Monday, March 20, 2017

Andiamo a Roma

had a conversation recently with a friend about using smartphone boarding passes. I'd mentioned that while I sometimes use the technology, I always back it up with a printed copy. He found that quaint, and couldn't understand how anything could go wrong. Unlike me, he'd never crawled out bed in the morning to find a dead phone. I have had that experience, numerous time, and didn't think that crawling off an airplane after a 10-hour flight would be a great situation to repeat it in. So, I always print.

We're on our way for our annual trip to somewhere far away. This year, at great personal cost, we decided to forego our beloved Spain and instead book a trip to Italy, Switzerland and France. I had tried with all my might to shoehorn stops in Sevilla and Bilbao, plus a visit to a friend in Zurich into a workable form, but failed. Too many trains and weird connections and double-payment on apartments for my persnickety personality. So instead, adios España and hello to a nice linear trip that begins in Roma and ends in Paris. With stops along the way in Milano and Zurich. Should be nice, will be different. This year also we decided to use Air BnB instead of apartment leasing companies. I'll report on that later.

But back to boarding passes. A couple got on the plane behind us and couldn't figure out where they were supposed to sit. He said, "Check the boarding pass" and she replied, "I can't get to it on the phone." Apparently Sunport Wi-Fi doesn't extend down the jetway, and she hadn't quite grasped the concept of cellular. So, she sat there on an armrest forcing everyone else to make their way around her while she cursed at her phone. MLW told me to help her, I declined. Eventually it must have worked out because she settled down into a seat and off we went on our quick hop to Dallas.

Now, we're cooling our heels in the Admiral's Club amazed at how much these lounges have changed since my China travel days. They used to be library quiet, now people think nothing about putting their phone on speaker and setting on a table so a group can have a nice loud conversation. And then there are the people walking around shouting into their Bluetooth earpieces. It's not restful like it used to be, and in fact it's only slightly better than sitting out on the concourse. But it's only for a couple of hours and for once the temperature is mild. 

From here we're off to Madrid, to at least wave out the window at our adopted land. A couple of hours wait and then on to Roma. The transfer there should be interesting as we'll be moving from a non-Schengen country to a Schengen country which is fancy way of saying we're flying into the European Union. From the Iberia web site, it looks as though we enter Spain and then catch a train to what's effectively a domestic terminal. We'll see, but I'm sure it will be at a minimum a tiny adventure. 




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