but not in enough time to get anything but a middle seat, back of the bus, no recline. Luckily my seat mates were small, forgiving and ENL (English as a Non Language) so no distracting chatter and plenty of shoulder room. Unfortunately for them I had been dining with a colleague and prospect at La Poissonaire in Ste. Laurent which meant my clothes and I stank of fish and Tunisian cuisine (heavy on the garlic homous, onions and spiced meat). Apart from the fish, which I had declined to pick from a pile of slimy, unappetizing flesh, lunch was delish; but due in part to a particularly awesome menu feature (which I believe was named Kebbe Nayeh: raw minced beef, mint leaves, raw onion and oil) I was burping Tunisian air bombs like no tomorrow. I managed to grab two Dentyne Ice packs on my mad dash through the airport, put a whole 12-pack in my mouth, chewed it for 60 secs and swallowed it whole, adding a minty fresh overtone to my malaise d' gut, slicing the top edge off the foul stench rumbling from me every 5 minutes.
LH actually fed me reasonable fare, the service was unreal, and the first movie (Freedom Writers) bearable (except when Swank was virtually alone on screen at which points her equine grimace and one-dimensional fluster abraded like a belt sander).
Some woman went unconscious mid flight again, and this time every crew member in Econ responded, literally dragging her limp form back to the rear galley directly behind me. The call went out for docs and there was a polite skirmish beside me and my bemused row-mates as several SimuDocs who had wormed their way aft to us engaged in a lively game of EscalatingCredentials(tm):
"Are you a doc?"
"I'm a radiologist. You?"
"Endocrinologist. How about you, there?"
"Yah, I'M a surgeon."
So AlphaDoc goes into action. AEDs, O2 tanks and various other kits are summoned and dutifully delivered. 30 mins later, relieved-looking cabin crew start emerging from behind the gray curtains and, leaving them pulled aside, expose those of us in the back row to an ebullient and honking doc's post-trauma bedside manner, consisting primarily of shouting at the vic and her bewildered spouse-unit to ask how they feel now, and about how insignificant their world travels must seem in compared to his.
I manage to pack the Shure ear buds in deep enough to block out most of his '97-98 world tour and interminable waxing on about St. Petersburg, and enjoy 90% of The Good Shepherd on my iPaq, and 95% of Timothy Taylor's Story House before touchdown.
Misty and cold in Munich. Alex was there to get me at 0630. A 1.25hr rainy drive to Erlangen put us in time for a large Euro breakfast with Hannes, Bea and Ben.
Its now 10:30pm by the bedside clock. By my reckoning I've been up for
32 hrs and have a delightfully bloodshot tale to tell of cool misty hikes to the top of Franconia's highest hill that (thanks to an indefatigueable Hannes) start, are bisected by, and end with a litre of beer. I have added a layer of smoked meat, cheese and whitebread breakfast, double bratwürst sausage lunch and killer asparagus/cheese casserole dinner from Bea over the simmering cauldron of La Poissonaire.