vendredi 9 juillet 2010

a day of Travel Part 1

A day of Travel
What all Happens in the course of a Day
8th July 2010
July, especially its first days, leading up to the Bastille Day, is a bad time for a traveler to Paris, France. The roads are busy and slow moving, flights are all full , airports busy and chaotic bursting at the seams and everyone on edge!
Today, the normal 30 minute bus ride from Paris Opera to CDG 1 took more than one hour.. There were many people with tight connections, so always give yourself plenty of time at CDG.
0950 flight to ZRH was delayed, mainly because the staff couldn’t handle the volume of check in , mainly because of the large number of bags each person was checking in! Imagine the Swiss, calm and collected at other times, now fretting and sweating under their collar!
I was put on the 0950 flight even though my flight was supposed to leave at 1105 am but the way things were at CDG 1 I would have missed my connecting flight to MIA
Swiss Air Bus A 321 Seat 1 D CDG-ZRH left at 1040 am a very short 45 minute flight. The Chief flight attendant makes the announcement in perfect German, English and French . take off at 1050 am.
The snack offered on this flight was not as good as another similar flight one month ago.. but the same Swiss professionalism.. the same courtesy.
First out of he plane at ZRH. Lots of people milling around, people spending time at terminals waiting for distant destinations. ZRH is a small airport and easy to handle but it is at different levels, which may confuse a first time visitor there. You can see who is going where since all the international passengers have shorter connections and they are all hurrying..
Elevators to E gates. If you take the stairs, you will arrive at a longer line for passport clearance..
German Passport Control Officer. So I say, Bon Jour and Merci Beaucoup. A frown in return. Then take the train, then an escalator. The train arrives in just a minute or so
Security check
Special line for Business Class., then yet another passport check for passengers leaving for the United States. On the other side of the check point, flights leaving for Chicago, Washington DC and Miami Very ordinary waiting area without any lounges or any facilities but the views of the mountains are stunning indeed..
Unfriendly staff, overworked .
When Germans are overworked and unfriendly, it shows in their face, as a frown.
I am amazed to see the number of Foreign workers, Africans, Arabs and Pakistanis and other undecipherable middle easterners.. As Kaddafi of Libya said.. We don’t have to wage a war to win Europe!
The boarding process was not very organized, but I was happy to board.. they boarded the infirm and infants before, which was rather nice a gesture..
Even though there were only two lines, people were in the wrong lines and wrong flights..
It is 12 55 pm.
I had left my home in Paris at 0725 am. And I am in Zurich sitting at seat 4D …
The sadness the saudade is now changing into the happiness of arrival in Miami.. I am so happy it is Miami that I travel to in the USA.. the liminality is softer in the place you know and love…
The French Orange SIM card works here, and at ZRH airport you can log on to Internet using Boingo
Moral: dont travel in and out of Paris, France July 1-July 14.. certainly July is when they begin their vacations but they also take vacations in August.. Remember in France people take 3 and 4 or more weeks of vacation.. all the workers get holidays and it is a big deal to go away .. go to their ancestral lands in case of many of the recent arrivals..
As you can see on the picture I arrived in front of the opera at 7 55 am and there was a bus going to CDG at 0900... Public Transportation in Paris is nothing short of Excellent!