Tuesday, March 10, 2009


I'm traveling and the traveling is interfering with my blogging. What's up with THAT?

I recall the days of yore when traveling was exciting and interesting and I really looked forward to it. Now. . . not so much. Being in the destination place is still cool, it's the plane ride that's JUST NO FUN.

Right now, I'm sitting in a hotel room and out of one window is the Eiffel Tower and Caesar's Palace and out of the other window is the Arc de Triomphe and the Bellagio fountains. And if anybody tells you there's some sort of Recession going on, it sure isn't going on in Vegas. Just the money they make from cigarette taxes are going to keep this place afloat. I thought people were quitting smoking, but not in Las Vegas. I guess if you get cancer here, it stays here.

Being here is fine, but the frickin' terrorists have made travel annoying and unnecessarily long and . . . well, just not as much fun as it used to be.

When I worked at Eastern Airlines, they practically FORCED you to travel. A ticket anywhere on the system was $5. Yeah, five dollars! Unless you wanted to go first class, then it was SEVEN dollars. And if you wanted to travel to a city that Eastern didn't fly to, you could fly on another airline for TEN dollars. For our belated honeymoon, my wife and I flew from Miami to Hawaii round trip for $40. Plus there were outstanding discounts at the hotel chains where the pilots and stews stayed and cheap rental cars and discounted attractions. You could go broke saving money. There was a catch, of course, you had to dress nicely. OOOOhhh, bummer.

I know of managers at Eastern headquarters who flew to Dallas for steak dinners. We flew to St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands just to buy a camera because it was so much cheaper there. I was sorry to see Eastern go under, I would have liked to stay with them, but it just goes to show: Just because you're some fancy astronaut doesn't make you a good CEO, does it, Frank Borman? Huh, does it?

It's probably just as well, I would probably have put us in the poorhouse (are there still poorhouses?) by doing too much traveling. Shoot, you could get to the airport a half hour before your flight, have your loved ones see you off at the gate and you were dressed nicely when you arrived. Now you have to strip down naked, show some 'security personnel' every fluid you own and every now and again have the privilege of having your belongings rifled through after you spent a lot of time arranging them.

Oh, well, it's still not as bad as Europe. I was flying out of Munich one time and I noticed a female security guard circling me and darting around and eyeing me. Now it could be because I'm extremely attractive, or it could be because I was wearing my hair cut very short and I was wearing a Deutschland Uber Alles t-shirt. Or both, I imagine. Just as I was at the head of the security line, she pounced! "Voud you kum wis me, pliss?"

She took me into a little room, just the two of us and she searched my luggage. No, not the way American 'security personnel' search stuff, no she SEARCHED my luggage. She felt around every article of my clothing, the waistbands, the seams, turned the pockets inside out, felt the weight of it, the whole bit. And since I was going home, these were my dirty clothes. Whoo Hoo!

Then the toiletries. She opened everything, smelled it, squeezed my toothpaste tube all the way up and down, took my electric razor apart. Just like the stuff you've seen in the movies. Meanwhile, I'm standing there with this stupid grin on my face and every now and again, she would look at me - but NO smile, there were heavily armed soldiers guarding the airport and they were very serious about their work.

In the end, Rosa Klebb let me go, a little disappointed, I think. "Sank you for your. . . <eyebrow raised> cooperation."



debbie said...

Ohhhh, you still crack me up, babe!!lol

debbie said...

Ooooh, you still crack me us, babe!! lol

Leah Kleylein said...

wow, you really crack mom up! :-D