I’m on the Radio, and in the Airwaves!

Diego (the DJ at Radio Alba) decided that he needed “the NASA girl” for his Sunday program. He and Eric convinced me to take an interview. Me on the radio… can you imagine? Eric volunteered to act as our interpreter, and Diego came up with some questions the night before. I am glad I had those ahead of time because a little research was required. What kind of questions do they ask you in Alba?
1. Was the lunar landing real?
2. Do aliens exist?
3. Is “the NASA” covering things up at Area 51?
4. Should we worry about a meteor strike on the earth?
5. Does the US have plans for a secret moon base on the dark side in order to fight aliens when they come?
I did my best to be scientifically accurate and polite. Rachel was still with us from the night before and was also a featured guest star: Diego asked her what she would recommend for the aliens to eat when they arrived on earth. We figured they’d eat us. Check out information about the broadcast at the Radio Alba facebook page. Scroll down until you see my name.

Later on, Eric, Rachel and I met Marisa for lunch and went to the nearby town of Cherasco. The regional specialty of this town is escargot (snails). I’m allergic to them, so I had pasta and a salad instead. I have regained a few pounds in Italy, unfortunately! Still, I think they were worth it. We walked around the town after lunch and saw a large, old church, and a bunch of distinctive doors and hardware. We visited a priests’ college that had fallen into disrepair and subsequently been restored by a hotel (named the Somaschi if you’re interested). During our walk, we noticed that the humidity was gone. Eric told me a few days ago that that is how it happens: it’s humid for two weeks and then one day, it just goes away, and the next thing you know, it’s wintertime. The“one day” had indeed come. I suppose it’s apropos that I am on my way to Argentina. Because next thing you know, for me, it will be wintertime.

Assuming of course, that I ever arrive Argentina. I got stuck in Milan’s Linate airport with a 90 minute flight delay. I wasn’t even sure if I would make it to the gate. First, Big Red was too heavy again (I got it down to 26 kg – a new low!), but that was less of an issue than the fact that I asked to check it all the way to Argentina. Because I was flying Alitalia to Madrid and Air Europa to Buenos Aires, and they were on separate tickets, no one wanted to be responsible for the bag transfer. This meant that once in Madrid, I had to leave the international terminal, go outside security, get my bag from the baggage claim, go to the departure counter and check it all back in again. On the other hand, the Alitalia rep at Linate waived the 26 kg, so I decided to relax and let it go. Next problem: in an attempt to lighten my checked luggage, I put the heaviest items in my carry-on, which were stupidly the liquids in bottles. Of course, thanks to 9/11, I cannot bring more than 100ml on the plane in my hand baggage, and I forgot all about that. Dumb move on my part, but what can I say? I haven’t had enough sleep, and that weight fine in Tunis really made an impression. The nice young man at airport security explained it to me and politely suggested I go back to check-in and just check the items. Easier said than done, even though I had the time. I’d already checked my suitcase so I did not have a container for the bottles. I started walking and noticed a perfume shop unpacking their stock, and managed to cadge one of their boxes. It was just the right size. I got a free newspaper from the tabaccheria and packed my liquids carefully, addressed the box and stood in line again at the check-in counter. After some negotiating with Alitalia about the fact that my bottles were glass, and vinegar could damage other passengers’ luggage, I got my box plastic-wrapped. This is a service offered in European airports for checked baggage. It’s so your bag will stay dry and clean during handling, and it cost me nine Euros! I sure hope this stuff is worth it. But, in for a penny, in for a pound. After Alitalia put a check-tag on it, I went to the oversized/bulky luggage counter across the airport to get it on the plane. Relieved, I got through security with no requests for inspection. Miraculously the checked bottles made it in one piece to Madrid. Even more surprising, my luggage was the first one to come onto the belt! I repacked and put all the liquids into the suitcase bringing it up to 29kg. I was dreading the “weight talk” I was going to get, and the possible fine. But it didn’t happen on Air Europa. There were other concerns. Despite being three hours early, they only had middle seats left for my 12 hour flight to Buenos Aires. Oh no. After some begging, I was informed that seats in the Emergency Exit aisle were available for 50 Euro. Sold to the lady in the pink shirt (me)! I’d have paid a hundred, but don’t tell them! Considering that I am accepting extra responsibility in the event of an emergency, maybe they should be paying me. But that is not how the law of supply and demand works. When I got on the plane, I found out my seat was not only a window, but the one right next to the airplane’s main door. I had meters of empty space in front of me. Talk about money well spent! I slept nearly eight hours on that flight, which is a new record for me.

Argentina, here I come.

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1 Response to I’m on the Radio, and in the Airwaves!

  1. Ciao “NASA Girl” from Radio Alba! Dieghito

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