Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zero to 80 in two hours

I’ve been under the weather. And I’ve been over it too. The past few days I have been in many airplanes. Houston, Chicago, Dallas, Paris, Montpellier. The O-N-D season seems light in comparison. But this is the life. Well, not exactly “the life” but a life. Freely chosen.

I knew I wasn’t feeling good when I went to Chicago. An early work week in Houston, and a layover at my house. When we got to Chicago is was bitterly cold. What does one expect in January? We shuttled between hotels, meetings and restaurants. On the return back to Dallas (for another brief layover) the temperature was zero and the storm was approaching rapidly from the west.

Barely made it off the runway. Landing in Dallas was another world. 80 degrees, cloudless, smoggy like LA, but no storm, no chill. But my head was throbbing, my throat was raw.

A little bit o' gumbo also helped
Two days of ginger tea helped, but even if ginger is a powerful potion, no healing then. Must pack; getting on a plane the next day to Paris.

Sitting on the plane. 30 minutes. One hour. And then the captain announces we must change the plane as this one was using too much oil. So off again, And on to another plane in an hour or so.

Finally, two or more hours later we’re in the air. Off to an airport where most of us will miss our connecting flights.

Which I did. But hey, it’s a Sunday in Paris, even if I just am shuttling between Charles de Gaulle and Orly. Europe, where friends and family take lunch together, followed by ice creams and café. Civilized even in an airport brasserie.

All through this I have been spying on the 21st century. It seems we have more than dipped our toes into it by now. And even with such a fiery birth in 2001, the 21st century is indeed weirder and more unbelievable than anything our finest science fiction authors dreamt up. Or so says William Gibson, one of them writers.

It is odd, getting plane tickets from a box, watching folks, most of the dressed in black, play with little screened things in their hands, barely talking to one another. One of the good things about the mobile/smart phone is that is has reduced the decibel levels of humans speaking; an unintended extra.

I’ll take it. It makes the world seem more like a silent movie. Insert your own dialogue. Make your own damn movie. Isn’t that what we all really do anyway with the external reality playing out in front of us?

At Orly. Three ticket agents have given me three different times for checking in. Each one with a steadfast Gallic certainty that marks this country, for better or worse. Baby, baby won’cha go away mad?

So I am off to Montpellier for a few days, where I will be attending an organic wine fair, talking, tasting observing, before heading to Piedmont to meet up with a friend for a few days. No vacation, this is all work. But perhaps I can relax a little bit. At the very minimum, soon I will be on the wine trail in Italy. Until then, let’s see what our French cousins have to say about the state of organic wine in this here 21st century.

written by Alfonso Cevola limited rights reserved On the Wine Trail in Italy
Real Time Analytics