The trip was long since it was Emirates: Manila-Dubai, Dubai-Düsseldorf. The line at NAIA 1 was very long since they were checking the passports of the Dubai-bound OFW's. 8 hours to Dubai, which went by fast thanks to the very new inflight entertainment system with movies and TV on demand. Then a very long 4 hours waiting at Dubai airport. The terminal here is really overflowing - not enough space for the volume of people passing through. The waiting areas are behind the security check/boarding pass submission, so no chance to properly sit down.
At Düsseldorf, the baggage claim was so fast. We waited so long for our flight's belt, to find out later that it finished quickly and our baggage was at outside the cargo office. This happened no thanks to the long lines at immigration - not enough officers. It's a Sunday! Also thanks to the Sunday, we had another little problem. The money changer was closed, but there was a slow ATM-style machine. Which only accepted up to US$50. $100's no good. Fortunately, I had a $20 with me, good for less than 15 euros, and I was able to withdraw 20 euros from my BPI account which had only PhP 2,000 left. So, I had enough to take the cab to the hotel. 17 euros.
The hotel room was pretty small, like those you see in the movies. I wanted to sleep normally and adjust, so I stayed awake until 10pm. I walked around the neighborhood and checked the bus stops. The temperature is OK, not as cold as I had feared (whew). For dinner I ate a doener at a Turkish place. 2,40 for the doener and 0,90 for drinks.
Today we went to the office. Quite a long walk to the bus stop, then around 15 minutes' bus. The office is at a business park-style place at the outskirts of town. We crossed the Rhine river on the way - now this is Europe!
To be continued...