Thursday, August 20, 2009

Charles de Gaulle is a Lucky Man

I sit in this lovely, over-capitalized Charles-de-Gaulle Paris International airport and I think to myself, "I know this feeling of tired. This is the tired after a trans-Atlantic, no-sleep, too-many-movies flight. we go again." And so ti is. My eyes droop, my hands feel like they're made of seaweed as I type, and I'm staring boldfaced at a fellow traveler who is closing his eyes and strumming his guitar. I just had the thought that this feeling of tried might have something to do with my early-morning waterski (which was GORGEOUS - the mountain was out on my way down the shoreline, the water was glass, and I had some killer turns), or the pancake breafkast I prepared for 6 friends and siblings afterward before I finished packing and got the heck out of my house. Maybe...mumkin.

AirFrance is wonderful. I think I watched 6 movies over the course of that flight. Lets see: Two French movies with English subtitles (solid), “Ghosts of Girlfriends Past” (yikes), “Yes Man” (most of it…I got bored), and an nutso dance movie that screamed early eighties at me like I was deaf (Diana, I’ll remember the name and get back to you), oh, and the beginning of “Shakespeare in Love”, which I love. So yeah, about six. Jack should be proud.

Actually, the movies were
the worst part of that flight. The entertainment system wasn’t working properly, but that was fine with me since my last flight across the world on Lufthansa (I always feel like there should be an exclamation point right there so that its pronounced “LuftHANsa!” as is appropriate) didn’t have those personalized TVs, and the movie they showed was one I’d seen three times before (“He’s Just Not That Into You”) on my way OVER. So I was thrilled. Also, this is my only layover! Incredible. And even better, above my tray table there was a coat hook and a cup holder like you find in cars, the flight attendants were super sweet and brought me loads of pretzels (I forgot to order the Kosher meal) and decaf coffee, AND they serve Perrier + real lemon and free alcohol (!?).

Time to bring this to a close. I (only?) have 2 more hours to chill in Paris. This airport is huge, by the by. We landed right on time - 8:35AM - and taxied until 8:50. Then we walked onto the tarmac, as is the custom in countries other than America (and now Israel), and took a shuttlebus for another - I kid you not, 15 minutes - until we got to our arrival gate. From there I took yet ANOTHER 15-minute shuttlely van to get to the proper gate of departure [ooo looks like I’m getting ready for Arabic syntax again…“gate of departure”- pah! That’s an Idafaa]. And now I sit. And I look. From where I am I can see at least two places to purchase overpriced coffee, a machine that lets you scan your bording pass and tells you all the details of your flight (super useful, even if it IS in French. I’m so glad they use a script I’m more or less familiar with), an excessive number of duty free stores (in Paris they have what I can only assume to be designer purses alongside with the normal candy, perfume, and alcohol), and a PlayStation Station (its cool, and I’m no gamer). Also, the whole airport smells like croissants. I am sitting in a booth shaped like one of these guys à ~ that has Wifi, BUT, since I’m an idiot, and left my WALLET AT HOME (cue laughter) - no joke - I can’t use my credit card to get online and tell you all that I’m alive. But, I am. I’M ALIVE. And I am blessed.

Obviously the next time I'm in Paris the song will be "An American in Paris" by Gershwin, because what else could it be? But I wasn't really in Paris this time 'round (4 hours in the airport doesn't count) so you get, instead, Joni Mitchell's title song "Free Man in Paris" as your song of the post. Recall that I have no cellphone and no Internet . I am free.

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