Overall, the return trip to the United States went smoothly. There were only a few minor hiccups that would have been nice to avoid:
- When we got to the RER station early this morning to catch the train to the airport we discovered that none of the automatic teller machines was working (at least, not in any way that was useful to us -- no cash and no credit cards without magnetic chips), and due to construction in the station the sales counter had been moved back above ground and poorly marked.
- After taxiing to the runway for takeoff, a technical problem was discovered, causing us to return to the terminal for repairs -- thereby adding 2 hours of in-plane waiting to a flight that was already 8 hours long.
- I had an aisle seat in a three-seat row; my fellow travelers in the row were a young couple with a "baby" that was big enough to have had its own seat. The baby was active and sometimes fussy, the parents not always very attentive, and the entire family very messy. Worst of all, the mother with the baby was all the way in, next to the window, and every twenty minutes or so she would climb out over the top of me to go to the restroom or to walk around with the baby. After the fourth time I made it clear that the arrangement was not acceptable, and so the mom and I ended up switching places so that I could sit undisturbed by the window.
Now begins the process of unpacking, doing laundry and otherwise getting ready for a return to regular life...
|very big airplane|
(capacity just under 600 people)
[Also, in case you're wondering, I have a ton of catch-up to do on the last few days since my most recent post -- I'll add those pictures/posts in the next couple of days.]