How to make a customer really angry

Thanks to the perspective I’ve gained over the past couple years, I promise that whenever I’m able to travel again, I won’t complain about stuff like this that is actually rather inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

<<Narrator>>: He’s lying. Of course he’s lying. I know he’s lying. He knows he’s lying. We all know he’s lying. But he would like to travel again sometime soon.

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Someone says something dumb … and it’s not me!

A year ago, Suzi and I took a day trip to Rockport.

It was a little more than an hour away, but because last year was … last year … even that relatively short excursion was a nice getaway.

Five years ago, however, we were a little farther afield, as we were on vacation in Los Angeles.

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The week gone by — May 9

Dear JetBlue,

I know you’ve been trying to reach me a lot lately, and that’s fine. I don’t mind.

And … yes, I know I should have gotten back to you sooner, but I honestly wasn’t really sure what to say.

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Maybe I’m not as ready as I thought

I woke up on the proverbial wrong side of the bed … and pretty much stayed there all day.

Our regular Wednesday trail walk did a little for my mood — when I wasn’t rolling up my sleeves and then pushing them down because I was alternately too hot or too cold — but it didn’t last very long.

I was moody, crabby, irritable, cranky … whatever words you like for someone who’s just a pain to be around.

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Maybe … that’s ‘normal’ in the distance

Looking at the beer list over our head — the one that started with “Get Maxxinated!” — Suzi said she found the one for me, which is interesting, since I don’t drink.

Passionately Sour.

After an excellent lunch of chicken schnitzel and mashed potatoes, I had my mask on since we were about to leave, but my mouth didn’t need to be visible for Suzi to see what I thought of her suggestion.

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Thirteen steps to Europe

Up the stairs we went, settling in for our adventures.

This week, it was Romania from Transylvania to the Black Sea, followed by Zermatt in the Swiss Alps to Lake Geneva. Before that, we took the finest trains from Sofia to Istanbul, Vienna to Trieste, Pisa to Lake Garda, Athens to Thessaloniki, the Black Forest to Hannover and Barcelona to Mallorca. 

Not for real, of course — although Barcelona, Switzerland and Germany are on our wish list for … someday — but the room I once pretended was a portal to sporting events is now our passport to some of Europe’s greatest sites.

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We hardly ever get the ‘full story’

If you ask the average American what they know about South Africa, I’m going to guess the answer will probably be apartheid and Nelson Mandela.

Maybe you’ll get some people who remember then men’s soccer World Cup in 2010, or even those who — especially if the saw the movie “Invictus” or read “Playing the Enemy,” the book upon which it was based (I’ve done both) — are aware of the country’s famed Springboks national rugby team.

But apartheid and Nelson Mandela is probably what you’re going to get, mostly because that’s what we’ve heard about South Africa.

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Never thought much about borders before …

Blink, and you’ll miss it.

Look anywhere but the side of the road, and you’ll miss it.

Try very hard to run the car in front of you off the road because they’re trying to figure out where to turn and you just have to get where you’re going right now, and you’ll miss it.

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Little things that mean a lot when traveling

I once had pancakes in the Shannon Airport.

They weren’t diner-quality, nor what Suzi makes on our griddle at home — even though she doesn’t think hers are very good — but they were perfectly fine.

And since that an early morning flight from Ireland to Boston and the time-zone change it entailed were probably going to wreak havoc on my eating schedule, I can appreciate that they were more filling than whatever I would have otherwise picked up at the coffee shop.

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The name of that place is … what?

I ran to pick up my phone, even though 99 times out of 100, if it’s not Sunday night at 7, it’s a junk call.

It not being Sunday night at 7, it was a junk call.

But the location on the caller ID got my attention.

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