- One of the sacrifices that love demands is always giving up the window seat to your little boy, no matter how much you want it for yourself. Your reward is to see the joy in his face when he turns to you just before takeoff and says, "This is going to be so fun!"
- Does landing gear really need to make that much noise? For those of us who anticipate disaster with each takeoff, the hard thump of the landing gear snapping up serves to confirm that, alas, our worst fears have come true.
- When I took fluid dynamics years ago, I learned of a famous physicist who had a question for God: immediately upon reaching heaven, he wanted to ask, "Why turbulence?" After this last trip, I think that this scientist must have conceived this question while on an international flight aboard an Airbus A330.
- I happened to be looking at our flight attendant in a moment when turbulence all but lifted her and her drink cart off their feet. A seasoned professional, she looked at me with all the bored resolve of Qui-gon Jinn facing the monsters of the planet core in Phantom Menace-- as if to say, "Keep calm, there's no trouble." I looked back at her with all the alarm of Jar-Jar Binks-- as if to cry, "When-a you-sa thinking we-sa in trouble?!"
- Have you ever tried fitting one-size-fits-most earbuds into the ears of a little boy who can't do it for himself, but is really excited to watch "Big Hero 6" on the seat-back silver screen in front of him? It isn't as easy as it sounds.
- Although I had never seen Istanbul before, I was aware that this former capital of the Ottoman Empire must have many mosques. I was unaware, however, that it had a mosque every 100 yards. My, what a lot of mosques.
- Julia and I had been hoping to pick out one particular mosque, the former Hagia Sophia, from the air. For those who don't know, the Hagia Sophia was the greatest cathedral of the Eastern Orthodox church until 1453, when the Ottoman Empire seized it and converted it into a mosque. Having read quite a bit about the Hagia Sophia, we thought we couldn't miss it if we came close enough. Unfortunately, the surfeit of large mosques left us with 2 or 3 candidates, uncertain which was the true Hagia Sophia. Ditto on the Hippodrome and all the other landmarks we'd hoped to pick out. Much to my shame, I just didn't know the area well enough to be certain what was what from the air.
- If you think I don't know much R**ian or U**nian, then you should see how much Turkish I don't know. Of all the Turkish syllables I heard uttered, and there were many, the only ones I understood were "i-stan-bul." What a strange, strange language to my ears.
- Jet Lag: I don't want to get political, but I think maybe Hillary Clinton should have answered all those questions about her private email account differently. Instead of the excuse about not wanting to carry two phones, she should have just said something like this: "Do you have any idea how many international flights I took as Secretary of State? I'm sorry, but I was so jet-lagged that I just couldn't think straight, and neither could you!" If she'd only said that, then everyone who's ever felt the way we do right now would've understood immediately, and forgiven her.
Monday, March 23, 2015
Looks Like We Made It
(Rob writing) We have arrived at the capital safe and sound after a long, exhausting but blessedly uneventful trip. For the record, I offer these thoughts on our journey thus far: