Because of a couple of large lightning bolts in Atlanta, my flight to Stuttgart was delayed nearly an hour. Even before the delay, I had a tight connection to catch my flight to Prague. Therefore, I’m spending the day in Stuttgart and catching a flight to Prague this evening. I’m trying to make the best of it. I took a walk outside, but I have my luggage with me so it’s not easy to see the sights.

I have German friends who live nearby. I still have hopes of connecting with them before I leave Stuttgart, but as of yet, I’m on my own in what must be the world’s most minimalist airline lounge. However, they do have a variety of snacks, including pretzels, yogurt and brightly colored boiled eggs. I asked why the eggs were colored, and a fellow traveler explained that the stores colored the boiled eggs to distinguish them from the unboiled ones — makes sense to me!

The guy who was running the lounge left, for what I assume was his lunch break. He explained to me in broken English that he was leaving and seemed to be asking me to look after the place in his absence!


In this small “lounge,” there is a strange collection of people waiting for their flights. At the moment, there is a man who lives here in Germany on his way to Antioch, Turkey, for his grandmother’s funeral, sitting across from me. He told me all about his hometown, reminding me of details I learned long ago. For example, Antioch is home to the oldest church, founded by St. Peter — and later by Barnabas and Paul. To our side, is a group of four Germans about to go on holiday to Madeira — an island off the coast of Morocco. In my experience, Germans-about-to-go-on-holiday are in a league all their own of demonstrative excitement and joy.


Little moments of joy that open themselves during travel always make my heart happy. For example, the rowdy Germans not only have been fun to watch, they also insisted I join them in a glass of sparkling wine toasting their vacation. And the young man on his way to Antioch insisted I use his phone, instead of my own, to try to reach my German friends, so I would avoid international charges. Human nature is a funny thing, isn’t it? If I had passed any of these people in the hallway of the airport, all of us would have kept walking, but proximity brought us together — and for a few minutes made us friends.

Travelogue, Stuttgart, Germany, May 22, 2012

by Jan Risher