People Watching and Potatoes

I’m traveling right now–first to Paris for a few days and now I’m in Mykonos This has been a crash refresher course in observing over the last week.

I had a big delay on my way to Paris–plane broke down, so they rerouted me on the direct flight (yea!) and I had the fun of spending most of the day in the airport. Instead of it being a bad experience, I let it be a lovely one. I had time to preview books for my Kindle (what an invention!) and watch all kinds of fascinating people in the Admiral’s Club, in the airport lounges, in the restaurant where I got a really expensive salad and some interesting insight into what people order. Lots of burgers, lots of french fries, which I’ve given up on eating at most places since I only like fresh cut potatoes and Americans seem to have forgotten the difference.

Speaking of fried potatoes, some of the best I’ve tasted came with a marvelous afternoon into evening in Rafina, Greece, where we waited five hours for the ferry to take us to Mykonos–the winds are very high now and the SeaJets don’t cross in the high winds. We saw every possible kind of tourist mixed in with the locals come and go in waves. When an overly friendly local man started chatting me up, I realized people watching was more interesting than interacting–good to know for future reference. But I wouldn’t have missed the potatoes for anything! Crisp but all soft and potatoey inside–like I remember from my childhood before Ore-Ida took over the frozen french fry market.

Back to what I gleaned from all this observing: people are the same no matter where they come from. Their appearance changes slightly depending on their culture, but babies cry, mothers look exhausted, couples moon and smooch in public (mostly only the really young ones), kids bug their parents for food, geeky guys look nerdy no matter what country they’re from, frumpy middle aged couples seem to be completely unaware of their appearance, young men with guitars are still roaming around Europe, qnd most people seem resigned to the fact that traveling requires patience, perseverance and stamina–nothing glamorous about it!

So the fact that in the midst of withstanding the travails of travel over which I have very little control I could find the perfect french fry in a seaside tavern on the Greek coast makes it seem worthwhile somehow–more bearable and even worth the effort.

Not to mention that once we finally arrived in Mykonos at one am we fell into showers then slept and woke to the amazing beauty of the Mediterranean Sea shining all around us.

Now that is worth whatever it took to get here!