Friday, July 16, 2010

Travel Day

Soon I will post a photo of my bag carefully arranged to avoid counting my poster tube as an extra bag…

My flight from DTW was fairly uneventful; I managed to sleep a reasonable amount and the woman I was sitting next to was lovely. She was on her way to Scotland after winning a free tour by submitting to her tour company a picture of herself and fellow tourists (in the more literal sense here) having fun in Egypt last year. Needless to say I was envious of her previous trip to Egypt and assured her that Scotland would also be beautiful, though there will clearly be fewer mummies, which I view as a bit of a drawback. I started watching “Un profete” – a French film about a Muslim man in a French prison and had to turn it off. It was good, but disturbing, and I long ago decided that disturbing films are not good plane fare. Instead, I watched “Pirate Radio,” which I enjoyed a great deal and which was not disturbing at all.

Though airplane food is usually unremarkable, I had a rather strange meal last night that begs description, if only to convey the sheer volume of carbs that were involved. As usual, I requested a vegetarian meal when I booked my ticket (having learned the hard way that there are rarely extras on the plane), but I think (if I recall correctly) that I requested an “Asian Vegetarian” meal, though I didn’t really know what that was. Turns out it’s fairly bland Indian food. It wasn’t particularly tasty but wasn’t bad, but included the following items:

  • dinner roll (just like everyone else)
  • “naan”
  • rice (filling 2/3 of the main portion)

Upon my arrival in Amsterdam I had about an hour before my flight left for Vienna. Silly me assumed that this would be easy and that I would have plenty of time. I had delusions of finding a bank machine and getting some cash so that when I got to Vienna I would be ready to go. Then I encountered the most disorganized customs line I have ever seen. This includes all of my travel, anywhere. It was very calm, but completely disorganized and took what seemed like an eternity. Ultimately I made it through with no problems, and also through security again, and arrived at my gate about 5 minutes before we boarded.

The flight to Vienna was short (and I had a bizarre breakfast of half of a cheese sandwich – not unexpected – and half of an egg salad sandwich – a little unexpected). I managed to get a bus ticket into the city and also some cash, and I was on my way. A cultural observation: nothing here is air conditioned and everyone is sweaty…

Now I’m riding the train to Salzburg (though there is no internet here so this will obviously be posted later) and taking in the lovely Austrian countryside.

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