flying

I flew Delta from LAX to Minneapolis to Hartford . Red eye special . Good arrival time for my friend to pick me up , except that I got confused on the day . The day I flew in he had a gig and had to pick me up a little later . I waited in an airport bar and had a couple of expensive airport beers ,  local Connecticut stuff .

Now I’m home again . Same flight in reverse , except that this time it wasn’t a red eye .

Three hours in Minneapolis . Coming in from L.A. , I saw snow covering the parking structures outside . On the return trip , two weeks later ,  no snow . The airport is stretched out along endless concourses . Concourses . When do you walk concourses  outside of airports ? Am I missing something ? There are moving sidewalks and a tram .  Endless concourses . Food courts . Shops .  WiFi access .

I had a few mini-bottles of Scotch in my carry-on bag . They’re allowed . My friend Willie told me that last year . He gave me a couple of them to test his statement . No problem .  I showed them to the snoops , thinking that they might confiscate them . No . Willie was right .scotch

To order the same shot of Scotch during the flight would have cost me seven dollars , I think . Drinking one of the bottles during the flight I felt as if I were now out of the red , outsmarting Delta , pushing the envelope . The little bottles cost only 99 cents in Connecticut .  If I had had a few more mini-bottles I’d be sitting pretty , ahead of the game , actually beginning to show a profit . Well , almost   .

I once went from Berlin to London on Ryan Airlines . Ryan , if I remember correctly ,was the airline that seriously considered charging a fee to use the restroom . Nice .I would have gone broke .  I got to the Berlin Airport , Freuninggulingen ……., no Shaeuftshaffen ……. no Sheinifeld ? , Shoenefeld ? , at six in the morning . I had come from Poland by taxi that morning . Got there overly early , as is my way .WWI air ambulance

I was second in line . We were the only two customers to have arrived so early for the flight .  I had one bag to check . There were two conveyor belts moving luggage along : to London  and to  Ankara . I didn’t see the clerk put my lonely bag on the Ankara belt . I should have been watching , I guess . When I got to London I had no clothes . 10 days in England and no  clothes other than what I was wearing . I won’t tell you the whole sad story . My bag met me in London on the 10th day , having , I assume , enjoyed its own vacation in Turkey . We flew back to Berlin together , but we didn’t talk to each other the entire flight .

Another Berlin to London flight on British Airways was exciting after the pilot announced  over the scratchy PA system that he thought the landing gear was stuck . We were going to have to go in on our shiney sleek aluminum belly . The pilot’s voice was almost inaudible and he had a heavy English accent . One of the many . Dorset , maybe . Rs everywhere . Like old movie pirates :  Aarrh , matey ! Wharr yer headin’ ? Shiver me timbers !  Emarrgency vehicles aarrh be preparrhin’ fer arrh landin’  . Aarh.sign el monte airport

The plane was full of Germans . I , a native English speaker , was barely getting what the pilot was saying . I didn’t think that many of the Germans got much of it . But , on the other hand , maybe they had learned English from the English . Good possibility that they understood a lot more than I did , now that I think of it .

When we approached Gatwick , or was it Heathrow ? , the emergency vehicles were lined up along the runway . There were plenty of them : fire trucks , ambulances , police , hearses . Well , maybe not hearses .   I had confidence in the pilot and the plane . I don’t think anyone else in the plane could say the same , judging by their panicked expressions . Those pilots , highly trained ,  could slide it in on its fusilage belly .

Buckle your seat belt ; it’s gonna be a bumpy ride . airplane seat belt

But the landing gear came down and we all rolled to a stop .  Anticlimatic . I’m not complaining .  Billy Bob Thornton said ,” I’m not afraid of flying . I’m afraid of crashing . ”   That about sums it up .

