Back in Business

So here I am in Sidonie, a small little village on the Czech/Slovak border (literally–the river that’s the official boundary weaves in and out of the town like a drunk out for a joy ride). And what do I find but an internet connection at my mother in laws! And not even dialup. Thank goodness for technology. I’m blazing along at 220 kbps, which ain’t great, but it’s enough for me. So I guess you’re not all free of my ramblings for a month, after all.

And boy do I got some ramblin’ to do.

First off: a General Notice to the Public.

They’re called bladders, people. Learn how to use them. Honestly. I know there’s some people out there with small bladders. I had an ex-girlfriend who always would talk about that. And I’m understanding. Or at least I try to be. But there’s no way you can tell me that on a plane with 250 people on board, there’s that many people with incontinence problems. Those poor Aer Lingus stewards were practically beating people away from the toilets with sticks. Seat belt sign or no seat belt sign, people swarmed the bathrooms en masse every five minutes. I know this, because my seat was right next to the toilets. A blessing (because I could get to them first) and a curse (because I had to listen to flushing for 6 hours straight).

But enough of that.

I’ve decided that Aer Lingus should give their male stewards green hats to wear, and then make it part of the job requirement to always talk about their pots of gold. And if they had a sign that said “You must be below this height to work here,” so much the better. Because who wouldn’t want to be served by a troupe of Leprechauns? Oh–and if the official cereal of the company was Lucky Charms, how awesome would that be? Wicked awesome. But alas, something’s telling me that Irish people are even now taking up arms against my idea, and that if I don’t drop this soon, I’ll be swarmed by little green men with pitchforks. But I’m telling you people–there’s a whole ad campaign just waiting to be tapped here.

The flight and travel was actually worse than I thought it would be. 26 hours. Oh yeah. But I got to Sidonia and slept for 16 hours, so I figure I’m about even now. Phew! Wife has already been to the dentist, and it’s a success so far. Cost to fix crown in America? $1100. Cost to fix it here? $75. And that’s even with the dollar tanking so low it’s about to come up in China somewhere. If I were doing these calculations using the exchange rate of even six years ago, that total would have been $30, not $75. Three years ago would have been $45 or so. Meine Gute! It was really depressing in Ireland, where a muffin at the airport was going to set me back five bucks. Awful.

Anyway. We’re hoping that the savings at the dentist continue. Although from what I can tell, Slovaks are much more of the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of dentistry, and it might take a little persuasion to get the dentist to fix wife’s teeth the way they need it. Because I don’t want to get back to the good ol’ U S of A and have to shell out the money for more root canals. If we can do it here and now, let’s get ‘er done.

On a different note, guess who drove stick today for the first time in three years? And I only stalled it twice. Not bad, really. I’m rather proud of myself.

In any event, I’m about out of time for the evening–and out of things I feel like blogging about. I must say that now that I’m finally here, I’m glad to be here. I’ve already had some chocolate Mueller Milch, plus some great cake and dinners. Europe=good.

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