Monday, July 9, 2007

Southern Michigan Travel Journal -- Leaving Logan

So, I’m off to Southern Michigan on business for a couple of days, and to pass the time and to deal with the boredom, I present the “Southern Michigan Travel Journal.” I’m sure this will be thrilling…

Boston, 1:15 pm
You’re looking live at Logan Airport where…oh, wait, you’re not looking live anywhere, because Massport insists on charging me $7.95 for the privilege of using the same internet that countless airports around the world provide for free. So there won’t be any live updates, because apparently Massport has decided that letting you and I use the Internet for free will help the terrorists strike. Or maybe they just want to take another $8.00 from connected fliers.

Anyway, I’m flying Northwest to Detroit, and then getting a car for the remainder of the trip. I was going to visit family in Lansing tonight in advance of our business meetings tomorrow, so I got an early afternoon flight out. Then I realized that the family is on an Alaskan cruise, so I get to kill time on a pleasant peninsula.

Northwest’s gates are in the international terminal. As I’ve never flown Northwest or internationally (one of those has been a dream of mine, I’ll let you decide which), it’s my first time in the terminal. It’s unusually quiet, except for the Best Hits of the 70s, 80s, and 90s playing on “Logan Radio” over the loudspeakers. (I’m surprised they don’t charge us for that too, although I think they should pay me to listen to this stuff.)

I looked for someplace to eat, but apparently Logan has decided that the best way to greet international travelers is to immerse them immediately and totally into our most prized cultural icon—the mall food court—so my choices are Sbarro’s, McDonald’s, au bon pain, Starbucks, and the Wok and Roll. Meh. At least Atlanta has a Chili’s--and where is Cinnabon when I need one? I eat at McDonald’s for the first time in I can’t remember when. As McDonald’s go, it’s decent. At least the fries are fresh, which is all I ask.

Looking around, it’s pretty clear who here is traveling home to Europe, and who is touring from America. Europeans are drinking beer at 1:00 and generally look like ABBA. (Yes I know that sounds incredibly trite and stereotypical, but I'm telling you, I'm sitting across from these four beer-drinking, designer glasses-wearing, bleach blondes with Germanic accents. If I called out to Annifreda, I expect one of them would answer.) Americans look like Americans (and bonus points to the old lady wearing a straw hat with flags and buttons. She’s probably been trying to find her way to the airport since the Democratic convention.). I’m guessing there is some traveler in Paris making exactly the same note about how the Americans stand out in de Gaulle airport.

The guy behind the counter at Sbarro’s looks an awful lot like Julian Tavarez.

(Posted from Southern Michigan, because Massport blows.)

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