Thursday, May 22, 2008

In Ramstein

Originally there had been a flight departing from Ramstein today, with a roll call (when they tell you if you got on the flight or not) at 14:50 (2:50pm). So we got up early to get to Ramstein in time for that roll call. Our stupid cell phone didn't work at all in the Alps so we had to wait until we were halfway here before we got reception. When we finally did through, we found out there the flight to BWI had been cancelled and was now scheduled for tomorrow. We debated for a while about trying to get on a C-17 flight to McGuire AFB in New Jersey, but it would have been quite a pain trying to rent a car to get to an airport and then getting tickets back to Chicago anyway, so we decided to hold off and just try for the flight tomorrow. The lady at the airport desk said she thought we had pretty good chances... We'll see though.

We checked in to a hotel about 5 mins outside of base and it is surprisingly nice. Our room is probably close to the largest we've had so far, and the bed is probably a king sized bed. The beds over here are weird though. For a king sized bed, they actually have 2 smaller mattresses, instead of one big one, and then each side of it's been gets it's own comforter that's half the size of a normal comforter. They're the nice ones too, the big fluffy down comforters. They don't have sheets, they just have big pillowcase type things they put the mini comforters in. It's kind of neat. And all of the showers here have those shower heads that are on hoses that you can move up and down the little track or take off the holder all together. Public bathrooms over here have a many sink area usually, and then like little rooms for the toilets, not stalls like we have in the states. They're actual rooms with big doors and everything. Kinda interesting. Sometimes the men's and women's is combined too, which is even more weird.

Mark and I really like Ramstein AB (air base for you non-military). It's like a mini-city to itself. They have everything here - even a Chili's on base! I originally was a little worried about living abroad (even though I'd absolutely love to) and then having Mark deploy for 4 months and me be in a country by myself where I didn't know the language. Sounds a little scary, but we're already less homesick just by being on the base here.

We ate a JR Rockers tonight - a burger type joint that's on quite a few bases. Mark and I were talking about our high school reunions, since mine is this year. I asked him if he'd like to go to his and he said something like "yeah, so I can say - look at this" and he held up one hand and pointed to it with the other. I thought he was talking about me for a second, until he continued and said "This is what I fly." I was pretty hurt by that, even though I know that he absolutely meant nothing against me by saying that. He'd never intentionally say anything to hurt my feelings, but that hurt a lot. It seems like I always have to compete with the damn jets, and there's no way I could compete for attention with those, even if I tried. I sat there and cried, despite trying to hold it in really hard because we were in the middle of a restaurant and all. And then he said "People usually go to reunions and brag about their jobs anyway." Oh... I guess if I went to my reunion this year, I would go to brag about my husband and his job, because he's the one with the cool job and I'm the one that just tags along with him going from mediocre job to mediocre job. I completely understand him wanting to tell people about flying the F-16 - I'd want to tell people about that too if I flew that. The whole experience just made me feel very average, or even below average. I know I'm nothing to brag about. I don't have a job period right now, let alone one to brag about. I weigh a hell of a lot more than I did in high school. The only really cool thing I've accomplished is marrying a fighter pilot. There was quite a dip in my self-confidence tonight...

So after that whole episode, we drove around for a while and found this really cool castle way up on hill overlooking the town. It was pretty big and we wandered around it and took pictures and video (surprise, surprise) and then climbed around in the hills around the castle. I guess you can go in it during the day, but we got there around 8:30pm, so the sun was setting, and the bats were coming out. Once they started swooping around my head, I'd had enough and was ready to get back in the car. Ew!

So we're keeping our fingers crossed that we get out tomorrow. We'll know around noon. Otherwise we'll have to go to plan B, and we don't exactly have a plan B yet... We could wait until the next flight to BWI, but that could be a few days. Or we could try to fly on a military cargo plane to someplace on the east coast and then try to figure out how to get to Chicago once we get there. It looks like the cheapest flight we'll get from anywhere on the east coast to Chicago will be at least $200 pp, so we'll see. Doesn't help that this weekend is a holiday weekend. Oh well. It'll just be nice to be home.

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