Here’s what I know today about traveling to an international destination: air travel snafus are the norm; there aren’t hand gestures for every word or phrase; some things cross cultural borders and look very similar, others very different; and horses are indeed the subject of art in ancient places.
Connecting flights have long been an opening for something to go wrong. When you sit with excited anticipation in the airport and watch the scheduled departure time disappear into the distance, it becomes apparent that the window left for catching the next flight has closed. You are going to miss it. Out of the traveler’s control, one can only hope that the rescheduled flight will still fit with plans. If not, the dominoes fall — Ubers, five-hour train ride, arrival in the middle of the night all become the only option.
With the angst of the first flight miss forgotten, replaced with the vacation’s adventures, surely it wouldn’t happen again on return. The plane has landed on the tarmac with plenty of time to find the connecting flight gate. Not so fast. The pilot comes on and says that our “parking space” has another plane in it. We’ll have to wait until that plane moves out, not expecting a second plane to sneak in and take the promised spot.
After one hour of waiting, the connecting flight has departed, and now we and all the other Seattle passengers are crammed into a line for rebooking. Handed an XL white tee shirt aka pajamas, toothbrush and comb, we’re bused off to the airline’s lodging of choice; the only flight home is the next day. Can we have an upgraded seat — no, lucky to have a seat.
Twenty years ago, a trip to Thailand brought a real challenge in communicating. Thai is nowhere close to English — there are no sound-alike words, if one can even decipher what the words are. Trying to catch a bus to the airport, we told the taxi driver “bus station.” Driving like a maniac he rapid-fire repeated “bus station, bus station, bus station,” as if the translation would come to him if he said it enough.
I thought of that incident when an Italian masseuse tried to tell me what I needed to do to prepare for the session: Tutto, tutto, tutto, she repeated. I felt like the Thai taxi driver thinking that if I heard the word enough, it would magically translate itself for me.
When my son’s Italian friends prepared a feast for his birthday, serving their best wine, and reading a poem to him that one of them had written, it was a moving experience – not unlike a celebration at home.
What followed was a complete surprise. Using music and lyrics on a phone, they began singing karaoke-like — Italian songs, English songs. Full throttle — using broomsticks for microphones — the women who had prepared the dinner belted out the songs they obviously passionately love. When we suggested “That’s Amore,” it was easy to join in. “When the moon hits your eye/like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”
With The Confluence: Art in Twisp’s current exhibit “Equus” fresh in mind, I was struck by the number of ancient paintings and sculptures that included the gallant horse. It did not go unnoticed by the owner of a mare, that all the horses were stallions. A mare with heart can stand her ground with any of her male counterparts.
One thing for sure, Dorothy was right: There’s no place like home.
The Mazama Community Club (MCC) held its annual potluck and Membership meeting on Saturday (Sept. 16). A good crowd turned out, even though in stiff competition with the one-year anniversary party going on at its neighbor, Mazama Public House.
MCC is now a 501(c)3 nonprofit and will be participating in the October Give Methow campaign. Funds raised will be used for maintenance of the building, grounds and pickleball court. With a mission statement that includes “connecting neighbors,” a list of volunteers and skills will be compiled to match with projects that are being considered. Suggestions for events and offers to host such activities as movie and game nights are invited.
Two longtime board members, Jerry Laverty and Libby Hillis, are stepping down after many years of service to the club. Karan Godman and Marian Osborne were re-elected. Membership information can be found on the website MazamaCommunityClub.org or by emailing email@example.com.
Methow Recycles announced that a compost drop site is coming to Mazama. Beginning Saturday (Sept. 23), compost drop-offs will be accepted at the new site at the Mazama Store. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a brief training, then sign up for an annual pass and start composting.