About these English accents :

Ada and I flew from LAX to London once and I had arranged , in advance ,a rental car from the airport . I never sleep on flights and by the time we reached the car rental desk in London I was exhausted . I couldn’t , for the life of me , understand what the English girl at the counter was telling me . It was a Friday . I thought that she was telling me that my car wouldn’t be available until Monday . She wasn’t , of course . She was trying to tell me that my car would be a Mondeo .  I was losing my temper .

” Not Monday !” I said . ” Now “england

Ada had to translate . Mediate . Ada grew up in Poland .

” Tell him…” the English girl would say .

” Tell her ….” I would say .

Oh.  The car is called Mondeo. Nothing about Monday . It’s waiting for us . Oh . O.K. Why didn’t she say so ?mondeo

I don’t mind flying much . Once in awhile . It’s quick once you leave the ground .  Gets you places you might not otherwise go . Somewhat uncomfortable . Never enough leg room . And they always remind you how a seat belt works ; they show you ; give a demonstration . That comes in handy because sometimes , if you haven’t used one in a few hours , you might have forgotten .

Sometimes you should bring along an English-American dictionary , or , at least a phrase book . Several English speakers from various corners of the earth learned English English from the English . Beware .  And consider bringing  some little bottles of booze . If nothing else , it gives you a sense that you’re getting away with something .  Even if you’re not a drinker bring some  —– trade one  for a few more tiny bags of peanuts or pretzels . If you ride Ryan Air , bribe the stewardess to use the head without paying the fee . Endless possibilities . Endless.illustration 3

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c u

 

northern Ireland 1910

 

 

I’m going to Ireland tomorrow .

Yes , I have a good raincoat .

I’ll be thinking about posting something , perhaps , from the Holy Ground , from the old sod . Thinking ain’t doing , though , so I send along a few random photos with this post .

Best wishes to all of you ‘followers’ and all of you others who happen along . Be careful out there !

As the old Irish lady said : ” No , I don’t believe in leprechauns , but they’re out there just the same. ”  I’ll let you know if I spot one . I won’t have the urge to get the pot of gold , however.  Money is the root of all evil .

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the Polish bar

Okay . This took place decades ago . Just so you know .

Ada were in Paris visiting her sis . Her sis had a small apartment at the time near Montmartre . It was a great location , but when I say small , I mean close to the size of a business envelope . The bathroom was about the size of a postage stamp .fem fatale

We spent several days there , Ada and I and Sis and her daughter , who was about ten years old at the time .  The two sisters chatted endlessly to one another in Polish . I got a quick translation summary every twenty minutes or so :

We’re just talking about old friends from high school ,” or  ” We’re talking about hats “.

Every few hours Ada’s sis would suggest that there was a ” communication problem ” between Ada and I . Why ? Because we didn’t seem to have anything to say to one another , she said . All of that analysis was in Polish , you see , so I would get a quick summation afterward from Ada in English : ” We have a communication problem . ” 

I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not a great conversationalist , but I’m better now than when I was as a kid . I think that I spoke a total of about seventeen or eighteen words during all of  my elementary years . My aunt gave me a present of a paper clip once  that said ” TOP SECRET ” on it . My first grade teacher told my parents that they’d better get me checked out by a psychologist because I wouldn’t speak  . When I tell Ada ” That’s the way I am . That’s the way I’ve always been ” she doesn’t ever go for that argument .

Ah , Paris !

” I’ve got cabin fever , ” I said . Countless walks around the city and up along Montmartre were not enough to solve the problem .  Finally , Ada suggested : ” Why don’t you go visit M “. M is the name I’m giving the Polish artist friend of theirs who did superb pieces of art and also sketched quick portraits of tourists up along Montmartre for a little daily spending money . M spoke some French and a little broken English . Seemed like a nice enough guy with a sense of humor  . But I was pretty sure that he was on an extended drunk , most likely . He hadn’t been heard from for several days .

