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30 minutes after I landed, 150 people die


I have always been a fan of flying. It is never the most comfortable means of traveling but always fascinating. Sitting at the window and looking down on the clouds, the cities, the rivers and the fields from this perspective makes you realise how small everything is, literally and figuratively.

And thirty minutes after we landed in Bremen, the magnificent view I had followed was for 150 people the last they would ever see. Like everybody else I was shocked by the sad news of flight 4U 9525 that crashed in the French Alps. So many people who could not, like me, send a message back home to say that they had arrived safely at their destination. And how shocking is the news about the cause of the crash. What must have gone through the mind of such a young copilot for him to decide to kill himself and so many innocent fellow human beings with him?

I found this little statue of St. Jacob, the patron saint of all pilgrims, in a courtyard of a church.

My first days in Germany where filled with adaptational issues. It is still rather cold and rainy here. Hope I’m not coming down with the flu. I needed to find a good sim card and prepaid option for my phone and tablet. This took me a while because there are so many options here that it was difficult to figure out which would be the best. I got the sim cards and data connection but now my e-mails don’t want to send. I have not figured that one out yet. The next problem was trying to open a bank account. I had tried doing this online from South Africa before but with no luck. They just replied that I would have to come in in person. And now that I did, German bureaucracy decided that it is next to impossible to get an account. I first need to get police clearance, it can take up to four weeks, our branch is too small to help you – drive to the next town, or come back tomorrow, we are closed for the afternoon, etc, etc. Only in the third bank did they eventually help me to open an account but I could not get a card yet. They will send it by post next week sometime and my poor cousin will have to forward it to me.
I also did a 23km training walk. It started to drissel and I had forgotten my rain poncho and got all wet. Plus my cellphone battery went dead so I could not take any more pictures or record the statistics of my walk.

And yet I am so happy to be here and grateful to have such trivial problems when I think of the 150 people who will never be able to have a single problem again.