15 February 2018

One thing at a time

Le vol. The flight. The plane was only about half full. I don't think the non-stop Paris-to-Raleigh-Durham run will last much longer at this rate. I should have said that the other way around: RDU-to-CDG. The flight over to RDU was pretty much full on February 2. The flight back from RDU to Paris was under-booked yesterday, as it was last October when I came back from N.C.

But a very pleasant flight it was. The plane lifted off at about 6 p.m. EST and the pilot came on the intercom to announce that total flight time would be only 6 hours and 50 minutes — much shorter than the scheduled 8 hours and 10 minutes. We must have had one hell of a tailwind. I'm sorry that the non-stop flight is not very popular, but then my trips back to N.C. will probably be fewer and farther between in future compared to the number of times I've flown over there since 2015. Only in a very abstract way have I yet realized that my mother really did give up the ghost on February 3.


Nearly unlimited leg room on a Boeing 757

Before we even took off, I heard a flight attendant tell other passengers that as soon as the doors were closed, they could go and pick out more comfortable seats for themselves if they wanted to. I was in an aisle seat, close to the back end of the plane, and I considered staying there. Then I realized that four bulkhead seats (is that what they're called?), seats with no other seats in front of them and with all the legroom you could ask for. I went and occupied one of them. Nobody sat on my left or on my right. My comfort was assured.

We landed early, then, at Paris CDG airport and pulled up to the gate at about 6:45 a.m. It was an "external gate" so we had to ride on a bus for 10 minutes to get into the terminal. Before landing, I realized I had a major allergy attack coming on. I had to wait at the airport until 11:19 for my TGV (the "bullet train") down to Tours and then the little local train to Saint-Aignan, with arrival at 2:01 p.m. Between landing at seven and getting home at two, I spent a miserable seven hours sneezing and wiping my nose and eyes.

It turns out that a big warm front was coming into France from the south, bringing a load of nasty pollen. This morning the temperature is nearly 50ºF (about 9ºC) outside, which is balmy by mid-February standards here. My trains yesterday were comfortable (not crowded) and fast, but I was under the weather. This morning I'm much better. That's the story here with my allergy attacks. Though intense, they seldom last more than 24 hours. I didn't wake up this morning until 5:20! Jet lag will surely set in today.

13 comments:

  1. Reset your body clock by having a decent drink of your favourite spirit before bed. You will wake early and be unable to go back to sleep. Stay up that day and you will be tired and ready for bed for the innocent sleep the next night.

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    1. They say it takes 1 day per hour of time difference to recover from jet lag. I'm amazed that I slept from about 9 p.m. until 5:20 a.m. last night. I figure in a week or so I'll really be back on French time.

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  2. Glad you had a nice and comfortable flight. Even though they say the air is not recycled in the cabin, you always get nasty bugs on an airplane.

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    1. I didn't get a bug. It was definitely an allergy attack. And I'm sure they take in at least a little bit of outside air to keep the oxygen level up in the airplane.

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  3. It is so nice to have extra space on a long flight, welcome home.

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  4. oh I am jealous of that flight...and such a short one too....if Raleigh wasnt so far from us it'd almost be worth the drive for such an empty plane...even if there was a direct flight from here to raleigh it's be better than dealing with ATL...hmmmmm

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  5. I've been with you when you have one of those allergy attacks- no fun, but they usually go away quickly I think. So glad you are chez nous and MA is in a place with no pain now. Rest up.

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  6. Sounds like it was a pleasant flight back to France. I know it feels good to get back home.

    I'm dreading the pollen season. I will be on a steady dose of Claritin. It's supposed to be 75 degrees today and tomorrow they are predicting 79 deg. Pollen season may be here sooner than expected if this weather keeps up!

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    1. I wish you bon courage for the allergy season. My allergy attacks seem to occur year-round nowadays. They were more seasonal when I lived in California, starting in January and ending in May or June, and lasting for weeks at a time. Here in France, the symptoms usually last about 24 hours (or less) but this time I'm still sniffling and sneezing 48 hours later, though less than on Wednesday at the airport. I took Claritin for years but it never did me much good.

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  7. Wow - that's a lot of leg room. Nothing better than a half full flight. Glad you're home safe and sound.

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  8. Looks like you were in one of the coveted "exit rows," by the emergency exits, over the wing. Way more leg room than the rest of the folks in steerage.

    A number of trans-Atlantic flights, such as RDU-CDG are actually underwritten by corporate sponsors, so that their employees have access to direct flights between corporate locations. I know GSK underwrites the RDU-LHR flight.

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    1. I think it's the pharmaceutical companies in the triangle that underwrite the RDU-CDG flight. They have a lot of people traveling between RDU and India. Paris is the stopover. Yes, I was in an exit row, in the middle and with nobody on either side of me.

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