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March 2, 2011

Anyone with even a passing acquaintance with science fiction will be familiar with the airlock.  It is the doorway, the passage, between two atmospheres.  One must enter the airlock completely and have the first door close before the second door will open.  In those moments of transition, between inside and outside, the known and the unknown, the person remains still while the environment changes from one to the other.  Then he or she may continue on to the new space.  {hold this thought}

March will see me traveling to Florida to visit family, friends, and to play underwater hockey in Key Largo.  The vacation will be immensely fun, but the trip ~the transAtlantic part of it~ is always tedious.  It begins with the fact that one cannot have an itinerary which departs Pisa later than 7:30 and still arrives in Sarasota the same day.  Next day arrivals mean 9-13 hour layovers somewhere.  Fine.  I booked the flights.  As the Man will already be in the States and we will spend 2 weeks together, the fee for parking near the airport was exorbitant.  Fine.  I’ll rent a car to drive myself down.  Hmm.  The car rental’s website seems to say the office does not open until 8:00.  That can’t be right.  They must accept drop-offs beginning with the first flights of the day.  I called.  “No.  You must drop it off the evening before.”  ???  Fine.  As my flight is so early, I’ve already arranged to leave Kiwi with our friends the night before, so I might as well take the train to Pisa and spend the night in a B&B by the airport for half what the parking would cost.  Given the lack of  options, this is just what will work best.  The hour’s drive to the airport is always a little nerve-wracking for me because one can never know what disaster may befall the highway ~flood, explosion, inexplicable closure.  So this solution removes that stress.  I will have a 5-10 minute walk to the airport in the morning.

{remember the airlock?}  This evening will be my timelock, 12 hours between home and away, time to decompress and prepare myself for the transition between Italy and the US, quaint yet dusty inefficiency and sensory-overloaded productivity, decrepitude and modernity.  I look forward to clearing my head of concerns and worries here, letting them drain away as I lock the door and leave the kitten in good hands (and paws).  In those hours I will create open space in my mind and heart to accept all the wonder and goodness waiting for me.  Then I will step out of my timelock, refreshed and ready to sally forth.

————————This Just In———————-

Seriously, while I was finishing up this post, an email from the Man arrived saying a general strike has been announced ~planes, trains, and buses~ for the very day of the plan I just described.  It is to run for 24 hours from 8 a.m. to 8 a.m.  I’m sure I can beg / bribe someone to drive me down ~there is a possibly-entertaining movie showing at the Army base~ but what about the flight?  It is supposed to depart 25 minutes before the strike ends.  But what will they do with the day’s worth of passengers already stranded?  I will go ahead and post this, questions unanswered, in the vain hope that someone reading will know how this 3rd World, spoiled adolescent, congenitally corrupt society will sort this.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. January 7, 2013 05:38

    Most excellent friends offered to drive me to the airport in the morning. I cancelled the B&B. The plane departed as described. The B&B charged my card, regardless of my cancellation before their •4 day• window. The booking agency told me bald-faced lies about there being no charge. The B&B would not answer my emails. My US credit card sorted it out for me. One more straw on the expat’s back.


  1. The Word for 2013 « I Call It My Art

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