Belgian Surprise

Some time ago I bought tickets to make a surprise visit to Ashish. I searched for quite a while before I found cheap business class tickets. The catch was that I had to change planes in Toronto. How bad can that be?

There’s a reason the ticket was cheap. No one in their right
mind would connect through Toronto. I did have a concern about getting a connection in Canada. As it turns out it was not unfounded. Landing in Canada one must go through customs, get one’s bags, recheck them and then get to the main terminal (the tram is not well marked, or at least not marked in a way a
fairly intelligent American traveler might comprehend.) Thank God I had 3 hours to kill because I rode that stupid tram to and from the AltHotel from terminal 3 three times. This sounds insane but there are 2 trams, and I rode them both eventually just staying on the damn thing until it made the complete loop. Only one seems to do that. Stupid yes, but I did kill time. I killed more time later when, after I was ticketed again and had to go through security, I neglected to take my laptop out of my briefcase.

Aux etats unis, when one is a TSA Pre traveler, as I am, (insert tooth sucking noise), one does not need to remove one’s devices going through security. In Toronto there were no signs whatsoever about anything. Imagine my surprise/horror/annoyance/fear when the guy watching the screen of the scanning camera shrieked in a way that sounded much like the doorkeeper in the Wizard of Oz yelling “Who rang that bell?” “Who put a laptop through in their briefcase???!!!” God. So sorry!! Everyone had to wait while he made a huge show of taking it out and rescanning the damn thing.

The Air Canada Business class lounge in Toronto is a lot
nicer than the Air France or Delta lounges in Chicago, having been there once or twice. The food is better and the wine, Australian, is nicer, but I am drinking it out of a hurricane glass since there were no wine glasses, or rather, there were but they were rimmed with celery salt. I think someone unfamiliar with the bloody mary and wine drinking processes was handling the glass prep today. Obviously they are not from Wisconsin.

There are quite a few children, many of them poorly behaved,
in the BCL (business class lounge) and that means they are traveling in business class and that means they will be seated very close to me. I’m hoping the one nearest me right now playing on a machine that makes a lot of shrill electronic siren and alarm noises is right behind me. Oh good, now the mother
is chasing him around the place. Fun! I hope they don’t have Brussels on their agenda. Mom’s guzzling a glass of wine while kid dashes about hither and tither. It’s adorable.

Next stop Brussels, but first, a night aboard Jet Airways.

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