Sunday, July 24, 2011

MAB 2011: Sunday 24 July

The rain was suddenly expected to start a little earlier today. Pity! Flight cancelled. After driving back and forth to the launch area I decided to take a little nap again. In the afternoon my dad and I were dropped off at a garage in Jouy-aux-Arches by the team of Peter George (so kind!). There we could pick up our temporary car since our Ford Focus is still unable to safely transport us. We had to wait at least an hour before the mechanic came to help us, so we decided to enjoy a big meal at the American looking Buffalo Grill. Hmm, tasty! The mechanic was late – we’re in France – but eventually showed up. And, guess who he was? The funny half drunk joker which helped us out Friday night as well! Seems the amount of alcohol in his blood was still approximately at the same high level like last time, or, he’s just acting like a confused clown all the time. A very nice VW Golf with Dutch car sign was waiting for us in the garage. What a nice spicy car. Some paper work had to be arranged before my dad and I could continue our way. Here we were introduced to the mechanic’s small but heavy dictionary. He didn’t seem to get along too well with his computer and his behavior secretly made me think about myself when struggling with complicated page number issues in Word for an hour. However, the best man’s language was a bit more aggressive than mine in these occasions. He called his computer at least 15 times ‘putain’ (for the case you don’t know the meaning of this word, Google is your best friend). To make his funny anger more clear to us non-Frenchmen he added some more ‘scheisse, scheisse, aaah!’. After a lot of ‘ooh, papier papier papier’ we could hit the road again.
It was a little windy but there were good hopes for the evening flight. However, before the wind would drop down it was time for one of the most common activities in ballooning: waiting. Besides the balloon event itself there are many little attractions to be found near the launch area like exhibitions, small shops with local products and fun fair machines. My dad managed to hurt his little finger on a sharp wooden edge. Luckily three first aid brothers put all their power together to fix him a nice tiny band aid. Our patience was eventually rewarded. Together with the team of Austrian balloon pilot Hans Pravda my dad and I drove onto the launch field. We were standing in the basket on an open trailer happily waiving to all pilots and their crewmembers from all over the world. During takeoff I finally got this massive ‘balloon kick’ again which till now only a gasballoon or a nice evening during the Mondial Air Ballons can give me. The sun appeared at the very right moment. It was absolutely great to run around the huge field again to make some good shots.
When wanting to go home Sarah stopped us. She was having some champagne with her British friends and a whole bunch of great Americans. Once again I became very enthusiastic about the biggest balloon event in the world which is held in Albuquerque (New Mexico). When I was a little younger my dad promised me to go there once I would finish my education. Since this month I’m officially finished with my Bachelor programme, so maybe we should slowly think about heading to the States once. With a little help from some ballooning friends that should hopefully be manageable. I’m already looking forward to it!
Around 22.00 pm it was time to go back to the hotel again. I accidently ruined the nice new car smell of our Volkswagen immediately. Seems I was so lucky to place my shoes in a giant heap of dog poo during my hunt for nice pictures and movie material. What a coincidence, on such a huge field I managed to step into this heavily aromatized substance. Beeeh! And smelly it was. No worries for tomorrow; I just cleaned my shoes and they smell like roses again now.