Here comes the aspect of blogging I was most looking forward to: airport updates.
I pointed out to the man who was in line behind me to purchase a 6 Euro cappucchino, that the tip jar held only single pennies. “Welcome to Europe”, I said, which he mistook for an invitation to have coffee together. He is reading over my shoulder now as I write and politely ignore him.
Welcome to Europe, that is, if Greece really counts as part of the esteemed fortress. I haven’t stayed abreast of the discourse on European values and norms and other things European intellectuals bide their time with. Where does Turkey stand these days? But Greece, in my humble opinion, is truly the pits, and a poignant example that democracy opponents have yet to fully exploit. If this is what a few thousand years of flirting with democracy looks like, who wants it? The Greeks today channel their democratic rights into accentuating their hardened sun-baked looks with vulgar makeup and big hair. They are exceptionally rude, even by continental European standards, and I hate to argue at this hour of the morning having not gotten a wink of sleep. The airplane boasted sub-zero temperatures and no blankets. I asked for a blanket twice and was told that there were none. I asked the scowling stewardess to turn the temperature up; I complained at great length about my cold rash. Finally after the third refusal, I responded sweetly that it’s ok, because I never liked Olympic Airways. I promptly received a blanket, albeit a "used" one. Why do so many Europeans respond only to verbal abuse? And I was so tired and unwilling to be nasty. I will still go and fill out a complaint form, because then I might get a voucher for a free flight, like I did last time I flew Air France and complained that my luggage had been misplaced for the sixth time in a row.
And now that I am a member of the European Union, can’t I make sweeping judgments about the nationals and customs of other member states? Isn’t it akin to someone from Maryland ragging on the inhabitants of New Jersey? That’s my hard-earned EU privilege. I can also accuse people of bleeding our mutual funds with the extra subsidies they require to remain in the club, because Germany—as you very well know--- is a VIP member. I’m sure the hairspray that goes into maintaining the poofiness of this Grecian creature’s hairdo next to me, somehow costs my folks tax money; I am subsidizing your look and the skin cancer treatment you will need. Lay off the tanning oil for a moment, won’t you? For the sake of the Union. Do it for us, for Europe. They should hire me for this integration process of creating a unified European identity. Yes we certainly do have things in common. Your shortcomings and misdeeds are my business. Do YOU recycle? Didn’t think so. And Athens is above all a haven for scrap metal. Driving through this city is like driving down Route 17 in New Jersey, except that instead of fast food joints and strip malls the roads here are lined with yards full of rusty junk. A collector’s paradise. Also their olive groves look a little dismal and untended to. I will call the EU Agricultural Commission tomorrow to complain. Its not too late to kick them out of the club, is it? Maybe we can just suspend their cigar and Jacuzzi privileges until they get their act together. And ban them from bingo night on Tuesdays. I can’t wait to be a pensioner to take full advantage of my European birthright.