” And he has an English friend visiting , ” Sis said , ” so you’ll have someone to talk to in your own language . ”

Well , I’m not totally convinced that an Englishman speaks my language , but close enough , I suppose . I resisted the visitation suggestion for a day or two ; but then I gave in .  I agreed to go over to M’s place to visit with him and his English friend .glasgow-slum-1940s-20

When I got to the apartment the English guy opened the door . Behind him was a floor completely covered in empty bottles —- vodka , beer , wine . Had I looked , there may have been a few empty champagne bottles , too , this being Paris , after all.  These guys had apparently been drinking for days . I was ready to turn around and go back to the envelope , but they welcomed me in and offered me a beer.

We’re going out to find the Polish bar “.

” As long as we’re not driving ,” I said . And the three of us wandered out into the Parisian night to find the Polish bar . Walking.

We hit the first bar , had a drink there . Is this the Polish bar ? No. We walked a little further along  to another bar ; had a drink there . Polish bar ? No . And then another not-the-Polish- bar bar and another drink . You get the picture .

Eventually we staggered up to a small car parked on the street . The artist and the Brit got into the front seats and I got into the back seat . That tells you right there my condition . As I was closing the door it dawned on me that this was not at all a good idea . The driver could barely stand and his eyes were at half -mast . The Brit and this guy had probably been drinking for days non-stop . No excuse for me as the car pulled away from the curb.

Within just a few minutes a small car pulled in front of us . We stopped . The car sprouted flashing lights on the top and it raced in a tight circle around us. Three or four cops jumped out and ran tight circles around us . These were not the picturesque French gendarmes that show up in light-hearted French movies . These guys had crash helmets , leather gloves and flak jackets and all carried sub-machine guns .

I wondered immediately what the inside of the French jail I’d be going to would be like . I realized also that I didn’t have a phone number for Ada or her sister . How would I get in touch with them from jail ?

The driver and the Brit had climbed out of the car , and so , so did I . A cop began to question the artist , who slurred whatever response that he could manage as the Brit took out his passport and waved it in the air . ” Take out your American passport and shout that you’re an American citizen ,” he told meHe began shouting at the top of his lungs : ” I’m a British citizen . I’m a British citizen . I demand my rights as a British citizen .” 

This was not good . I took out my passport and began yelling : ” I’m an American citizen .”  Ordinarily this would not be characteristic of my behavior , but I was just inebriated enough to do it . Nothing to lose , after all, I thought  . I figured all was lost anyway . The two of us stood there in a Paris street waving our passports in the air and shouting in English as our driver talked to one of the cops. The other cops were still running quick circles around us .

And then the French cops  hopped back into their little car an sped off , leaving us in the middle of the street . beer drinking farmers

Somehow the artist managed to drive us back to his place . I walked back to where I was staying .

” How’d it go ? ” Ada said . ” Aren’t you glad you went ? ”  Well , not really . “ You’re a little tipsy , ” she said . I felt like taking out my passport and waving it in the air  , but I told my story of the evening instead as accurately as possible  .

” They were looking for terrorists , ” Ada’s sis suggested .  I guess . Nevertheless , now that I think of it ,  it was very irresponsible of them to leave us there in the middle of Paris in a car in our condition .

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my people

via my people

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September 21, 2018 · 4:15 pm

just another friday

via just another friday

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September 14, 2018 · 2:49 pm

thoughtlessness

38_00392i phone picts 2018 312i phone picts 2018 432.JPGi phone picts 2018 628.JPGLITHUANIA 2018 JULY 143Szcz, 2018 neighborhood walk June 5 178diving suit 1920TALL SHIPS Szcz. 2017 062POLAND walk 2017 067TALL SHIPS Szcz. 2017 056

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September 6, 2018 · 9:23 pm

somethings

buick la sabre 1951

mail truck 1940

dentist gramaphone 1922

NIECHORZE Baltic 2018 401

NIECHORZE Baltic 2018 375

LITHUANIA 2018 JULY 363

skull museum

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4 picts & fore

Did someone say this blog had to make sense ?   fore

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