Saturday, August 04, 2012

Not so Easy Jet
After a full week of organizing, dusting, sweeping, polishing, painting and all the rest, Noriko and Matthew and their two well behaved children finally came to switch apartments with us. They were very nice and happy with our very shiny house. They explained at length the very complicated system by which you enter their apartment in Paris using codes and buttons and keys and more buttons and how you use their television which is even worse and how you get rid of the garbage which also involves keys and buttons and such. It was daunting.

We said goodbye to T's friend Natasha's family and headed off to the train, pre-bought tickets, four perfectly packed carry on bags, the medicine bag, the food bag, and the check-in bag in hand. We sat for a long time at a train station near the airport in Pisa and found out that the train wasn't going any further. No problem. We just sprinted out of the station and headed for the taxi stand where there was actually a taxi and got to the airport in plenty of time.

We waited on the long line for the check-in. I was anxious about getting the snacks that go with T's insulin on board even though I had the special medical certificate in hand. I should have worried about something else. It turned out that Natasha has a an Italian passport which is red. Our American passports are blue. It turns out that although this same airline let us take T's friend Greta from Arkansas to Spain with us from Italy they wouldn't let us take Natasha to Paris without a stamp from the police headquarters and both her parents' signatures. F took Natasha to the police headquarters in Pisa while time ticked down. Her dad came too, but they wouldn't help us and told us to try the police headquarters at the airport, but they wouldn't help us. I called Anna Maria, police superwoman and full time Farah Fawcett look alike. We missed our flight.

It just so happened that Anna Maria was working late (even though the headquarters was technically closed) and that she was able to reach the only official with the power to get the timbro we needed and enter the data into the passport computer system. Thanks to her we didn't have to pay 800 more euros for new tickets, but just a heavy late fee. God bless Anna Maria. I will have to name all the future children I am not going to have after her even if they are male. And thanks forever and ever also to Natasha's family who took us out to pizza and let us sleep in their son's room. I got almost three hours of sleep and we started all over again (my giant acne cyst making me look more like Rudolph the red nose reindeer than the Parisian chic I was going for).

I have now terrorized myself into not being able to sleep more than an hour and a half in a row just like when T was an infant. T's constant exercise have earned her some better blood glucose values, but what a way to go. I have done something to my left calf that hurts when I breathe. We had a lovely baguette and soft smelly French cheese for lunch. Their apartment is centrally located, but not as shiny as ours.

F's high school French is really coming in useful since every time we have to speak to a French person he speaks to them in halting Italian which really confuses the crap out of them. Addieu

This is an ad in the Paris subway. I don't speak French but I gather it says don't turn into a giant frog and jump the turnstile or you will be turned into a Louis Vuitton accessory.

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