So I'm sitting here in Austria looking out the window on a bright snowy morning. I'll be teaching 15 sessions here this week, covering 1st Corinthians as students prepare to go home for the holidays. But I'm in the same clothes I was wearning Thursday at 2PM, because my luggage is missing. I landed at Heathrow in London in the midst of somewhat foggy weather, but definitely weather that was clearing. There was no information on connecting flights until one passed completely through the international arrivals terminal and then had taken a tram to a different terminal. Once there, I looked for my gate assignment and saw that my flight to Munich was cancelled. This led to a series of enquires, all of which landed me in the longest line I've ever seen, where I stood for 3 hours waiting to be reassigned to a new flight - a flight which occured on Saturday instead of Friday, and on a different airline. And when I arrived in Munich - no bag. I filled out the paperwork, and am waiting to hear more.
On the positive side, the adventure offered me time for conversation with two middle age couples from England in the line. 3 hours is a long time, and we covered a wide range of topics about the differences in our countries, politics, family and more. Fellow displaced Munichians dined with me at the assigned motel, two girls returning from India (one having lived in an Ashram) and a businessman whose day trip to London became something more.
On the negative side, here I sit, when the plan was to go skiing. But I can't even buy clothes today because shops aren't open on Sunday. Oh well - perhaps reading one's Bible, worshipping in a German church during advent, and walking through the town square won't be so bad. In fact, I've been amazed at how little I need in order to really get on well here. I've had to buy a toothbrush, some shampoo, etc, and a new eletrical outlet translator. Now, as the church bells ring at 8:30, I realize that, lacking all the things I'd packed to carry out my own plans, I still have food, shelter, and enough clothing to stay warm (as long as I don't ski). Maybe I should shoot for carry-on luggage all the time.