A 17-year-old girl had a lot of problems on her way to her big adventure

By Jeanine Salzmann

The 17-year-old Swiss girl, Carla Walpen, was on her way to New York State to start her big adventure “Exchange Year,” when she realized: “I have the wrong ticket. This is not my plane.”

After a nine-hour flight from Zurich, Switzerland, to Atlanta, Georgia, and a big goodbye scene with her family, the young girl arrived tired at the huge airport in Atlanta.

“I just wanted to check-in my luggage, find something to eat and then try to find my gate”, Walpen said.

She went to her gate and saw the signs with her plane number and the note “Albany, Georgia”. That was the moment, in which she realized “I’m wrong here”. She was supposed to fly to Albany, New York, and not Albany, Georgia.

So Walpen asked a few people around her, if this plane really flew to Georgia and not to New York. And everybody told her, that she was on the wrong gate.

She went to the help center and tried to explain what happened but “my English was not well at all, and I had a hard time to explain what happened”, Walpen said.

Finally, some woman realized that her organization in Switzerland gave her the wrong ticket, and so she changed it.

“I felt so sorry for that poor girl, because she was alone at this huge airport and nobody helped her”, she told Walpen later.

Walpen got a new ticket, this time with the right target. After six hours sitting around at the Atlanta airport, two more hours to fly, Walpen finally arrived in Albany, New York.

“Even though I had some difficulties at the beginning, I never regretted my decision for an exchange year. I’m enjoying the new experience, the culture, the people and the airport scene is almost forgotten,” Walpen said with a smile on her face.


And they don’t know what I’m talking about

Everybody who hears my story,

tells me that they feel so sorry.

Sorry for me and the person I love so much.

Feel sorry ‘cause I can’t feel him or even touch.

Everybody tells me, that they totally understand me.

Understand why my soul’s caught and not free.

It seems that they understand everything I’m going trough.

Seems that they pretend to understand how much I miss you.

But you wanna know what I’m thinking about?

I think, they’re talking too loud.

‘cause I don’t think that everybody, who’s not at my place,

can understand why in my heart is an empty space.

Nobody can feel what I feel, besides they’re going trough the same.

People are talking too much, and they don’t even feel any shame.

Nobody can know, how much it hurts to leave what you love and need,

hurts sometimes so much that you barely can’t stand on your own feet.

And they don’t know what I’m talking about, not even a word,

since they don’t feel the pain in their heart like made by a sword.

And they don’t even know how it feels to miss like this.

They don’t know anything how much I really miss.

I don’t wanna hear all this pity and the rest,

‘cause when I hear all that, it just hurts more in my chest.

They don’t even know what I’m talking about all the time.

But life’s sometimes just as hard as biting in a lime…

Jeanine, 10.September 06

Just afraid of…

It was the hardest thing I ever did.
And I still don’t know, how I handled that,
to tell you goodbye…

When I left for another life,
I just had to leave you back,
and I know how much I hurt you…

When we kissed the last time,
we both didn’t know,
if it’s gonna be the last time in our life…

And we still don’t know,
if it was the last time,
or if it’s gonna be the way it was before…

I miss the way
you hold me in your arms,
when I had a bad day….

I miss the way you kiss,
you love,
and I just miss the way you are…

I know, we’re both afraid,
that it was the last kiss, the last hug,
and maybe the last “I love you”…

But although, we still believe in a future together,
in our own future,
in which we don’t have to be afraid of losing each other…

And as long as we have this hope,
It’s gonna hold us together,
and it’s gonna give us the force we need so much…

Jeanine, 5.September 2006