5/23/10: Lima, Peru
One of the main reasons I’m glad Amy is here is because I can once again participate in the group conversations. No more pretending to care about which baseball teams are leading which divisions. No more speculating about the future of the Cleveland Cavaliers. No more forced lukewarm statements of “Yeah, I completely agree, LeBron is the best basketball player ever to live…” No more of that – now we can talk about books! Just as an example, here’s a sample of a conversation we had last night while looking at our hostel book exchange shelf:
Z: Hey! The Chase by Louisa May Alcott!
Z: I’ve never heard of it. I thought I had read all the books by Louisa May Alcott.
A: Apparently not.
Z: reads the back cover aloud. Amy, you know what? These characters’ names sound like ones that Anne of Green Gables would have made up before she became a good writer.
A: You’re right, they do! … Hey…why did Stephen King review a book written by Louisa May Alcott?
Z: That is weird. I don’t know…
K: Bronson Arroyo! Bronson Arroyo!
A and Z stare confusedly at K.
Ok, I made that last part up. I just didn’t want Kevin to be left out of the conversation.
Poor Amy had to sit through an administrative day in the life of Zhou and Kevin. Luckily, she’s already learned how to sit patiently while other people do really boring things because, after all, she is a college student. Anyway, we were trying to plan the next segment of our trip, which is Spain. We will be flying to Madrid and we had planned on taking the train to Barcelona for four or five days as well. Then I looked up train ticket prices from Madrid to Barcelona, and that plan went out the window. So then we looked up flights on Ryan Air and Iberia and we came up with a list of five cities we could fly to for a few days. They were: Barcelona, Amsterdam, Vienna, Paris and Marrakech. Then the three of us each ranked the cities separately. Then the discussion began. It went something like this:
Z: Well, if money is no object, definitely Paris. I love Paris.
A: To be honest though, I only ranked Paris so high because of the food.
K: I think Paris is too expensive. And Zhou, you’ve been there already.
Z: That was ten years ago!
K: Hey, let’s go to Amsterdam!
A: What’s in Amsterdam?
K: I don’t know, I only want to go there because of the Guster song.
Z: Ok, Amsterdam’s out.
A: Why don’t you guys just go to Barcelona like you originally planned?
Z: Yeah Kevin, why don’t we just go to Barcelona like we originally planned?
K: I want to go somewhere else. We’re already going to Spain.
Z: That makes NO sense.
And on it went. For hours, it seemed. But we eventually did decide on a city. Ready? Guess where we’re going in a couple of weeks? Lisbon!
I’m just as confused as you are.
Today we flew to Iquitos. We flew with Peruvian Airlines, and the flight was so packed that when we checked in that there were no seats available together, so we had to sit one behind the other, in middle seats. Now, I know I’m going to sound like a spoiled brat when I say this, but I always sit in the window seat. And that’s just how it is. What? I like to look out the window.
I once read somewhere that the person in the middle gets to use two armrests. I remember this very distinctly because 1) I had never heard of that rule before reading it and 2) what a great rule! It only makes sense, right? The window person gets to look out the window and sleep against the side of the plane. The aisle person gets to get up and walk around whenever they feel like it without having to dance around other people’s laps. The middle person gets nothing except the opportunity to feel that their person space is being completely invaded by the two large people sitting on either side of them. They should at least get one extra armrest as a consolation prize! Anyway, I’ve never really had a chance to test how widely known this “middle person gets two armrests” rule is because, like I said, I always sit in the window seat.
Folks – people DO NOT KNOW about this rule. I was quite indignant that both ladies sitting beside me immediately took possession of two armrests each and then promptly fell asleep. And the thing is, the issue isn’t even the armrests themselves. Because I don’t really like armrests. 1) They’re a bit too high for me, 2) I am self conscious about my abnormally long and skinny arms and think they look even longer and skinnier in that awkwardly unnatural position and 3) airplane armrests are not comfortable. So here’s the gist of the situation: I don’t even like using armrests, and if I had never read that the middle person gets both armrests I probably wouldn’t have even noticed that both my armrests got taken, but I still spent the entire one hour and forty minute flight plotting on how to take my armrests back.
I never succeeded.
Puzzles for Postcards
Rhyme Time! Solve all three of these triple rhymes featuring recent NHC visiting family members.
A hip hangout for happy fathers
Throw a brother an “All Day Strong” pain reliever
Let a tiny Irish sister go into the wild
Picture of the Day: Hanging out by the Pacific Ocean.