- Journal Notes: September 3 -
6:50 AM | The taxi to the gate in Paris is interminable, maybe five minutes of touring what seems to be an appropriately modern airport for so fashionable a city. I was impressed by the endless sprawling mass of urban lights I saw from the air, and am equally impressed with the design of the terminal buildings.
It only took me the length of one skywalk to determine that this aiport isn’t nearly so flattering on the inside. Walking the neglected, dirty terminal, we stared blankly at the signage and flight schedule board, all posted in Inglese, bu still somehow nonsensical. I’ve never felt that French is an attractive language, a sentiment that is now confirmed for me.
“Steak au poivre, goodbye,” says the French flight attendant as we disembark.
“Marquis,” I respond, “Thank you.”
7:20 AM | When we ask about our connecting flight, we are directed to a forlorn terminal, destitute of people, personality and life.
“Grandeur, hello,” says a friendly airport worker who ushers us through an empty queue with at least eight turns. The border police offer at the sends us back through the empty queue to get boarding passes, which we then take through the (still empty) queue a third time.
7:40 AM | Herded by the close corridors and gaudy-colored signs, we make our way to an unexpected second trip through security. The officers there seem lackadaisical, very different from the agents in the U.S. The x-ray monitoring agents lean back in their chairs as if they’re in detention hall while the other agents banter back and forth and ask us to remove our laptop, our iPods, and our Nooks, each item in turn.
They look at me strangely when I ask if I need to remove my shoes. Silly Americans. “Marquis,” I tell them as we repack our things and move on.
A dilapidated escalator finally delivers us to a terminal hub full of light, people, activity. The grime and fecundity of the previous area are invisible here, but my sinuses close up as I watch swarms of dust motes sparkle through the piercing rays of early morning sunlight.
There now remain only a few short hours before we arrive in La Serenissima, shedding our tired roles as travelers and donning the caps of explorers. Our compass stands at the ready, our water bottles are full, and our legs yearn for activity. Andiamao a presto!