New York

Sitting here in Terminal 4 at JFK waiting for my flight. I got to the airport a little after 1pm. In part because I couldn’t convince the hotel to let me check out any later than noon and because I needed some peace and quiet and the airport was a good option at that point. When I flew in on Tuesday and took the Air Train to the subway, I passed by Terminal 7 where I used to work. Taking the long train ride was very amusing. Amusing in a “what the hell was I thinking doing this every day?” sort of way. The trains haven’t changed, they are still old and rickety and have unusual smells in them. The people riding them are still avoiding eye contact or if they are making eye contact, it might not be the type you want. You still can barely understand the conductor’s announcement of which station is next. To further enhance the fantasy land experience, they have made the subway maps even smaller and there’s only one per car if you are lucky.

I used the subway to get around quite a bit over the past couple of days but this morning, I had had enough. I went by foot power instead to round up the tortillas, the pumpkin purée for Joanne, the Field Roast Hazelnut en Croute holiday roast and did I mention tortillas? If anyone else was hoping to score organic traditional tortillas today, they are out of luck. Sorry about that but Henry and George appreciate your understanding!

I saw my dad last night for dinner. Bravely, he tried a vegan restaurant. Blossom on Carmine which was very good. Well, it was for me. For him, I think it was a little unnerving to not see any recognizable protein. We had an interesting discussion. I have to say that learning to talk to R certainly gave me some skills for talking to my dad. And the exposure to Dutch directness over the past year has also helped. We continued our conversation in the hotel bar which sounds much wilder than it was. Considering we ate dinner at 530, by 830, we were leaving the bar.

Something I noticed was at the restaurant, you experience again the American phenomenon of needing to turn the tables over as fast as possible because it is a tip dependent industry. Whereas in Amsterdam, we could have sat for hours at the same table and it wouldn’t have been an issue because tipping to pay your employees’ salary is not the model for restaurant owners. It makes a big difference in hospitality.

We met again this morning at 6 for breakfast before he was off to another meeting and the train. The thing that I appreciate about my dad is that we can have conversations about big topics like politics and the economy, etc. He is sharp so it is a spirited conversation. This morning we were debating the corruption of the Constitution because of the religious influence in what is essentially a two party system. At 6 AM, this was awesome! The other people in the breakfast room were thinking that it was a bit much at such an early hour. They wanted to eat their sausage and eggs in peace. Well, sometimes you have to start the day with a little hot sauce. Euthanasia and death with dignity is a big issue right now and the usual idiots are declaring they will veto any measures, etc. It isn’t about you, Mr/Ms Politician. It is about a person’s sovereignty and dignity and their RIGHT to choose when they are done living.

Anyway, it is interesting to note that despite everything else, both of my parents were definitely nonconformist in their attitudes. I suppose there is no way I could have turned out any different. 😉

I will be glad to go home. I hear the pets have been reasonably well behaved. Of course, the real test will come when I get home and ask their sitter if she is ever willing to come back. Otherwise, we’ll have to look into someone like Nanny McPhee!

You know, there are a lot of people walking around in here talking like they are very important into their phones. I guess some of that must be in the tap water 😉

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