Monday, June 18, 2012

Back in the saddle again…

Well, it’s been quite a while since my last blog post, but as usual a trip has inspired me to start it up for another brief time.  This time it’s another trip to Sweden for a short week of work, but following that is a week of vacation with adventures in Paris and London, which should definitely be something to look forward to. 

Except the French… I’m terrified of the French.  I don’t speak a lick of French, beyond the pleasantries of the occasional bonjour, merci, and the always useful “je ne parle pas francais.”  But what’s the worst that could happen?  eh?  When I claim to be from Canada to avoid their dislike of Americans, I’ll just make sure to clarify that I’m from the west coast of Canada, where they don’t speak as much French. :)

This is now my 4th adventure to Sweden for work, and I’ve learned a few tricks to help get me through the massive time change.  First, stop trying to fight it – it only makes you frustrated and hating the world.  So I  determine that I’ll let the daylight guide me, and take a nap when I get tired, but try to keep myself up long enough today until I finally get to the hotel and at some point sleep forever.  As it is now, I’m trapped in Amsterdam on another painfully long layover of something like 7 hours.  I had originally thought about going into the city for the day since I was here so long, but when we arrived it was pouring down rain in buckets, and I decided to just relax around the airport. 

Watched a couple of good movies on the plane ride over.  Fortunately, they had several that I had meant to see but never got around to, so I watched the new Mission Impossible movie.  Actually not too bad of a movie I have to say.  Though it ended with a scene supposedly in Seattle, and I immediately was distracted by the fact that a)  it looked nothing like Seattle, well, maybe what people who don’t live in Seattle think Seattle looks like, but nothing like the Seattle that I call home.  And b) the scene was at night, and the brilliant filmmakers decided to emphasize that fact by having the sound of crickets chirping in the background.  Newsflash, we don’t have crickets in Seattle… the best sounds you’re gonna find at night might be somewhere between crashing waves on the waterfront, and the unmistakable sound of cars driving down the freeway.  Bah!  Ruined the whole movie for me. 

Did I mention I’ve been awake for… about 19 hours at this point?  I am not responsible for the rants which my fingers are compelled to type out here. 

Oh yeah, the other movie I watched was Hugo, which stole a ton of Oscars last year.  I now see why, because the movie is about movies.  As much as The Artist was a giant love-fest of the history of motion picture, so is Hugo, but with a different twist.  I liked the movie, don’t get me wrong… but there wasn’t anything that screamed Oscar there for me.

What else?  I’ve managed to find every quiet corner of this airport at this point.  Fortunately, there are lots of quiet corners.  I think next I will head up to the Airport Park --  the astroturf-laden area where they pump in the sounds of birds chirping, in order to make you feel like you’re outside in the park on a sunny day.  May be time to take a nap.  It’s only 3am Seattle time, but noon here.  Tick tock. 

So the flight was pretty uneventful.  Despite the 9 hours, I think I only got out of my seat once.  Sitting in front of me was this guy who looked like Anderson Cooper.  An older, fatter Anderson Cooper, but still.  The problem was that he was the type that slams his seat back cutting off any sense of personal space I had.  Then he kept getting up, and then sitting back down with a thud that slammed his seat back into me.  At least the flight went by quickly.  I may have taken a half hour nap at some point. 

OK, I’ll try to stay awake for another 6 or 7 hours.  More to come in the next few days. 

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