Friday, December 24, 2010

De-icer? Seriously?

We seem to be stuck in limbo. Can't get out. And we have a de-icing liquid shortage to blame.

Last week we packed up all of our stuff. You see, we just signed a contract on a new apartment in Marseille two days ago. Yay! So excited! Our move-in date is set for the 31st. But between then, we had a plan. Notice 'had'. We're living in an apartment in a Paris suburb now, mostly on borrowed stuff. We're moving out and someone else is moving in, so last night I taped up the last box of dishes, all but two small luggage pieces of clothes are boxed away, and our pantry's cleaned out. This morning we awoke early to catch a plane to Germany, where we have Christmas with some friends scheduled. However, our flight was cancelled.

I'll spare you the details of getting the tickets changed (it was a mess), but we do have a hopeful flight scheduled for Christmas morning. We may get out of here yet. As I was riding the train through Paris today on my way to the airline's ticket office, I couldn't help but wonder, "why so many flight cancellations?" Tons of flights out of Paris CDG airport have been cancelled in the last few days. Tons. But what's weird is that there's not that much snow. Everyone here constantly tells us that it rarely snows in Paris, though my two winters prove otherwise, but right now there's barely a couple of inches on the ground and the roads are totally clear. It can't be harder to clear a runway than a bunch of city streets, so what's the problem?

It seems that our lovely main Paris airport, the second most travelled in Europe, has run out of de-icing fluid. Or close to it. Orly just across town still has some, so flights are going out of there fine.

I remember my student days at UK. In attendance at every basketball game we'd hear the announcement that if our team scored more than 70 points we could turn in our ticket stubs at one of the local auto part stores for a gallon of winter washer fluid. In Lexington, KY (hardly the frozen tundra of North America), they had so much of the stuff that they were willing to give away a gallon weekly to 25 thousand people. And yet in Paris, at one of the most travelled airports in the world, we don't have enough de-icer to get people to where they want to go for Christmas. Can't someone make a run to the local aturo parts store? And yet we sit and wait.

I found a supermarket tonight right before it closed for Christmas eve and picked up some cooked couscous and crab rolls for Christmas Eve dinner. We handwahsed our underwear for tomorrow. Here's hoping our flight is able to take off tomorrow, or we may be living a few days off of a bag of Reeses and a box of Sweetarts that arrived in the mail today [no, some wonderful friends in Paris have invited us over, we won't starve].

De-icer. Sheesh.

A messed-up no good day ended up being worth it though. Tonight before bed we talked through the Christmas story with Sawyer, and at the end of it he looked at me and smiled, then said for the first time: Jesus! We went to bed singing it over and over, "Jesus". That was a special Christmas Eve moment in our limbo apartment surrounded by taped up boxes. One worth remembering.

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