traveller with a tale

emma persky

traveller with a tale header image

Drama in Berlin

November 11th, 2007 · 1 Comment · Travel


A few weeks ago I was filming for STOIC outside the Apple Store at the release of OS X Leopard. I interviewed a bunch of people, just random people, and it was all very exciting. I thought nothing more of the people I met, they were just interviewees, I never expected to see them again. Then I arrived at the Web2Open stand at the expo in Berlin, and who should I meet but Melinda Seckington (t) and Cristiano Betta (t) two of my interviewees from a few weeks earlier. How crazy is that. Whats more, it turns out that both of them (hi!) are grad students on a year abroad at Imperial College (where I go to college). In Department of Computing (where I study). Under Maja Pantic (who works in Visual Processing and HCI which I am doing my final project in). Which means I would have hopefully met them at a later stage when doing research for my project. How small is the geek world?!

All this Drama too much for you? I’m just getting started. The conference was great, and I might blog about that another time, but this is about the Drama. I headed back to Berlin-Schoenfeld airport to catch my Ryanair flight back home, last flight out of Berlin that night on any carrier at the airport. All is fine, I check in, proceed through passport control (and so out of Germany) and head to the boarding gate. I was 6″ (through some glass) from the tarmac when the ominous information noise was heard followed by “Your flight has been canceled. Please go home.” What?!?!?!?! Suffice to say that there was madness for about 40 minutes while they changed their mind a few times, then admitted to loosing the aircraft due to fly me home, and finally kicked us out the airport. I managed to find a hotel and a flight back to Stansted the following morning for close to £200, and even so I would still miss college and only have a few hours rest before heading to work. Nightmares! Nothing else, however, could be done!

But wait! The Drama is not over. The following morning, whilst sitting on the train I decided to check for my belongings. Purse. Check. Keys. Check. iPhone. Check. Laptop. Check. Passport. Oh Shit. I jumped off the train as the doors were closing, searched my bag. No Luck. I waited frantically for the minibus to the hotel, running across an autobarn to catch it on the way back to avoid a 20 minute wait. Check the room. No dice. Shit. Back to the scene of the crime, Berlin-Schoenfeld. I ran to the passport office (already almost too late for my flight, which was at an airport an hour away), and saw my passport on the back desk, but infront of me was a crazy looking German lady, and given I speak no german I thought it best to wait my turn. Eventually i recovered my passport ran to the next train, and jumped in a taxi at the other end (instead of waiting for the free bus) and managed to check in (without baggage fortunately) minutes before my flight took off.

It all ended well because I met some awesome people in Berlin, but hey, I do love my drama!


Melinda Seckington and Cristiano Betta at Web2Open in Berlin

Tags: ·······

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Confessions of a Barcamp Junkie | Traveller with a Tale // May 29, 2008 at 2:04 pm

    [...] thought, I do seem to have become somewhat of a Junkie for geek events ever since that fateful trip to Berlin, where I met Melinda Seckington (t), Cristiano Betta (t) and Patricia Hanrahan (t) who encouraged [...]

Leave a Comment