Saturday, April 29, 2006

We have arrived. First, there was the wolf-man in line at the airport--he had facial hair growing up past his temples and growing finer as it did so, yet he stopped shaving below his eye sockets giving him the appearance of having bruised eyes or wearing odd makeup. Then, there was the bike lock in the carry-on luggage, which apparently is a no-no due to its potential for weaponization. Had to go back to the ticketing counter, convince them not to charge me to check it, and then head back to screening. The woman in front of me the second time had a brother-in-law who accidentally carried a gun with him to the airport recently--"why can't they focus on the real terrorists?" she wonders.

The plane got off about 45 minutes late due to various issues, but we were rescued by the drink tickets that O. had kindly provided to us as a going away gift. Not that the wine was any good, but it did save me from copious quantities of eye rolling (and the resulting muscular strain) brought on by the film "Nanny McPhee". The rest of the flight was pretty uneventful, with the exception of the two guys hanging out for a long time in the galleys by the toilets; the one said to me that he didn't need to use the facility and that they were back there as part of "the club", and the other said "yeah, the club!" I did manage to get in some good eye-rolling on account of this nonsense.

Got to the flathotel, and ate Jordan almonds for breakfast. Why? Because of some crazy desire by my sister and my bro's girlfriend to embarrass me and J. following the announcement that we had gotten married a month prior. But they were just the thing to precede a nap, after which I was somewhat refreshed and ready for the world. Had a lovely veg-mozz-pesto on ciabatta. Ordered the freshly squeezed lemon juice on the side, not realizing that they meant it completely literally--it was about 4 lemons squeezed into a glass, very pulpy, with sugar water to be added to taste. Let me tell you: there is not enough sugar water in Brussels to make that palatable. Then to the grocery for some provisions and then off for a stroll. A lovely sunny day in the low 50s. Makes me want to sleep at 7 p.m.


My plan to avoid jet lag by staying on Brussels time the entire time I was in the states crashed and burned by virtue of not being able to sleep on the plane. All those mornings when I was up cutting the grass at 4:30AM were for nought. I missed most of the drama regarding the bike lock because I had already passed all the way through security. I watched from afar as the TSA guy pantomimed various ways the thing could be used to hijack a plane. Mostly they involved jabbing it at his own neck.