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Me, myself and I

It's just not that simple.

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Rant ahead
l-word: dammit!
Yes, I know that this is not news but it hasn't come up yet on my f-list. Granted, most of you are Non-Europeans (wavies to judosas , cyad , annabtg , laxphimia  and whoever I may have missed), so I don't know how much the rest of the world is aware of the logistic chaos that's happening right now in Europe.

The volcano eruption in Iceland halted all airports in Germany and UK and probably most of France, Italy and Scandinavia.
Thousands of people are trapped because without a visa they're not allowed to leave the airport.
Hardly anybody is able to go to the funeral of the Polish president (and about 90% of Poland's political elite) who died in a plane crash a couple of days ago, as political leaders cannot leave their countries by anything but car or train. (Or are, in the case of the German chancellor, not able to even get into their own country)
4 German soldiers have been wounded and are now sitting in Turkey because they can't go back to Germany to get their much-needed surgeries.
I have a flight in less than 2 weeks -- to London, no less -- and I can only hope that by then airports will be open again.
Meteorologists say that there's no way of knowing when the volcanoes stop erupting and when the ash cloud has dissipated enough to allow for air travel. It can be anything from days to years.
Also, flight regulations prohibit landings and departure at night time, so even if the situation clears up (no pun intended), it'll take weeks for flights to run on schedule again.

But, of course, the Pope was allowed to fly out to Malta and give a speech, defending the priests who, as "just" (yeah, right...) got known to the media (but was long known to about anybody who deals with clerics), have openly sexually abused children for years. I'm sick to my stomach.

Yes, there was nothing even remotely interesting in this post, except for my ranting about two topics that could not be more different in nature.

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Ooh, I would be very interested in reading about the pope in Malta if you are referring to any specific articles. I've read his lengthy opening speech, but it was mostly about Malta this-and-that, and BBC has just been whining that the Vatican won't give a public statement on the recent abuse.

Hey - sorry for the delay, I've been swamped with finals. So far most of my information was based on articles in German, but I'll see if I can find something in English and link you to it. :)

Someone I follow on Twitter mentioned the Volcano as proof that, whatever we may think of modern technology and civilization, we are all still Mother Nature's bitches.

That seems about right.

Oh, and the last time this volcano erupted? Kept it up for a year.

Oh, and this brief video explanation mentions that in a somewhat similar case back in 1816, the ash in the atmosphere blocked enough of the sun's rays to make it "the year without a summer" - ice skating and snowfall in July. Don't think the ash output is quite up to that level this time, but it'll probably have some long-term effects, all the same.

As for the Pope... yeah. The whole thing is beyond sick.

P.S. The planes are, of course, grounded for safety reasons. Ash clouds don't really show up on RADAR, I'm told, and they can play havoc with airplane engines. All those particles just gum up the works. They'll bring a jet right out of the sky. With variable wind patterns and all, it's just not safe to fly anywhere in the region without direct divine protection. Which, as far as the Pope is concerned, can mean one of two things - depending on whether or not the one who decided to allow him to fly is a devout Catholic. ;)

Yeah, I know it's not to annoy anyone and I wouldn't wanna be a pilot or a security official right now, having hundreds of people's life depend on me. It's just... frustrating.

But I'm glad that they opened airports again - and of course that all tests British Airways did came out fine so far.

Got any articles on the Pope thing? I'm sure I'm missing information but I haven't seen many direct comments from the Pope other than his opening speech.

What I've heard has mostly been on TV, so I don't really have links handy.

And you're right. I meant the scandal at large rather than the Pope's specific role in it. My apologies on that.

Omg thank you so much LOL! I've seriously been scrambling for more information on the pope all weekend because I thought he was all up in some stuff heh. Oy. You've seriously made my brain de-scramble.
But yeah, totally sick what's going down!

lol! Glad I could help.

AFAIK, the Pope has relatively little direct role in it.

It's just that:

1. There's an allegation that a few decades back, while lower in the church hierarchy, he dealt with a priest who was accused of child molestation. Some wanted the priest defrocked, but he ordered that it be hushed up, claiming that if the story got out it would hurt the church and the people's trust in it. So he had the investigation quashed and the priest relocated. Which may have set the precedent for later cases.

2. The story is out and it's awful. And he's refusing to comment on it or to in any way address the issue. He's the leader of the church. It's his responsibility to do something. Instead, someone (don't remember if it was him or just a high-ranking Vatican priest) said that the whole thing was just petty gossip perpetuated by the media.

3. Other stuff has happened on his watch. He wasn't directly involved in the alter boy prostitution ring, but it was being run out of the Vatican by people not so far removed from him.

Yeah, the situation is devastating here. All airports closed. Yesterday, Spain was still open, so people could fly into that airport and then travel on by car/bus/train. But I heard that those airports are now closed as well.

Yesterday evening, a test flight was held. Too much stuff in the air still. If at least we can open up again for flights to the West, that would help. But it looks like tomorrow would be the first option.

The problem is that there is little to no wind so it will blow over. Could indeed take a long time before flights here are possible again. So I do hope it won't interfere with your flight.

And yeah, the whole Pope thing is beyond sick. How do we even know he wasn't involved in it too way back when?

Involved, how?

I heard allegations that he'd directed that a case be covered up rather than actually addressed, if that's what you mean.

So... my routes (as in, the flight to London and the subsequent one to Hamburg) are scheduled to depart again today - cross your fingers that the cloud disaster is overrr ;)

Actually, airports in France got shut down for safety reasons of course. They were supposed to reopen and go back to normal traffic on midday saturday but, didn't happen. Since saturday, the southern airports welcomed rerouted flights from Montreal, the french islands and South Africa (if I remember correctly). Those -once on each detination at the time- also took off from Southern airports like Toulouse: first one to reopen since the south airports from Nantes to Nice weren't on the ashes cloud's route.

People had then to find buses, cars, boarts, taxis or trains to get them all the way to Paris. To make things worse, train trade unions were onstrike the whole time until they agreed to go back to work to not make the situation worse but, it was pretty much 'no transportation' in France for a couple of days.

France's government even considered welcoming transcontinental flights (and french citizen stuck abroad) on non-used french military based but, in the meantime, european governments and transports ministers agreed to lighten the flight security measures tied to Iceland's eruption.

Problem also was that, in the first days of the eruption, all the major 3 European airports shut down: Heathrow (London), Frankfurt and CDG (Paris) so, only that meant major mess in european sky. And then, they shut the other big UE airports that could've helped absorbing the traffic so: Mega-Hyper-Super mess.

Good thing things seems to go back to normal now, but for how long? That's the mystery.

Medias are even saying that the impact on people, economy, life and such, is already worse on the UE than 9/11 was.

Edited at 2010-04-20 09:01 pm (UTC)

Yeah, it seems things are better. I wanted to faint when the day before yesterday, when things started to calm down in Europe, the cloud hit Canada and suddenly flights were cancelled *here*.

So... here's to hoping that everything goes smooth next week! :)

100% of the traffic is back to normal. I wanted to eat my tiara scream when I heard people blaming governments for being extra too cautious and forbidding planes to take off. Would they have prefered to die in a plane crash? Would've it been the case, everybody would've blamed governments for not being extra cautious and authorizing flights, despite the risks and, now that they didn't for a few days, people are going ballistic. It's like: "be cautious, you loose. Don't be, you loose as well".

I swear people are unfair sometimes. I saw the cloud was going your overseas way. J'espère que ce ne sera pas trop la pagaille au Canada! **hopes with you**

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