Thursday, August 3, 2017


There are so many endings to the saying "You never really know someone until..." and after having completed a 2 week visit in France with my friend Sally and her brother Jim, neither of whom I had travelled with before, I can attest to a lot of things you can learn about traveling with others and especially one's self.  In fact, isn't there a suggestion that couples travel together before getting married?  Today's travel uncertainties help bring out both the best and the worst in folks... 

Our very last day was the epitome of the travel experience. We had received some early delay emails regarding our return flight with the suggestion to still arrive 1 hour prior to the original flight time in case the scenario changed. It was a good thing we heeded Sally's suggestion to allow even more time. Hey, we had some euros to spend anyway and could fill the time with only 2 stops to travel from our airport hotel on the courtesy terminal train, it would be a no brainer.

Outside the hotel an overburdened harried Asian gentleman needed help with his many parcels and, fortunately, we had time and hands to spare to aid him onto his platform and train. He was so very appreciative and I hope he made his flight. 

We found our train on the opposite track which arrived shortly thereafter. Yet when we disembarked, there blocking the escalators up to our desired terminal were not very friendly looking security personnel with their walkie talkies, shaking their heads no. A couple more trains deposited more travelers into our station when the bilingual announcements began: "This station is now closed. FIRME. Please read information boards." No information boards. I had started eyeballing the space, calculating how many more bodies could fit comfortably into the space. How edgy would folks become with the possibility of missing their flights/ late arrival to work/ missed breakfasts?  During the hour wait body odor started to grow and waft in the air.  Would I find and destroy the speakers where the obnoxious message kept repeating itself ? Did we need to be reminded we were caged? 

Minutes seemed to tick by so slowly, yet folks behaved. Nobody started yelling/ complaining loudly. I knew my thoughts were on surmising whether this was a bomb scare/ threat. Large glass panels surrounded us. Not a very good place to be stuck in at all. Folks discussed the possibility of a dignitary...  The guards didn't help ease any of our concerns/thoughts. 

Finally, we were allowed access up the escalators as we joined the throngs of others from all sides of the blocked terminal area. Now the Disney like lines to get baggage tags were enormous slowed by tempermental machines, a personal exit interview, baggage drop off and more security check points before even heading to to the gate. 

We learned when they say you don't need your passport anymore to still keep it in hand.  We had left the hotel at 9:30 ish and finally arrived at our gate at 1pm. 3.5 hours later. Sally, my traveling companion, was a trooper and we were surrounded by tired folks who didn't panic, push nor raise their voices. OK, truth be told, one kid was hit by his father as those surrounding the family raised eyebrows. We were all tired but it's our choice how we behave, isn't it? 

20 minutes before another delayed boarding time allowed a bathroom visit (with a line, of course) and a little shopping therapy helped. Didn't have time to spend all those remaining euros... So, if you need some euros, be sure and let me know.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, the joys of travel. My new greeting for anyone embarking on a long journey is for it to be uneventful.