Friday, October 10, 2008
All's well in the 'hoven
I'm not sure if "the 'hoven" is an established nickname for my new hometown, but if not, it should be. It's not unprecedented, either. The city just a bit north of here is known as "den Bosch," rather than its full name, 's-Hertogenbosch, but really, who would say all of that and start it with an apostrophe-ess, anyway?
The real news behind all this name-chatter is that my wife, my dog, and me all made it safe and sound, if slightly overtired, to Eindhoven today. This involved a drive from Rochester to Toronto that took 4 instead of the usual 3 hours because of emergency road construction; a long, overnight, but thankfully direct, flight to Amsterdam; and then a sleepy, trafficky, 2-hour drive to Eindhoven. Meredith and I had a surprisingly comfortable trip in the immense coach cabin of our KLM 747, nicknamed "City of Nairobi" and really not much smaller than some cities. Somehow the seats didn't seem so cramped, and the duration so intolerable, as they have on other trans-Atlantic flights, . Maybe it was the thrill of actually doing this; maybe it was the great service from a huge team of flight attendants (truly, no irony here, despite the seeming impossibility in today's air-travel scene: they were numerous, polite, and super-efficient); or maybe it was that the seats were just a tiny bit more suited to my lumbar region than the last Airbus I rode. Sure, there was traffic, the plane left late (but landed early), the dog dropped a load in her kennel along the way somewhere and emerged scared and stinky, and the Amsterdam car-rental folks took a while to get a suitable substitute for the car I actually reserved... but in any case, we made it. And, most importantly, our hotel let us check in early so we could couch out for a bit before attempting to convince our bodies it was mid-day instead of 6am after a sleepless night.