Fred left yesterday morning to spend a week in Alabama for a scientific conference. Poor guy, when we were in San Francisco he spent nearly six weeks out of each year in Detroit. When we moved to France he figured his days of visiting these fun-filled locations were over. The next time he went to the U.S. he thought it would be to enjoy a real California roll and to drink Napa wine at our friends Sean and Kim’s wedding.
As many of you know, I’m an optimist. Never complain about anything. (You can stop laughing now.) Thus, I tried to come up with things to help Fred pass the time. Although the conference was only 2.5 days, he would be spending nearly one week there (36 hours of travel and a Saturday night stay made the ticket price more attractive to his company). He's not really in to prostitutes anymore, so the best I could find was a visit to the Civil Rights Museum. While this clearly is an important time in American history, getting a U.S. history lesson probably isn’t the most exciting way for a Frenchman to pass time – especially for several days. Realizing my efforts had fallen short, I handed him a grocery list. I figured he could keep busy looking for a Safeway and buying Phillippa her “brick of Trident” and me Hot Tamales and microwave popcorn.
But about 8 hours after leaving, he was home again. His plane had technical troubles and because he would have missed his connection and arrived to the conference a day late, his boss told him to cancel the trip. Yeah!
Fred told me about the people he met at the airport. He made many American friends in the waiting area who wanted to be next to a French-English speaker as not to miss out on any flight information (in my experience, sometimes the airlines forget to repeat the info in English or it’s heavily accented and difficult to understand over the speakers). He met a nice couple from Louisiana who wanted to discuss Katrina, politics, etc. He also met a woman from Texas who told him that the signs are too small in France, the rental car return process was a pain, that she wanted to get home ASAP, and of other general annoyances. For some reason the size of France versus Texas came up and Fred told her that Texas is bigger than France. She challenged him and he said he was certain, to which she responded: “Oh, you’re right. Now that I think about it, my neighbor gave me a bumper sticker that said something about that.” Nice. I can only imagine. Thanks to Google I don’t have to:
Now, before y’all go crazy leaving comments, remember my sister and her family live in Dallas. And they might have shotguns, so it’s for your own good.
P.S. By the way, I understand that I'm a hypocrite making fun of Alabama and then commenting on the Texan complaining about France. My only defense is that Fred was being nice and helpful and she was being a complaining bitch in response. And there's only one bitch that can complain to Fred, and that's me : )