What a day. I almost forgot how much fun traveling could be. Fun and “fun” that is. To make a long story short(ish): The flight from Berlin was way late due to thick fog (that would not yield before the late October’s sun). Waiting in line for literally 4 (four) hours, I met a guy who works for the government. Let’s call him John. Ok, his name was actually John. We shared some travel stories and he suggested I write a book about it. Well, don’t worry: I won’t, but it did make me think about traveling and what it means (I don’t know, really. And I most definitely won’t reduce “it” to a smart-ass sentence someone would photoshop over an Instagram picture with an edgy, neo-naturalistic color gradient).
Anyways, I went to Paris, knowing that I missed my connection to Detroit. Sitting next to me on that flight was a guy covered head to toe in tattoos who confessed right away to me that he was mortally afraid of flying. Sure enough, he kept pressing his arm against mine and rubbed me with his muscular shoulder. So I tried to calm him down by talking in a deep, reassuring voice about the most soothing (boring) topic I could think of for such a person, i.e. my PhD thesis. In Paris, they (Airfrance) booked a new flight scheduled for the next morning (to Atlanta this time, pop a Coke Zero for that!), gave me a voucher for a hotel as well as a €15 coupon so I wouldn’t starve on the way there, and let me lose into the Kafkaesque labyrinth of Charles des Gaulle.
I spent my pocket money (it’s so much better and somehow much more valuable than using “real” money) immediately on Serrano ham and the best cheese I’ve had in years (and a Heineken to wash it all down with the smooth, stale taste of globalism). At the bus stop for the hotel shuttles I met the tattooed guy again, who also missed his flight (to Kuba). He was much different this time around, though, and the whole situation turned a bit weird.
Later this night, in front of the hotel, I smoked some Marlboro Lights with a girl from Florida who was raised on Hare Krishna theology. She had restless hands and told me that she was suspecting the government (John?!) of putting subliminal messages in TV programming and mobile phones to keep people from socializing with each other. She is now searching for a fourth dimension to bring this conspiracy to light and make human beings more social again. I’m not entirely sure about all that, but I told her I think it’s a good goal to have (we were the only people there without phones in our hands).
Before I started writing this down, I had dinner. And oh joy, what an epic buffet ranged there before my watering eyes! The (insert nationality) sure know how to (insert activity); the waiter even called me “garcon.” I proceeded very carefully, perusing the splendid preparations of delicate food varieties. Salads. Fresh bread. Pasta. Fish and meats of any kinds, utterly alien to the barbaric palate. But alas, as I turned a corner a mountain of shells towered before my unbelieving face. Exercising great caution, I picked one up and used my fork to pull the snail out of its shell - poor thing was trapped in there and must have suffocated (tasted like fish). And finally, in my goulash, I discovered the petite, wrinkled head of a rabbit.
And this is what traveling is really about! Getting out of your comfort zone by doing all the stuff you do every day anyways: talking and eating.
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