Joe Jansen and his bride, Naggetta, of too many years, boarded a plane and throttled towards the Big Apple. Landing at LaGuardia Airport and heading for Manhattan, the trip was a standard tourist tromp heading for the remnants of the World Trade Buildings, Empire State, the Red Bus, hotel in midtown, and a stroll through Central Park and its encompassing museums. Needing all 3 days for the 10-cent tour that totaled over a grand for food and housing alone, it was time to separate. Joe headed for Kennedy for an Air France flight to Paris and on to Madrid, while Naggetta was outbound, back to the Midwest. Whatever it takes to make a marriage work, you do it. Landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport that was under massive remodeling, Joe missed his connecting flight and his transportation to his Madrid hotel. Running 5 hours behind and paying for a cab twice, he arrived in the evening, hungry and ticked off. With a meal at 10 o’clock at night, Joe found himself in the restaurant rush hour and wrote off the last 16 hours as a tour from hell. Given an 8-hour flight in an Air France jet that had seating for pygmies, he had to sit with his legs pulled up to prevent the woman in front of him from pushing her seat into his microworld. An argument ensued, and Joe won. Without his persistence, the blood would have been cut off to his lower torso and he would be legless today. It’s no wonder people pay 10 grand more for 1st class. Spending the next day in downtown Madrid, Mr. Jansen walked the streets and enjoyed the Spanish graffiti on the trains and bridges. He loved the parks and their topiary creatures sculptured into Mediterranean shrubs. He stumbled upon a train station that was under construction due to it being the target of a terrorist bombing almost a year ago. Joe also enjoyed people watching: human machinery that moves with unknown purpose as they appear and disappear before you. Joe retired to his hotel room for rest; tomorrow morning was his first “group” day.

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