I had a close call on the night of May 29, just my error of being an inch or two to the left of being in good visual command of oncoming traffic. No one was injured, no cars collided or left the pavement. I just needed a reminder of a very important point: Little things matter.
I would be reminded of that fact in two unrelated incidents on Sunday, but getting back to Day 4. I awoke, with sufficient alacrity that I was going to drive the rental car successfully back to its lot, without damage to any car or any driver or passenger. I forewent breakfast, save a cup of coffee, until the job was done. The big thing is, I found how easy it actually is to get to Wyndham Gardens Hotel, near Newark International Airport. DON’T LISTEN TO VOICES OF DOOM! “OMG, you’re going to make all those quick turns, with those impatient people, at rush hour?” Yes, I did, and here’s how to get to the place, if you ever need or want to, from west of Newark: Take I-78 east to Rtes 1 & 9 South, stay to the left, with the commuting traffic, and exit at Haynes Road. Take International Way, past the Park and Ride turnoff, and go into the Wyndham parking lot. Yes, you need to take an entry ticket, but leave it in the car.
I made it to each of my flights, with time to spare. Briefly, Newark to Montreal left on time and was smooth. My seat mate was very quiet and seemed as if she were heading towards something WAY out of her comfort zone. Montreal to Ottawa, via a twin engine prop, left ten minutes late, due to the lingering threat of lightning. We had it easy, staying inside the terminal. Three planeloads of passengers and crew waited outside, in their planes. Once the threat passed, they came in, en masse. I got a chance to buy a new ballpoint pen out of the deal, by virtue of having time to do an OJ and bound up and down the stairs, with full backpack and bag. I am getting a lot of weight and endurance training on this trip.
The food benefits are not bad, though. At Ottawa International Airport, I enjoyed a BLT, with mozzarella sticks on the side, plus the usual fries. Not Health City, exactly, but satisfying, after a long morning and afternoon. When I off-handedly remarked to myself that someone had left their receipt unsigned, on the table, Charles, the server, deadpanned: “That would be the person who sat here before you.” His service after that little quip was exemplary, though, and was a good send-off to Frankfurt, in its way. So, too, was this:
Ottawa has accented its heritage as a gateway to the north country, but with none of the “redneck chic” hokum that undercuts the real fineness and beauty of the area and its people. The city is no longer in anyone’s shadow.
I had, as seatmates on the Ottawa- Frankfurt flight, a Turkish couple and their college age daughter, who were polite and cordial, but mainly kept to themselves, chatting in German about a variety of subjects, My TV kept me plenty busy, as did writing in my pen-and-ink journal, which accompanies this blog. On hand were an episode of “Rookie Blues”, a Canadian police drama, and a film version of the story of Ste. Jeanne d’Arc, whose real story I will view in Rouen, this coming Thursday. Finally, I was a silent viewer of “Ronin”, a Keanu Reeves action film, with him as a samurai rebel, or so it looked from where I sat. Both “The Messenger”(the Joan of Arc bio) and “Ronin” were tales of righteous obsession, juxtaposed with naked self-service and aggression.
MORNING! The light greeted us sleepyheads, while we were still over England, and just about all of our section had the progress of the flight on our screens, in an “Are we there yet?” fashion. We arrived, had a smooth landing, went through immigration, in perfunctory fashion, and I was out on the streets of Frankfurt by 7:10 AM, Western Europe/ West Africa time. It did take me another hour or so to locate the bus to the area where my hotel is located- and that’s a story for Day 5.