After Frankfurt, Malpensa is a breath of fresh air. They’ve got color… on the walls! Wow! And the floors! I don’t feel like I’m on the fashion world’s catwalk or anything, but the place definitely feels alive vs. the frozen tundra that was FRA.

We get our luggage and head to the car rental area, something that I normally wouldn’t dread, but seeing as how I’ve left our fully paid rental voucher over 7000 miles away on our coffee table, I’m …. concerned.

As Nancy gets innocently hit-on by a good looking Lebonese guy, I apologize to the guy behind the counter who says that I need my voucher to complete the rental. I think my apology is effective, and he graciously calls someone for a copy of the voucher to be faxed to him. I sign the rental agreement, collect the keys, collect my wife and baggage, and we’re off!


I have to say, this may be the most depressing airport I’ve been in. There’s a surprising lack of “Der Weinerschnitzels,” and absolutely no *wursts or beer in sight. What there is is a large, grey, convoluted habitrail of an airport with a train in the middle of it. Half of the employees there look militant or bored off their asses (and can’t wait to get to their next Kraftwerk concert), and the other half look like they’re related to me… and probably are.

Despite the drudgery, the attendant at the Lufthansa transfer center is entirely pleasant (and has a head shaped like an eggplant), and after a second security screening, we arrive at our gate. The one thing that I can’t neglect to mention (other than that one should not pack all of their electronics in their carry-on on an international flight, especially if one is a geek), is that Palymobil is awesome They still can’t hold a candle to Lego (and not just because they have the Star Wars franchise and they’re so huge). Regardless, the only reason that I didn’t come back with the Playmobil BBQ action set was the value of the dollar to the Euro.