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America, December 22, 2005

Twenty-six hours to Vero

Economy class cramped the whole way too

Home is this way!
Am I home yet?
My ass is flat. I'm only one third the way to Florida and my ass is already flat. It's flat from the book I've sat on for the last three hours. The book I need to sit at this desk correctly, so I can type like mad during my layover at Charles du Gaulle airport. I'm a WiFi addict, and need my fix.

I am also homeward bound after two weeks in Beirut, starting a program for work that will bring WiFi, like this airport lounge connection, to the whole of Lebanon. I am homeward bound today, not to my real home in Washington DC, where I will have a cross-town dash soon, but my home in Florida, where I'm from.

Homeward bound on a twenty-six (26!) hour, six-airport, four flight, three continent, economy-class odyssey. Taking the 2 am flight, I leave my newest wingman, Ali, to a pack of four Arab-American women, intent on enjoying their Beirut Christmas vacation. Arriving in Charles du Gaulle, I await my next flight to Washington Dulles. There it will be the Thursday before Christmas, a heavy travel day, and I'll have three hours to get from Dulles to Washington National.

Three hours that will require an OJ Simpson high-hurtles exit from Immigration and Customs, lottery-winning luck to escape DC's wanna-be Beirut traffic, and then precision timing to make the two concourse sprint through Atlanta for my flight to West Palm Beach.

There, I'll meet Mom, late in the night, for yet another trip, this one by land, in the swank Wayan's Lounge - my tinted and techno Honda Coupe. Or so it was when given to her in 2004. Wayan's Lounge is no more. Mom-ified with towels, covers and even tissues, it's now a suburban workhorse. Still, I will still enjoy its comfort, relax in its wide seats, and amazingly, talk with Mom the whole ride home.

Only then and there will the jetlag find me, sleep me, and de-flat ass.

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