Thursday, November 22, 2007

Zoom zoom zoom

I woke up very early on October 30 more upbeat about my trip than the day before. I was unusually chatty with fellow passengers, airport personnel and even the two Filipinos working at the airport Subway concession stand where I spent my $10 breakfast voucher.

“Do we have good news? Is the plane flying out today?” I asked the lady at the baggage check-in. “Oh, I don’t mind the delay as long as the problem with the airplane was fixed,” I said to another passenger. “It could have been worse.”... “As long as we get there safely…”... “Did you sleep well?” ... I made little conversations with people who like me were stranded for nearly a day. In times like this when it’s so easy to be grouchy, sometimes a little cheer makes the difference in you and in other people. In the same way, it takes only one sourpuss to set off a foul mood in people.

“Mom, where are you? I feel like Mary and Joseph (looking for an inn),” Gino sent me text messages. He was forced to find and check in at a hostel without prior reservation.

“I’m having breakfast at Subway and counting my blessings,” I texted back. I was enjoying a foot-long sandwich and hot cocoa courtesy of Zoom Airlines. “I’ll bring half to you if I don’t finish it.”

Finally, at 12 noon, we zoomed out of Vancouver and cruised at an altitude of 33,000 ft. People clapped their hands. The plane picked up more passengers at Calgary airport.

Because of the flight delay, we were given free use of headsets to watch in-flight movies. Another blessing! Mr. Bean’s Holiday came on. Mr. Bean makes me laugh. He is such a dork. I had seen this film before but because it was set in France, I watched it again—and laughed at the same comedic parts!

Lady at a snack stand: Coffee?
Mr. Bean: Oui! (he pronounced it Ohh-weee)
Lady: Sugar?
Mr. Bean: Nooo.
Lady: Oh, your French is very good!
Mr. Bean (grinning with pride): Gracias!

That is so hilarious! I enjoy retelling that. The movie itself was about Mr. Bean’s prize vacation in Cannes in Southern France and the many misadventures that he and a boy experienced trying to get there. Missed trains, lost passport, no money, the boy getting separated from his father and ending up with Mr. Bean…

Because of this movie, I became more aware of things that could go wrong on MY trip. If you will follow this series of stories, you will know of the many adventures that Gino and I had in just two weeks. Keep coming back!

Early Wednesday morning, Paris time, I got a glimpse of the city lights. It was still dark when we flew in at 7 am. I’m in Paris!! It was beginning to sink in.

I was so pleased to see Gino at the waiting area of Terminal 3. If he had not arrived early, I would have proceeded to Terminal 1 because I was misinformed. We could have missed each other.

Gino looked good. He had longer curly hair. Clearer skin too ("Mom, it's our food," he'd say). I was so glad to see him.

(Next, the real vacation and sightseeing starts. Complete with pictures, lots of them...)

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