samedi, décembre 27, 2008

ParisFamilyXmas Day 15: The Departuring

Considering how much I’ve re-calibrated my body-clock for nightlife, I was surprised at how easily I woke up at 5h00 this morning. Mind you, it still sucked, but it wasn’t nearly as sucky as I had expected.

I made it over to the family’s apartment in time to bring down the bags and then wait outside for the taxi. Once he got there, the ride to the airport was completely uneventful (thank you Jeebus), and Carla managed to check in and drop off her luggage. She still had a long time to wait until her flight and my parents flight wouldn’t be open for check-in for a couple of hours, so we found a café in the terminal and sat down for a while with some coffee and croissants.

After finally seeing off my sister, we walked over to the terminal for my parents’ flight (thankfully without having to walk outside) and headed for the Air Canada desk. They still hadn’t opened for check-in and there was nobody to be seen, so we sat down at another café for another round of caffeinated beverages.

An hour or so later, we checked back at Air Canada and they had opened. Alas, checking in wasn’t so simple for my parents. You see, my father has a very common Hispanic name, much like me, but he also has Columbia as his birthplace on his passport. This always creates problems with him when traveling, because clearly there have been other Columbians with his name that have done bad things and have gotten themselves on the no-fly list or something like that. So every time he tries to check into a flight, the desk attendant has to make a bunch of phone calls and pretty much clear it with the local version of the “Homeland Security” office before he can be checked in.

Anyway, it was time-consuming but not necessarily all that difficult, so we finally got him checked in and my parents got in the security line. I stuck around while they cleared security, as they had some chocolates in their carry-on luggage that they feared might be refused by security (these days, it’s never quite clear what’s allowed on board). The security line was a mess, though, and I couldn’t really see them once they got to the front of the line. About 30 minutes later, I got a call from my mother saying that they got through security OK, so we said our goodbyes and I headed back home.

I decided that I needed to reset my body-clock, since in a few days I would be going to Berlin for New Year’s Eve, so I took a nap until the late afternoon. From there, I fixed a light dinner of roasted winter vegetables and set about writing up my blog notes on the last two weeks. Also, today was the sudden beginning of Israel’s bombing campaign in Gaza, so I spent a large part of the evening transfixed by the news coverage and watching various political representatives tear into each other on news “debate” shows.

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