Imagine: kids say the darndest things meets musical Jerry Seinfeld. When I came home for Labor Day weekend, I was greeted by the newest movement of musical comedy that my siblings have encountered. All of this centers around the resurgence of “Flight of the Conchords,” a musical group turned TV show stars that was the focus of my freshman year at Butler.
The interactions of the band manager and band are very indicative of what the TV show was like. I’ve enjoyed seeing all of these actors go on to bigger projects. Murray was featured in “Yes Man,” Jermaine starred in “Dinner for Schmucks” and Bret wrote the score for “The Muppets.”
This great cause was bolstered by a number of fantastic singers, who we got images of laughing at the ridiculous, child-generated lyrics as well as them singing or rapping said lyrics in a completely serious state. If you have the ability to feel inside (and stuff like that), I encourage you to donate. At the very least enjoy the video and recommend it to your friends.
I should have known that my luck was too good when I got onto my flight from Roma Fiumincino Airport to Toronto to find a half empty airplane. I had to seats next to a window. I was living the life: I took a nap, read a note that I had written to myself at the beginning of the semester, and watched “Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy.” That last one comes highly recommended.
My luck failed me on the second flight to Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. The plane was twice as small and packed to the water closets. It was here that I received a forceful reminder of the American norm. I was surrounded by business men who spent the majority of their time on their Blackberry’s, loud voiced and all just a bit overweight. I’d say culture shock, but it felt more like culture punch.
Sleeping through much of the flight, I caught bits of ominous announcements concerning “weather” and “delay.” Maybe I had hoped it was a dream, or part of my worsening sickness (when I wasn’t coughing I was blowing my nose into used tissues), but I figured I must have heard them wrong. Until we landed.
“Welcome to the Indianapolis Airport.”
Muttering multi-lingual curses I strained my ears to discern the problem. Storm. Hail. Redirecting. What had been planned as a two-hour flight was deteriorating into a four, maybe five hour flight.
The situation was redeemed when, during the return flight, we flew through a lightning storm. As odd as that sounds, I had been hoping for a lightning storm for four months and this was more than I could have asked for. Staring transfixed at the searing, undulating flares of light I remembered that there was some beautiful aspects to this land. The fact that this may turn into a fitting “silver lining” metaphor does not bother me one bit.
It’s like the “Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants,” only with people of all genders, and pants aren’t a major player. I’m talking about the companionship of travelers, whether they’re local or international. Let me lay it out for you: it’s like going to a new school or away to college, and everyone is a little bit nervous, resulting in more open interactions (no one can act superior or aloof, since you’re all in the same boat. Or plane, for that matter).
The smoking booths we both found funny
On the plane from Chicago to Frankfurt, I met Manar, a 38 year old Palestinian woman who had spent six years studying to be a Pediatrician in Italy, and who was returning to Italy to renew her license after several years of travel. She speaks four languages, including Hebrew, Arabic, Italian, and English. You can’t make this stuff up.
So, for the three hours of lay over that she shared with my five, we wandered around the Frankfurt airport—which couldn’t be more bland—talking about whatever. We made fun of the German accents, marveled at the “Camel Smoking Stations,” and she even showed me her pictures from trips throughout Italy, offering pointers on places to visit. I know that I haven’t even reached my final destination, but for some reason I feel like I already made it.
Tagged: abroad, Andrew Erlandson, flight, friends, interesting, meet, new, palestinian, people, study, travel, trip