Sunday, December 13, 2009

En route to home!

OSLO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Dec. 13, 5:35A, local time.

Is it too much to ask for internet access to come standard with the purchase of a ticket? I mean, come on. You spend enough money to fly. You’re at the airport on average of 75 minutes between flights. Couldn’t you even allow for 35 minutes of access without further jacking up my wallet?

Grr. In a mood. But there have been so many great things that have happened on this trip that I’m not going to dwell on the $155 cab fare (yes, you read that correctly) to get to the airport because my flight is before the commuter trains run (surprise!). Or the paper cut I got while walking through security. I detest paper cuts. I could stew on such things, as they are highly annoying.

Nope. I grabbed my wits about me. Found a convenience store and bought some bandages. If these are the worst things that could happen to me on a trip that has been this enlightening, then I’m especially blessed and considerably favored! Witnessing history in and of itself is outstanding. Documenting a story that will inform countless readers beyond even your time is humbling. But meeting a cadre of people with gentle spirits, high ambition, and genuine fellowship, well, as the commercial says, that’s priceless.

It’s cool to be in the room with the president of the United States and all. I’ve done it before with Clinton, and spent some quiet time as then-Senator Obama signed copies of The Audacity of Hope prior to a book tour lecture at the Free Library of Philadelphia a couple of years back. But at the end of the day, they are just men, people like anyone else. It’s the sense of power, I suppose, that makes folks go ga-ga. After all these years of covering “celebrities,” elected officials and other supposed “higher ups,” it makes me scrutinize rather than romanticize. How human someone is in their interactions with others is more of a telling trait than just a sense of entitlement due to position. What is cool about Obama is that he is definitely someone with whom you could have a good conversation. That’s always a plus in a president, despite what some would have you believe. It’s not the only thing, but a sound foundation.

Flight is out at 6:25A. I’m so tired I could honestly drop over. Pulled an all-nighter so I’d be “prepped” for my journey back home. The hop to Germany is not so bad. Just two hours. Then there’s security and the passport controls. Then it’s the big leg, seven hours.

Not sure if the seat will be as cramped going as it was coming. But I figured if I’m punch-drunk sleepy, it’ll all zip by, in a flash. I’ll open my eyes and be touching down at Philadelphia International Airport. The good thing is that I’m slated to get back into town early enough where I can fall asleep in front of a football game! Right after I check in with family.

I don’t know. I may be so wired when I land that I’ll even unpack my bag once I hit the house. Yeah, right!

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