Thursday, April 16, 2009

Transatlantic Update

Some scattered thoughts from the last day and a half of travel:

-Surprise: I can sleep on an airplane! I must have gotten 4.5 to 5 hours of actual rest on an airplane. Never before my friends, never before. I laughed out loud at a New Yorker cartoon on the runway, though. It depicted a prison wall with a sign reading "Correctional Institute" or some such thing. The entrance was a jet bridge and the substance of the prison was an airplane. Timely.

-Met a Soprano (this kind, not this kind) on the ICE from Frankfurt to Bonn. Nice gal, from Oregon. I pegged her as a German because of her green coat (very German looking) and the gray/earth tones of her clothes. When I started asking (in German) if she knew why the displayed train information was different inside compared to outside (a troubling revelation I might ad), she asked if I knew english. I was glad to get one last native english conversation in before entering the broken language factory that I will dwell in for the next week. Poor english and poor german conspire to render me inarticulate (yea, moreso) and thoughtless by the end of the week. However, the soprano notably played up the natural beauty of the SW (her) part of OR. Oh to live somewhere the Rhein river valley...

-Also on the train a woman asked me to take her picture. I'm not skilled with such things and it is difficult enough making such a thing happen in english. With her jabbering away at me in realtime commonspeak it took me 3 attempts to satisfy her. Perhaps she just realized I wouldn't be able to take a decent pic and gave up. We'll never know.

-Recommended reading on cycling culture.

-See anything missing in the image at right? No heater. That's right, no space heater, water, air, gas, nuclear fussion, nothin. Obscured from view is a minibar fridge which, according to thermodynamics, has to be heating more than it's cooling. So if it gets really chilly tonight I'll curl up next to the minibar to stay warm. No, not that kind of staying warm.

-Read a great article again, in the New Yorker, about a rediscovered golf links on an obscure Scottish isle. [Walk - I'll mail you my copy of this article when I get back stateside if you'd like.]

-The more I think about it, the more I think this whole post will devolve into "I read in the New Yorker blah blah blah." I do enjoy that stuff, though. I did my usual: pick up a copy of the NYer and Economist. I should just subscribe to both and enjoy this worldy info binge each week, instead of just in airports. Hmm.
-People don't smile at strangers here. It's odd. When I see someone, I smile if we make eye contact. Not always, maybe I just smirk a lot. Is that rude? Definately a downer about this place, only expats and old ladies smile all the time.

-I can't imagine this is helpful for anyone but myself, and maybe for Shel to stave off boredom in my absense. lol.

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