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Ya’ Nevah Know

Things can be going smoothly and then someone throws a wrench into the works.  We had a direct flight reserved a long time in advance and even our boarding passes the day before but when we got to the airport, plenty early, there was no sign of our flight on the boards.  It had been cancelled due to strikes!  This happened during the night.  The route is one that is subcontracted but the major company did a fairly good job of making the rearrangements, telephoning to get the last two seats on a connecting flight which was provided by the company shown above with which we had never flown before.  It was very tight connection but they sent a driver and vehicle for the terminal change.  Fortunately I stopped when I saw the name of our destination being held up instead of rushing headlong into the airport to try to find the shuttle.  When it came time to board, there was a problem with a scribble on our passes, an additional piece of paper seemed to missing.  From now on when I see a scribble on my boarding pass, I am going to ask what it means.  I remember being singled out for special treatment previously, based on a scribble.  Our suitcases didn’t make the connection but they will be delivered this morning.  So the competent good will actions of some made up for actions we perceived as inconsiderate by others.

In the pocket literature on this plane (which ordinarily doesn’t fly this route) there was an article on Copenhagen, mentioning a neighborhood called Christiania.  It only said it was an alternative community so my curiosity was whetted.  Here is a link:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania
The article in French was not the same as this one in English.  I like the idea of functioning by consensus and simple laws.

Meanwhile I have been waiting for a truck to brush my hair. 

P.S. I found a comb and the suitcases have arrived.

Travel Ruminations

My crochet hook was confiscated in Paris.  The agents assured me they were obligated to do so by the Americans.  The hook will be sent away to be destroyed.  This object was 1 millimetre in diameter and about 5 inches long but its pointiness led to its demise despite my obvious grandmotherly age, gentle protest and evidence of actually crocheting also in the bag.  While some people are stealing metal objects for the value of the natural resource, others are throwing them away.  Fortunately I had verified during my last trip that 1 millimetre hooks were indeed available at the local craft supply store in the US and was able to buy another one.  On my return trip, no notice was taken of this object. 

Sitting in the waiting room after going through the formalities for my return trip, I noticed a gloved agent going around the room proposing an object in what looked like a dog’s water bowl.  A man claimed it—apparently it was his toiletries in a Ziploc bag.  Such a fear of germs being demonstrated and yet their gloves could transmit anything from one person to the next!  They seem to be cultivating fear of our fellow man.

There was a bit of a wait at the second airport which lengthened as the plane was delayed.  I decided to eat a little something and went into a bar-grill type place.  There were many television screens showing things I didn’t care to watch but the sound system had on something else altogether.  I ordered hot shrimp.  They arrived swimming in a tomato based sauce accompanied by a few small thin slices of bread and a fork.  After poking at them a bit with the fork, I asked for a knife.  When it arrived, I realized both utensils were plastic.  Well, yes, I was in a “safe” area but have you ever tried to eat hot shrimp in a tomato-ey sauce with plastic utensils?  Fortunately, I had plenty of time and a locally brewed beer with victory in its name to wash them down. 

When I left the restaurant and returned to the airport gate, I felt overheated and wise that I had declined the waitress’ offer of a second beer.  After re-checking in, I got out a bit of chocolate from my backpack, well, I could almost have used a spoon, it was so soft.  I noticed other people fanning themselves—it really was too hot in there.

Meanwhile my two suitcases were on their way.  I usually try to travel light, but I wanted to take a few things that were my mother’s and we found an old suitcase to put them in.  I kept tossing little things in there, put in some photo albums and some odds and ends of yarn to protect the albums.  This is an old-style suitcase with the kind of locks that might pop open if hit, and then I had trouble getting it closed (I had to sit on it and wiggle and push for about 10 minutes) so I put several rounds of tape around each lock and also around the sides as it was gaping a bit.  When I recovered this suitcase, it had different tape, only around the middle, and a bit of yarn was sticking out.  I don’t know why they felt they had to go through my stuff.  I don’t know if any little things were lost; they would not be of great value but could have been of use to me.  I know better than to actually lock a suitcase; the little card they put in there when they inspect the contents says too bad if you locked this ‘cause we had to bust it open.  I guess I should be thankful they taped it.

 

Current state of suitcase:


Working Out Being Worked Up


Nerves and emotions are in high gear due to an upcoming trip to the States for Thanksgiving, by myself, since my husband will be working. I warned him, it may be like this for the coming week.

I have my plane tickets, train tickets, and hotel reservation. Strikes are being planned by the train company, maybe the subway, the electric-gas company, students, judges, but I hope they will do their thing (if they must) around my dates and not during.

I will have a 30 hour day – not a good kind for getting up at 4 in the morning, hence I will go to Paris the day before and stay over near the airport. Coming back it is an 18 hour day – the night gets chopped off – no sleep. No, make that a 15 hour day, I forgot I will be returning from points further west. My main worry is I may fall asleep on the train and not get off at my station.

So to try to get rid of some of the stress, I got on the Nordic Track machine that hasn’t been used in a long time. I remember the first time I used it. After a few minutes I said – Eeeeewwwww, now I’m all sweaty. Mental double check: Duh, isn’t that the point?

After around 10 minutes, I started feeling better. At 12 minutes I checked the calories burned – 64, not even a slice of bread.

I decided to go for at least 1 on the distance. Does this thing measure km or miles? I forget.

How about if I go for 20 minutes? That should be good.

That gave 1.6 on the distance, so if it measures km, then I did a mile. A twenty minute mile. I usually walk faster than that. 126.5 calories burned. What can I eat for that? How many dishes of ice cream? How many doughnuts?

I feel better for this mindless exercise, writing this blog entry in my head, even though there are plenty of tasks that could have been advanced during this time, such as getting some lunch ready. What do I hear? Clinking, clanging sounds in the kitchen? Yippee! My husband is fixing lunch.

Later in the day, I used up my doughnut quota on a pastry that was like a croissant, filled with chocolate pudding-type cream and topped with sliced almonds.