The cab crosses via Pisani at an angle to the other side of the street and accelerates towards the airport. Celeste’s teary eyes follow me. Little do I realize, my eyes too are getting fogged up. I struggle hard to control my emotions. I look outside the window. The traffic has come to  standstill. The road around the tram tracks is being repaired, the right side of the street is blocked by a garbage truck picking up black plastic bags from the pavement. I glance at my watch. I can’t afford to be late. Milan airport has its very own set of rules about you checking-in on time.  And I just have to be in Munich that afternoon. I am throwing ausstand, my going away party for the people at Playboy in Germany. The anxiety of making it to the airport in time pushes Celeste away in back of my mind.

Soon as the cab edges in near the departure gates, I jump out and make my way through the waves of people and to the first counter with the shortest line. I still have at least forty minutes. But the woman at the counter is taking her sweet little time. Unlike most other airports, they don’t have computers to aid them. Instead she must make a phone call to check-in every single passenger. The television monitor up above, blinks the requirement of checking-in at least thirty five minutes prior to the scheduled departures. There are still two passengers in front of me. The clock keeps ticking. It is now 9:40 and the plane is to depart at 10:10.

‘It’s too late for the Munich flight!’ she frowns at me.

‘What you mean it’s too late. It doesn’t leave  for another half an hour,’

‘Yes, but you must check-in thirty five minutes before.’

‘Yes, but I have been standing in this line for fifteen minutes now!’

‘I don’t know that!’

‘What do you mean you don’t know that?’ Irritation in my voice is apparent.

‘The plane is already closed and it’s full. I am sorry, you understand English? I told you, you can’t get on the flight.’

This kind of rudeness only can happen at the Linate. I almost want to strangle her. Shut her up for once and for ever. Instead I  rush to the counter #1 to see the manger.

‘I am sorry, it’s too late to get on that flight’, he snaps and conveniently walks away. My frustration and rage is building up, but there is nothing I can do. I rush to another counter. The clerk is at least pleasant. I start babbling to him too. He checks on the phone and apologizes that there was nothing they could do. The flight is already closed, the reserved seats are given away to the waiting list passengers.

‘Where is the Lufthansa office?’ A Bavarian looking guy in his green coat butts in.

‘It’s downstairs, across from the police station.’

‘Are you a passenger to Munich too?’

‘Yes.’

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