Don’t you Ever Stay Home?

I know you might think it a little crazy to be on the road as much as I seem to be lately. But if you had the opportunity to go to Europe for nearly three weeks knowing your job would be fine while you were away, wouldn’t you go? I would, and I did. There’s something special about seeing the world and being on the move instead of sitting still, eating good pasta instead of peanut butter sandwiches and buying the pretty shoes instead of the orthopedically correct ones. So my answer is: not really, no, I don’t stay home. The itinerary for this trip should take me through Torino, Bra, Firenze and Roma, Italy; Malta; Zurich, Switzerland; maybe Paris; Bergen, Norway; and Ontario, Canada. We’ll see which of it changes and whether I’ll get to all of those places in the coming days.

I left on Friday mid-day on a 10.5 hour flight from SFO to Frankfurt on a brand-new Airbus 380-800. Wow, what a plane. I looked out my window over the wing and I couldn’t see the end of that wing! What I could see were two huge jet engines. It is the largest plane I think I have ever been on, bigger I think than the 767s I’ve tried. It’s got a second story, too, where the business and first class fliers are. We peons are down in the hold, in steerage, perhaps kept separated from our betters by iron bars. I got a tour at the end of the flight (thank you Lufthansa stewards!) and it was beautiful on the upper deck. There was a proper ladies room about the size of my bathroom at home, complete with a little padded bench that you could rest on should you so desire. My my.

The guy next to me on the flight was a character who managed to consume three scotches and five beers in fairly short order. I got the impression that drinking is something he engages in regularly, especially since this did not seem to make him sleepy. Add to this some chewing tobacco and several strong opinions and you can see I was not going to finish much of the complicated knitting I had planned. The fellow in the aisle seat of my row was nice and unfortunately left behind a bag full of adapters, electronics and his business cards. I went looking under my seat for something I had dropped and I found his bag, but he’d already gone. Since he had an EU passport, he was far past the immigration station by the time I got there. I knew that the odds of his ever getting the bag back were slim if I left it at the airport lost and found – not that anything would happen to it, just that it would be hard to get it logistically. I remembered he was headed for Athens and after all, I did have his business cards. I tried to call him, left a message and a couple of texts, and finally was able to leave it with the baggage people at Lufthansa. The lady at the desk was able to find him as a passenger and just as my own plane for Torino was closing its doors, I got a text from the fellow that indeed he had received his bag before take-off (along with a nice thank-you). Score one for the good Samaritans of Frankfurt!

My cousin Eric (the future honorary mayor of Bra, Italy) came to pick me up at the airport. Since I travel alone most of the time, it is a real luxury for me to have someone I know meet me at the airport. Sometimes I get a pickup when I get home, but at my destination, rarely. I’d been flying for many hours and had been through two long security checkpoints, so I was more than ready to let someone else handle logistics for a while. Thank goodness he was there to do just that. We got into his Fiat and headed into Torino and my hotel. We spent the evening walking around town, trying the local good food and drink, and just spending some time. When I got back, I almost fell into bed. I followed that act all the way through to noontime the next day and barely woke up in time to get to my next visit. Lunch was spent with my dear friend Rachel and her husband Denis at a lovely restaurant called Pastificia DeFilippis (so good!). We had a long and leisurely afternoon catching up and chewing the fat, figuratively speaking. What a pleasure to see friends in faraway lands and see them prosperous and happy too. I feel so fortunate; in part because I didn’t stay home.

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2 Responses to Don’t you Ever Stay Home?

  1. Meggi Raeder says:

    Lovely story – Happy travel!

  2. We are following your adventures with Cinzano-bated breath!

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