Imagine you were checking in for an international flight and the nice lady at the desk told you that your passport had expired. What would happen next? If it happened to me, nothing would happen next. I’d simply have to accept that the only place I’d be going that day was home.
Now imagine my husband, Andreas, bouncing up to the check-in counter, as he did on Wednesday, and presenting his German ID card to the same nice lady. (Germans don’t need passports on flights within the EU, just their IDs—the kind the English refuse to carry.)
It’s true, he looked shocked for a whole thirty seconds after she told him the ID had expired, but his confusion was over almost as soon as it began. He smiled at the nice lady and asked, politely, if there was anything he could do to resolve the situation. She smiled back and explained, with admirable clarity, about the office in the other building where a nice policeman was waiting to help hapless German-ID-expiry-date-forgetters, and that he should trot over there straight away. There was time, she said, before the almost empty flight to Dublin would close.
So we trotted over. Well, Andreas trotted, I stormed. Again, if this had been me in a similar situation in England, I would have had to walk for half an hour simply to reach the office. Then, even if I found it, the nice policeman would definitely not be nice and anyway, he, or she, would be on a break.
Cut back to Andreas, in Germany, at the old Schönefeld airport, which looks a bit like an IKEA but much smaller. Firstly, the office was precisely where they lady said it would be and it took us five minutes to get there. Secondly, there were two nice policeman ready and willing, nay eager to help. And thirdly… well, thirdly, this is Germany, and everything works.
Andreas isn’t blood Irish, he’s German, but during his many visits to the Emerald Isle has clearly hoovered up a fair amount of her legendary luck, because fifteen minutes and 8 Euros after the initial discovery that the ID had expired, he was back at the check-in counter with a boarding pass in his large hairy paw. He even had time for a couple of cigarettes before going through security. Which is why I want to be Andreas next lifetime.