Rare is the odyssey that begins with a credit card declination. Rarer still is the shabby beginning we experienced at the closest thing to a starting line that is readily conceivable in the mind for our journey, this day, 2013 year of our lord.
It was not early, we were not in any way overconfident or with excessive zeal of any kind, but we were caught flat footed in one of the most deplorable and embarrassing schemes ever to begin an odyssey. I will just get right to it. My primary debit card was declined. At Auntie Anne's. For the an $8 purchase of pretzels. To make matters even more proletariat, we had not only declined the upsell additions of nacho cheese and honey mustard condiments, but demanded the free Heinz Mustard packet before our journey came to an unflattering end just as it began. We looked like a pair of bozo pretzel amateurs. Our North African pretzel attendant sneered at us from behind her flour specked smock.
I pivoted, used another credit card, and just moments later I was shamefully stuffing my face with barely warm dough, sprinkled in salt. Carb-loading for the journey ahead, I told myself like a pathetic fat kid just looking for an excuse to gorge. I would next spend hours on the phone with Bank of America, demanding answers, defending pride, exhausting patience. In the end, I had to list all 15 countries we would be traveling through in the next 6 weeks or so. It was exhausting, and now I have set the stage for our trip. There will be a lot of countries. It will be European, and I will be emceeing from my post here on goboogo, partying like its 2009. Or something.
Our first trip to Canada was short lived and rushed, but I managed to spy this act of aerobatics in the departure lounge. My sleep deprived mind can hardly make out what I am looking at here, but I know it happened back in Toronto. Now in Frankfurt, this whole Canadian debacle pictured above seems like some sort of forgotten memory thrust back upon me after crossing the great circle.
Our flight for Finland leaves Germany soon. We will be getting weird in Scandinavia for the next couple days. Stay tuned.