Friday, May 14, 2010

King Pout

LK and I get along famously. We laugh at each other's jokes. And some times, she just laughs at me even when I'm not telling a joke. We have great conversations, and occasionally don't even complete one another's sentences. It's a wonderful relationship.

Until we travel.

We are perfectly fine so long as we are in one place, but when we move from one place to another, things don't always go so swimmingly. Part of it seems to arise from the fact that I am now hearing only about 60% of what LK says, and she in turn is starting to accuse me of mumbling when I speak. But we both know that the more serious issue lies in our personalities and how we react to the stress of traveling.

For example, we have now had the same conversation in about 35 different countries. One of us (and it could be either of us) has somehow ended up with several more bags to carry than the other one.
"Let me have one of those bags," the latter will say.
"No, I'm fine."
"But the bags are heavy, and I have a free hand."
"No, I'm fine. In fact, the heavy bag on the right helps balance me with the heavy bags on the left."
"I'm really happy to carry more."
"No I'm fine."
"Well, if it gets too heavy, just say so because I am happy to carry more."
"OK, but I'm fine."

Yesterday was a great example of how we cope together. We flew from Mykonos to Athens, connecting to a flight to Istanbul. Going through the Athens airport, I had the wheeled suitcase and a heavy bag, which I balanced on top of the suitcase as we moved from gate to gate. LK had her handbag, her knapsack, two duty-free plastic bags and another bag. You can read the previous paragraph for the dialogue.

But it was in Istanbul that our true characters shone. We collected our bags, asked at the information booth where to board the hotel shuttle buses and walked out there. Only problem - in its infinite wisdom the Airport Marriott has decided that it did not need to run its shuttle between 3:30 and 6:30 in the afternoon.

I looked at the cab rank and saw a row of cars that might hold one or two bags and one or two people but nothing like both of us and all our luggage.

"Oh great!" I said. "More than two hours until the shuttle and the cabs are too small. More than that, they're not going to want to take us on a short run to an airport hotel. Great!" LK suggested we at least find out.

Later, when discussing all of this, LK said that for some reason I "turn stupid" when I travel. "You tharn," she said, using a word you won't find in most dictionaries but which translates as the response a deer has when it sees headlights. "And you pout," she added. "In fact, you're King Pout."

I could argue the point, but I won't because I know I will lose. Why? Well, for one thing, yesterday LK and I wheeled our luggage from the shuttle stop to the taxi rank. The first cab there was much bigger than the others, and the driver said he would be happy to take us to the airport hotel. In fact, we easily made it in time for Happy Hour.

So not only was I wrong about everything, but I knew that at some point LK would want to analyze the day and point out that I was wrong about everything. Which she did.

No wonder I'm King Pout.

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