It’s Thursday, January 15, 2015, and in the news,
•Al Quaida in Yemen takes responsibility for Paris Attack; Belgium thwarts attack
•Gas leak on space station forces US astronauts into Russian quarters.
•Puppy piddles a puddle during premier appearance on the Today show.
It’s a tough world out there, and sometimes, you just need to laugh. I’ve rewritten this blog 3 times, unsure about which direction to take. We’re on top of the Paris situation, in a “wait & watch” mode and we’ll never grasp ISIS’ mentality. But the puppy. Now there’s something we can use. The teaser previews made us anxious. I mean, who doesn’t love a Lab pup, in training for service? Jeff stepped closer to the TV. Impatiently, he said to Matt Lauer, “C’mon, nobody cares about the gas leak. GET TO THE PUPPY!” And the laughter was good.
After much thought, I’ve decided to ditch the heavy stuff and share some observations of our recent trip to Europe.
•Hint: don’t use “GEEK FARE” for tickets. We were routed from Chicago to LaGuardia, NYC, then JFK to London. What, pray tell, is enough time to jaunt across NYC? But, we made it. And that’s a BIG but, because we almost didn’t.
•At Buckingham Palace’s changing of the guard, everyone jockeyed for position. The best place for me was to squat down and peer through others’ legs. A guy above observed me and barked at me. The nerve.
•Liquor store signs in Cracow/Warsaw, Poland are called, “ALKOHOLE”. Yes, some people are Alkohole’s, too.
•12/26/14, everyone in Warsaw walks. Nothing is open for business, so where’s everybody going? Not even TK Maxx is open.(Yes, it reads TK). We learn it’s “Walking Day.” Just get out and walk. To nowhere. So, we did. Great concept after a holiday laden with too much of everything.
•Our French kids – Chloe, Charlene, Valentin and Amely- shared their Paris apartments for the week. Get this: Chloe’s was just 17 sq. meters. Charlene’s was a mere 15 sq. meters. The other two apartments were a smidge larger. Convert meters into feet and it sounds bigger, but it’s not much. These tiny spaces are so efficient. Nothing’s missing. Except wasted space. There’s a teeny-tiny bathroom, teeny-tiny kitchen, teeny-tiny washer and an itty bitty closet. Sofa = bed. Even coffee pots are petite. And, yet, it works. Charlene loves the size, “Less to clean,” she says. We laughed at the surfboard, in Chloe’s apartment. Of all things, right? And the elevator. Oh, that elevator! Picture two average sized Americans in a Campbell’s soup can. Lid on. Tight, very tight.
• New Year’s Day meant ten of us for breakfast. Jeff sends me out for paper towels. Outside, I ponder direction. Left I went; walking in a square, as much as you can on Paris streets, so as to find my way back. No stores were open, so I took a side street. Big mistake. Oh, I found paper towels, all right, but was now off course, with no clue how to get back. I looked at the sun, certain I was on track. Walking with positive expectancy, I was sure our street was nearby, so I kept walking, wondering if anyone was worried about me yet. I can DO this! But I can’t. After 1½ hours, I texted Korey. “I’m lost, I’m afraid.” I gave her the intersection and she demanded, “DO NOT MOVE!” So I waited, like a small child, lost in WalMart. Ironically, a couple approached me for directions and I set them straight. In a bit, Korey found me. I followed her back, head hung in shame. She wouldn’t talk to me; I wallowed in my pity and I missed breakfast on top of everything. So I ate cookies and chocolate.
• And sadly, I left my pants in Poland. So if you happen to go abroad and you see someone in a grey, comfy, one-piece jumpsuit, it’s mine. It wasn’t expensive, (TK MAXX), but I was down to one pair of jeans. We pack light and throw half of it out, so we can carry on our bags. Because if you’re going to transfer between New York airports you’ve got to grab your bag and go!