The Lows Of Money Woes and Airline Safety Procedures

Vienna Travel Blog

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Grüß Gott from Vienna and the Star Alliance Lounge! 

I left this morning with Dan for Kiev Airport and after saying our farewells I passed through customs and entered into the world of lounges.  I do so enjoy lounges as it provides me with a chance to stop ‘slumming it’ and feel like I’m living it up.  Sure not the typical mix – hostels and airport lounges, but after sharing bathrooms, toilets and rooms with strangers it is just nice to be able to sit down, relax and have some breakfast.

Leaving Kiev this morning was fine, we had worked out how much money we needed for the taxi back, we had settled up with Peter and any left over money I had, was going to be changed at the airport.  However, in my haste to take part in the lounge elite, I assumed that Kiev International Airport would be similar to all the other airports I had visited.  As the age old adage goes ‘People who assume make an ass out of you and me.’ 

After going through the security and having the always-delightful pat down, I walked to the Information Booth where the girl was filing her nails and when I asked where I could change my left over Ukrainian money, she looked directly at me and told me there was nowhere to do this except before Customs.  Great, so I had about €30 worth of notes in Ukrainian Hryvnia and a lot of loose kopiykas (the coins) which I had found on the street that I could do nothing with.  No problem I thought.  Obviously I can’t change at this airport now, but when I arrive in Vienna then I’m sure I’ll be able to change it.

So I eagerly waited to board my flight.

Flights are always enjoyable to me.  I love the excitement of finding out where in the plane you are.  Yes, definitely like the window seat, but the excitement of finding out whether it is over the wing, how full the aircraft is, who am I going to get to sit next to, what meals are they serving are all key questions which I ask myself as I am walking through the air bridge to the plane, or as in today’s case, as I traveled by bus to the plane from the gate. 

‘Hmm, this person I am standing next to has a distinct aroma of sweat, I hope I’m not seated next to them.’  ‘Wow that woman wears a lot of jewelry and fur, I really hope I’m not next to her as I don’t think my manners would impress, nor my dress code.’  ‘Oh l just caught sight of the book that person is reading, that looks interesting, I must make a mental note.’  Some of the conversations I have in my head while waiting keep me amused, but there is one thing that will stop me from looking around at my fellow travellers and pay attention and that is for the safety briefing.

For years I have been traveling and each time I still watch the attendants going through the procedure, not because I want to, or that I feel like I don’t know the drill, but more out of politeness.  You see when you look around you notice that hardly anyone is watching and so I take it upon myself to actively engage.  You know, sit there watching intently, nodding at the correct moment, and picking up the flyer in the pocket in front when they tell me to look at it.  Why do I do this?  I guess I feel bad if I don’t – who else is watching them, this is their moment to be in the public spotlight and shine.  I guess when you think about it who wouldn’t want someone sitting there staring at me, unblinking, smiling in a madcap way ... wouldn’t anyone? 

So now I have arrived in Vienna.  Before coming to the lounge I walked around and found a bank.  Sure every airport has a bank past customs (*clearly except Kiev which is why I’m in this predicament).  I told the girl I had money to change.  She was most accommodating and told me it was no problem – until I showed her the currency.  ‘Nein’ she said.  Turns out the bank sells Ukrainian Hryvnia but it doesn’t buy it. 

Therefore now I have decided to commiserate and look at other options, but first I need to full up my tummy with the delicious treats on offer in the lounge.  That should cheer me up.

Auf wiedersehen from Vienna 

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photo by: EmyG