Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Vini, vidi, vici

posted Fri, 17 Sep 2004

I am in the Rome airport waiting for my connection to Catania, in Sicily, where I will meet Jenny and her friend Colleen. Forgive any typos -- this keyboard is very hard to work with and I haven't gotten desperate enough for caffeine to pay €2.50 (almost $3.00) for a can.

Italians are beautiful people and they dress exquisitely. The slobs in this airport are the exception.

When I got onto the plane for Rome, I discovered that 43A -- the seat next to mine that had been empty -- unsold -- just three hours before the flight -- had been filled. Curses. Foiled again.

And not jut filled, but filled by this guy who had apparently never been on a plane before. He told me everything: his flight out of Atlanta, Georgia, had been cancelled and he wasn't going to be able to meet his cousin in Rome but then they had put him on ANOTHER flight and he had just gotten here and omigosh he was going to ROME! and when his friend had picked him up a bird had landed on his porch and that had NEVER happened before and could he have some more water and was there a pillow?

After ten minutes of this, when I realized he was impervious to the social cues most people pick up on --like I was reading a book --I realized I had to escape. There was a woman who needed an aisle seat, which I had. I warned her about Chatty Ken, but her recent knee injury trumped the need for silence.

I moved to her seat -- and discovered myself sitting next to a Spanish physicist who had never heard of deodorant or dentists. But I got used to the smell. It was better than incessant chatter.

When I went back to the toilet, the woman I had changed seats with -- Nicole -- said, "You were right! He will not shut up! Even if I close my eyes or put on my headphones, he keeps talking to me!"

I told her she had put me next to a smelly guy. At least I had warned her. That was when the flight attendant came over to commiserate with us about Ken.

We were on an Airbus. Each seat had its own video screen. There were about ten movies to pick from. I watched "Havana Nights." Not much of a plot but I love dance movies.

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