Conntecting the Dots

March 2-3, 2008

Budapest, here I come! The day began when I rolled out of bed at 4:00 a.m. and headed for the Vancouver airport an hour later. My first flight was 4 ½ hours to Toronto, and after a mere 90-minute wait there, I boarded the next flight. This one took eight hours to reach Vienna.

The sun began to rise as we reached Ireland. It was an amazing sight – the entire horizon looked like it was on fire. By far the most breath-taking sunrise I’ve ever seen.

When I boarded in Toronto, there was no room for carry-on bags in the overhead compartments. The flight attendant took my bag, said she’d check it into the cargo hold, and I could pick it up in Budapest with my other suitcases. I felt a little uneasy about it, and for good reason. It didn’t show up in Budapest. My digital camera, my notes for all my speaking sessions, my toiletries…..gone. So, I filed a lost luggage claim at the Budapest airport, whispered a prayer for the bag’s safe return, and met the person who’d come to pick me up and take me to the SHARE conference.

On the way, I saw a park filled with statues of Communist leaders. These statues were salvaged from around Budapest after the wall fell in the late 80s. Now people pay to walk through the park and see them. I would have taken a picture for you, but the camera was in the lost bag. Sigh.

You haven’t lived until you’re the passenger in a car flying down a four-lane highway at 80-85 mph as the driver eats a hamburger. Combine that experience with jetlag, and you’ve got the makings for a few grey hairs.

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