Clean Break

At some point I went from being the Anais Nin to the David Sedaris of travel bloggers. I'm not sure when that shift happened, but if I could put in a request, I would like to go back to the Nin please. The whole paino in Paris incident was not so horrifying that I wanted to call off the whole foreign intrigue angle altogether.

Before we get started let me say this: THERE IS GOING TO BE ABSOLUTELY NO SEX IN THIS TRAVEL BLOG. NONE. NADA. NIENTE. NYET. GOT IT? So I don't want to here any whining when I get to the end. I don't want to hear any "Well I didn't expect to end THAT way." And incidentally, I knew there wasn't going to be any sex because I was going with my mother. That's why I left you with two sex posts, because I knew that was going to be as good as it gets for a while.

Anyone who has traveled with my mother understands why it took Ulysses twenty years to get back to Ithaka. It started while we were sitting at the gate to go to Paris (yes we were transferring planes at Charles de Gaulle).

PA: Air France flight 741 to Munich is now boarding at gate 63.

Mere Lapin: We're at the wrong gate.

Lapin: That flight is to Munich.

Mere Lapin: Oh.

PA: Anyone with a Delta boarding pass, please check in with Delta customer service.

Mere Lapin: We need to check in with customer service.

Lapin: Our boarding pass says Air France not Delta.

Mere Lapin: But I bought the tickets through Delta.

Lapin: They didn't say tickets purchased through Delta, they said a Delta boarding pass. We don't have Delta boarding passes because we aren't getting on a Delta flight.

Mere Lapin: Oh.

And this goes on for about two hours until we are able to get on the plane. Mere Lapin has shown up with all this luggage. I'm not sure what she was planning on doing for those ten days. I brought jeans and tank tops because I figured I would spending most of my days tramping around the Forum and Pompeii ( I did bring some nice outfits for dinner and for entering churches-unlike the French they do uphold a dress code for entering churches even as tourists), but Mere Lapin is the kind of woman who spends an hour getting her hair and make up together in the morning so we can spend nine hours on a train. When I'm traveling, you're lucky if I take the time to put on more than lip balm.

So Mere Lapin shoves her two bags into the overhead bin. I put my one understuffed bag in the overhead. Before take off the "flight attendant" tries to close the bin with my mother's bag, she can't. So she says to my mother very quickly in French "Is this your bag?" My mother stares blankly at her. (I was working on a translation, but she spoke very quickly.) So she asked in French again. Blank stare again. Finally the f.a. asks "Do you speak English?" To which my mother, who anticipated the question as "Do you speak French?", answered "No." Meanwhile, I was pretending to read The Polysyllabic Spree (a great book loaned to me by Bakerina). My mother laughed and then said "Yes, I speak English." The f.a. moved her monstrous bag, and I leaned over and asked " Why would she ask you if you speak French in English?" My mother just laughed and shrugged while I secretly prayed to St Christopher, the patron St of travelers, to help me out on this one because Mere Lapin was the one who had made all of our travel arrangements.

Because there are no athetists in foxholes, prison cells, and planes with my mother.

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