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Pain from severed limb; diff. between French/Dutch; gay porn & random thoughts…

Pain from severed limb; diff. between French/Dutch; gay porn & random thoughts…

Old May 27, 09, 6:24 am
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Pain from severed limb; diff. between French/Dutch; gay porn & random thoughts…

…after a 30 year absence.

Having read about how an amputated limb can sometimes hurt or itch, I have myself experienced this phenomenon as my non-existent mobile keeps vibrating in my front left pants’ pocket. I reach for it as one would for an absent lover in the dark night. Appendages can be more than skin and bone. With a project set to begin on June 1st, I nonetheless told colleagues that I would not be taking my phone and would only respond to urgent emails. Yet, my neglected responsibilities must weigh on my mind. But, what I have punted to go on a promised trip with my 18 y.o. jailette is nothing in comparison to the guy we met on an AMS canal cruise who gave up a meeting with President Obama to keep a promised rendezvous with a friend. Maybe more on that, maybe not, it’s all so random….

Next, the difference between the French and the Dutch.

Last edited by Jailer; May 27, 09 at 3:16 pm Reason: typo
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Old May 27, 09, 11:48 am
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Old May 27, 09, 1:24 pm
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So how was St. Martin, Sint Marten?
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Old May 27, 09, 2:13 pm
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Excellent trip report, keep it coming!
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Old May 27, 09, 2:26 pm
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Interesting.

Smoking the crack today, eh?
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Old May 27, 09, 2:49 pm
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A Brief Interlude: The Curse of the Affinity-Pointed Leisure Class

So, Mrs. Jailer is more than a little angry about me and our college freshman jailette heading off to Paris-Amsterdam-Cambridge UK about two minutes after her last class finished at college. True, she could have started her summer job; likely should have, but in my defense my wife is recalling our days at University of California where we could earn an entire year’s tuition with a crappy summer job. Trust me, them days is gone, and being a hostess at our local diner is but a single sand on the beach of a private university tuition.

To be sure, Mrs. J. would have liked to have gone on this trip as well, but as I patiently pointed out to her, “times is tough and one of us needs to stay home and work.” But, being conciliatory I tried to assuage her that our daughter and I were going coach on some island-based airline (over a half a dozen tries for an upgrade on Air Tahiti Nui proved fruitless, but thankfully their non-stop LAX-CDG service is quite painless).

Strangely, my wife was not assuaged by our lack of upgrades, and she recalled (much as my father recalled walking uphill both ways to school in the snow) that as college students we struggled to travel, and toughed it out on all-night trains and youth hostels and not in Starwood Luxury Collection type places. But, such is the curse of the affinity-pointed leisure class.

Besides, how much longer is our little jailette going to want to travel with her old man, particularly after she was twice assumed to be Mrs. Jailer when checking into Paris hotels, and thrice taken for my girlfriend in Amsterdam….Yuck?

Last edited by Jailer; May 27, 09 at 3:19 pm Reason: maybe I should proof before posting
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Old May 27, 09, 3:29 pm
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A Nostalgic Interlude Continues: We'll Always Have Paris

In the thirty years since I lived in Europe I have flown back 15 times, but, strangely, I have never been back to Paris or Amsterdam, both places that I frequented as a student. Oh how I longed to dine and lodge not as a poor scholar (God knows Mrs. Jailer has gone back with friends after her student days, but I digress). Could there be enough Michelin stars at the places I would eat upon my triumphant return?

And so, when my daughter mentioned as an aside that the two places she would like to go next were CDG and AMS (although, strangely, she does not use Airport codes), like MacArthur I started planning to return. But, between thinking and going there was this little hiccup in the economy. However, I figured that it must be possible to live like a king on a pauper’s purse. And, not spending a ton, or tonne, might keep me out of the doghouse. The book Europe on $10 Per Day from our era has morphed to Europe on $50 Per Day. Hell, I could do that: the goal for this 14 day was to spend less than $1,400 between us, all in...everything. "No worries, Mate", I said to myself, this will be easy Although, there were some unforeseen expenses, like my 18 y.o has developed a taste for gin and tonic and respectable wine (glad to know my tuition went for something useful); although these expenses were kept to a dull roar as I taught her the fine art of gambling for drinks with expense-accounted drunks in hotel bars.
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Old May 27, 09, 5:19 pm
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We will get to the French/Dutch question, I think

I know that I’ve gotten dinged on this before, Air Tahiti Nui is not a One World Partner and when I flounced up to their lounge in Tom Bradley and flashed my Plat card, I got bumpkis, I got nada and was invited back to terra firma. Off to a bad skinflint start, although I did manage to talk Mrs. J. into a ride to LAX thereby avoiding my normal $60 cab fare. Hungry, we retreat to the food court for breakfast, and I got into my $1,400 bankroll. Throwing caution to the wind, I ordered smoothies with muffins, but held off on coffee, knowing that I’ll be beating that out our airhosts.

The flight appeared full, or at least biz class was full, which is all I cared about as I wondered if AA couldn’t get me an open seat. Daughter slept almost the entire trip while I read the Elegance of the Hedgehog. I choose the book because it takes place in modern Paris, but it turned out to be moving and profound; really timeless and placeless, and the book moved me to tears more than once.

The flight and food were as good as they needed to be; Frost/Nixon was a pleasant surprise, and as we landed a little after 8 a.m. I wish I had slept. Not falling into a paradox of thrift, we jumped into a taxi at CDG and headed for the Hilton Arc De Triomphe. It was before 10 a.m., but they kindly let us check in…the French Open crowd hadn't yet hit. Off to the executive lounge for a late breakfast and then off we strolled arm in arm into beautiful spring weather for a walking tour of the city that ended in a nighttime climb up the Eiffel Tower (E.T. is not covered by the very economical Paris Museum Pass; we activated our two 4-day museum passes the next day, and even if money be damned, these passes must have saved us over four hours of waiting in lines, not to mention lording our queue-jumping over the civilians.

Originally I had planned the lion’s share of our days at the Paris Westin, but switched to primarily the Hilton entirely because of Hilton Diamond lounge access, which also included a full breakfast at the restaurant. We generally ate only one meal out a day, although I admit to having only lounge snacks the first day and then hitting the sack early. We had some decent bistro style meals, but keeping to a theme the only fine dining was at the Paris Westin, where we dined on Starpoints. Both in Paris and at the AMS Pulitzer the exact same thing happened upon check in: “My you have a lot of points; you should use them here at the hotel.” But, when one tries to use them everyone is clueless (one waiter said nobody ever cashed in points before), and a ruling practically has to come down from the International Court in The Hague before *points can be monetized.

While I won’t know what we spent in Paris until my accountants do a full audit, we were likely within target, and other than some souvenirs for my 8 year old jailette, the only extraordinary expense was some shoes that my daughter had to have, and I split with her, or rather I split them with her grandmother who handed off some excess Euros to our little shopper before the trip. In fact, I had assumed that little Miss choose Paris for the shopping and the fashion and Amsterdam for Anne Frank and, indeed, you know who did a lot of shopping, and I do not consider her personal shopping expenses as part of the trip expenses, although a closer look at where her spending money came from might turn me into a liar.

Last edited by Jailer; May 27, 09 at 5:25 pm
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Old May 27, 09, 6:16 pm
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Eager for more of your random thoughts ...
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Old May 27, 09, 6:19 pm
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Originally Posted by l'etoile View Post
Eager for more of your random thoughts ...
WAIT ... you mean I missed the gay porn? I was looking forward to that.
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Old May 27, 09, 6:40 pm
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I figure a summer jjob is worth about 1 weeks tuiton at a private school these days . When little miss jan-az told me she "cut a class" I figured out how much it cost and said YOU WILL GO to class. ( Like I was going to make that happen from 1400 miles away).

This sounds like much more of a learning experience !!!
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Old May 27, 09, 8:11 pm
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This...is a trip. Report!
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Old May 28, 09, 12:24 am
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Old Friends/New Friends

Undoubtedly, not only will I look back at 2009 as a year of remembrances past, but also as a very emotional year. In one grim 5 day period a few weeks ago, three people younger than I who I knew/were connected to died of natural causes. The closest of which, my wife's dear first cousin, happened while my wife and younger daughter and I were travelling on our spring break: yet another curse of the travelled classes.

In March, on the way to RAK with Cousin6z, I stopped in at MAD, another place that I had not been since 1978. Saw some old friends by Velasquez, but also added two Caravaggio’s to my life list. I also have, you might be surprised to hear, a few corporeal friends as well, and when you ping someone after a couple of decades, especially someone you once stayed with, you better mention in the first sentence that you are staying at a hotel. Claude picked us up at the Madrid Palace and I recognized him instantly because he looked exactly like his dad did 30 years ago. Claude took us to the best fish house in Madrid, although he is allergic to fish.

In Paris, it was a joy to renew some acquaintances with old friends from the Louvre and treasures from the Impressionists, but (again thanks to the Museum Pass) I enjoyed some new relationships, like Marie Antoinette’s farmhouse, the Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries, and Picasso’s house, which was at the request of my daughter.

And, so thinking that it won’t be another 30 years until I’m back, we boarded the train to AMS. Two years ago, while on our Hapsburg tour, the entire family trained it with a F/C Eurail pass, but coach is more than fine at $57 per person; even so, $114 plus cab fare is 10% of my allocation. It’s been a while since I’ve read a menu right to left, but it’s likely good for the soul.
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Old May 28, 09, 7:37 am
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Stream of conciousness trip report?
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Old May 28, 09, 10:02 am
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Originally Posted by camsean View Post
Stream of conciousness trip report?
Worrisomely, no….That would be a frightening thing.
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