Oh you just know the day is going to be crap when you get off to a really bad start. But first, a short tale as to how I came to be where I am now...
Because I knew I was going to be in Cologne for only six hours, I decided to book a hotel near the airport that had shuttle service. I didn't really mind how much of a dump it was, the only thing I cared about was that it had a shuttle bus. So, when I saw this "Quality Inn: Cologne Airport Hotel" among my choices at Expedia.com...
... that's all I needed to know, and I booked a room.
Except that the hotel is nowhere near the airport and does not provide complimentary shuttle service ("we don't have bus... call taxi"). The fact that I had to pay 20 Euro for a taxi to get there nearly caused me to explode with rage. Infuriated that Expedia could provide such blatantly false information, I fired off an email to customer service and got this as a reply:
Well how lovely is that? So If I list my apartment as a five-star resort complete with swimming pool, spa, beach club, and gourmet restaurant, does that mean I can rent out the hide-a-bed in my sofa as a hotel room on Expedia (even though the closest thing I have to a swimming pool is my bathtub?). I find it reprehensible that Expedia disavows all responsibility in their listings, and will start dealing with hotels directly from now on.
The really shitty part of the deal is this: for that kind of taxi fare I could have been staying in the actual city instead of in the middle of nowhere. It's really too bad, because I would have much rather eaten dinner at the Hard Rock instead of the mini mart at the Shell gas station across the street.
Anyway, In order to get to the airport on time, I have to wake up at 4:00am so I can get a taxi and be there by 5:00am (another 20 Euro down the toilet). I woke up shortly before then, chugged a Red Bull to get me moving, then started packing my things. It was then that I looked at my wristwatch and saw that it was not 4:00am... it was 2:00am. The clock in the television was wrong.
Good thing I drank that Red Bull.
After watching German television for two hours on a Red Bull buzz (or rather, American television dubbed with German translation), I'm off to the airport.