, two inches of snow falls unexpectedly in Northern Europe. Newspapers headline with “Chaos”, which I really never quite believed until my aircraft took off almost four hours late from the desert Shangri-La which I call home en route for wild and bitter weather in the North. I missed my connection, of course, which normally means a peaceful – in former times alcohol-sodden – wait for as long as it took to reconfigure everyone’s flights and get them on their way. Being herded from pillar to post in unfamiliar surroundings along with two and a half thousand others is disconcerting and frays the nerves, some giving way to hysteria because they have flown halfway around the world for a wedding which will almost certainly start without them. I was on standby which can mean anything from ‘there might be room on the 2:30, guv’ to ‘be prepared to sleep on the floor in the airport, perhaps for days, Sir’.
OK. Fine. Excellent. Being adept at slipping between the interstices of energy wasted by others, a moment seized and the absence of luggage secured me a place on the next flight. Enough time to enjoy a little German hospitality, without beer. And it’s pot-au-feu with Aubrac beef or magret de canard stuffed with foie gras and figs at the other end. In this particular case, it was better to arrive than to travel hopefully. Oh, yes.