Friday, February 12, 2010

The curse has been broken!!!!!

posted Fri, 29 Jul 2005

Je suis arivée !

Can I tell you how maddening it is to type on a French keyboard ? I thought it was bad on an Italian keyboard last year, but this is a million times worse. The clerk at the internet café did something to switch this to an English keyboard, but that only works if you are a touch typist, which I am not. I cheat and look at the keys. This will be a short entry because I don’t have the patience to hunt and peck for my belles letters. Forgive any typos, s'il vous plait.

This is the Rabat airport. It is lovely and the women’s bathroom is really clean.

Random observations:

Not all cultures value not stinking the way Americans do. I noticed this as soon as I got on the plane to Paris. P&G, can’t you work your magic here?

Not all cultures value waiting their turn in line. It is quite interesting to see the clash of the wait-in-turn folks with the push-ahead ones.

You would think the French would actually inspect my passport – and the passports of the 400 other passengers who arrived with me – but no. There was no immigration control. NONE. We walked into the country and dispersed. I know I look very trustworthy, but I cannot speak for everyone else on the plane.

There were three infants on my flight, but they were not the problem. It was the righteously indignant whiner next to me who had the potential to be an issue. Now, I myself can be righteously indignant, but I get that way about Important Issues, not about problems I can actually solve.

This lady told me about a flight she had been on where the child sitting in front of her had been turning the overhead light on and off. When the lady had complained to the flight attendant, the attendant had done nothing about it – said there was a short in that circuit. The child had continued to play with the light. At the end of the flight, this lady had said very loudly to the flight attendant, “I’m glad it was the CIRCUIT!”

She told me this story, expecting approval, but I thought, “Lady, did you want to solve the problem or did you want to complain? You should have started with the child and nicely asked her to stop playing with the switch, explaining that it was bothering you. Then you escalate to the parents, then to the flight attendant.”

In situations like that, I’m about solving the problem, not about complaining. And being rude and obnoxious almost never solves the problem.

This lady had potential to be a nine-hour whiner, so I opened my book right away and ignored her the rest of the flight.

The Paris airport is always a great place to people watch. There is invariably a Frenchman standing under a no-smoking sign, puffing on a cigarette.

My moment of glory came when I was trying to find my gate to Rabat. A French soldier – or someone official looking, anyhow – approached me – asked me in French if I was lost and then understood me when I answered in French that yes, I thought I was, and proceeded to converse with me in French. It takes so little to make me happy.

And yes, Henry is even cuter in person than in photos. He has the Megan eye roll down to a tee.

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