Paris 2004

Paris sous la pluie

May 8-10, 2004

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Last modified: November 09, 2007

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Paris was supposed to be the destination of our one-year anniversary trip. Like so many things in life, the trip didn't quite happen on schedule, and when it did happen, it wasn't quite as perfect as hoped for. On May 7th, we finally departed for France.

With Essan's car happily parked at Oracle we took the cab to SFO, where we were awaited by the usual display of chaos. Even though it was 5:45 in the morning, it looked like the American terminal was overflowing. Fatima should have been an opera singer, but even though her talents were not discovered at least she got to apply her powerful voice by yelling at travelers: "this is international departures and paper tickets only, domestic e-tickets move to the self service over there." During our time in line we got to hear this announcement maybe 20 times, loud and clear. In between she injected calls for passengers of this flight or that flight to please cut in line or risk missing the flight. This is where the Swiss boy in me gets really annoyed: this procedure encourages lateness. Despite having to get up dark and early, we _were_ at the airport more than 2 hours ahead of departure, yet we just barely missed the enjoyment of being allowed to jump ahead in line. Why bother coming early? As reward you get to stand in line for two hours, like we did.

Once we made it to the counter we were assigned seats apart - on two different sides of the plane, rows apart. No amount of negotiating could fix the situation. The plane was supposedly overly full, and there was no wiggle room for changes. Oh well, at least for the flight from JFK to CDG we were together.

Our departure was delayed as the door locks would not lock, a fairly relevant problem it seemed. Problem was quickly fixed, and we departed. As luck has it, I was sitting next an empty seat. Go figure. So Essan could move to me after all.

By the time we got to JFK I depleted one and a half batteries, having implemented a new feature for my new project. I have also depleted my supplies of blood sugar, as all the food on the plane was cheese contaminated and thus off limits. So once at JFK we raided the local TGIF's food joint - the only one in our terminal - and I devoured the worst chili dog ever. The damn thing pretty much disintegrated on me as I was eating it, not to mention the retrospective smartness of eating chili before boarding a transatlantic flight. But our culinary experiences were just beginning...

May 8
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