It all started after I missed my perviously scheduled flight out of Spain, which is another story that involves churros and a bull fighting poster, and found myself in the middle of a sold out Madrid without a bed for the evening. Every room was booked, even those large mixed dorms that make you want to sleep fully clothed with your valuables tethered to your leg.
I was able to find a room about three blocks from Plaza Mayor in the home of an elderly couple that spoke no English. After a few weeks in Spain my Spanish language skills had risen to the level of a demented toddler and I was able to communicate Tarzan style enough to pay for the windowless converted closet and obtain a set of keys.
After spending the next few hours fighting with the airline I was safely booked on a flight the next day and happily wandering the afternoon streets near the Prado. I wandered into a bookstore looking for something that would keep me occupied on a 17 hour flight. The only English language book I could find was Tuesdays with Morrie. Fine, I’ll take it.
That night I hardly slept. I was so nervous about missing my mid-day flight that I woke up every hour to check the clock. Finally at 5am I gave up. I packed my bags, left my keys on the overly polished dining table and headed for the two trains that would take me to the airport.
Many hours and cups of strong coffee later I was settled into my aisle seat on a jam-packed jumbo jet headed for LAX. Exhausted but unable to sleep (remember I told you I sleep as well as a homeless prostitute?) I pulled out the book. Only minutes in I started to cry, half hour later I was sobbing. Not just pretty girls tears,but hysterical, ugly, snot and weird noises sobbing. People started staring.
I put the book down, pulled myself together, but couldn’t stop reading. This continued for most of the flight. Read, become so hysterical I can’t see over my own tears, feel like a crazy person, put the book down, repeat. A few rows ahead of me a girl flagged down a flight attendant and said, “Ummm…I think there is something wrong with that girl.”
A few minutes later the flight attendant comes by, says nothing, sets down a plate of food: a small baguette, some cheese and a small bowl of soup. She pulls a package of Kleenex out of her pocket and sets it down. She leaves very quickly without a word. I felt ridiculous, but comforted. Soup and carbs seems to do the trick.
I use myall the time, it’s essential in my kitchen.