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Tickle · the · Pear

in the middle seat, again

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Of course. That topped off a harrowing trip to the airport. There were a couple of bright spots, like chatting with a mom and son from Hong Kong, and running into the missionaries at the train station. But overall it was very, very stressful - not as stressful as travel in West Africa - but hair-pulling nonetheless. My plane ticket included a train segment on the TGV from Lyon to the train station at Paris-CDG. It was way too tight of a connection - only two hours between the train's arrival and the plane's departure. I'd never taken the TGV to the airport before, and arrived in a part of the airport I didn't know. (Come to think of it, this is the first time I've been out of the Air France terminals.) I had to take yet another train to the the correct terminal, which turned out to be a remote ghetto of US airline counters. When I arrived the agent told me that I was one of the last people to check in. Gee, thanks. Then it was a run to "Satellite 5", then through passport control, and finally security. Unfortunately there was only one security point for two full flights to the US (my United flight to DC and US Airways to Philly) and the plane ended up being held for straggling passengers like myself. Through no fault of my own!

Otherwise it was OK, though I was pretty pooped at the end. During the flight I remembered a conversation I had with an American colleague in Lyon, where she had she always chatted with people in the bathroom line, something that French people would never do. It's true. Instant (American) camaraderie makes life a little sweeter. One of the flight attendants showed me the special Africa issue of Vanity Fair. It's always heartening to see some mention of Africa in the mainstream media that doesn't involve famine, genocide, or other ills.

Today's agenda: catching up with MoBob, seeing HP5 at 4pm (tickets ordered on-line in Lyon), and then a meeting for MESJ's DC chapter.
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