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Friday, June 09, 2006

Re-entry: Must it always be bad?

My view that attention to checklists and proper preparation will eliminate re-entry trauma is probably optimistic. Most of my long trips have ended with problems.

In 1984 my return home from two years in South Africa, a five-and-a-half month overland camping trip through Africa, and six weeks in Europe certainly ended badly. I hadn't been feeling well, but soldiered on, shopping at Harrod's for Christmas presents, trudging around Earl's Court hunting for a cheap flight from London to Pittsburgh. The day before my flight, the owner of the small hotel where I was staying insisted that I go to the hospital. She walked me to St. Elizableth's to make sure I really went. There I learned that I had a fever (39.4 Celsius, about 103 Farhenheit). I flew the next day anyway.

Twice, in 2004 and this year, the problem has been car insurance. The return in 2004 also featured the three hour flight that took twelve hours.

In 1993, I didn't recognize one of my best friends when she came to pick me up at Logan International in Boston. She had changed her hair and was wearing really high heels. I just didn't look at the right level. Worse, she didn't recognize me. She told me later that I was so bent over that I looked two inches shorter and so worn out that I looked ten years older. Cheap person that I am, I had spent the night in Heathrow airport. I had to be at the airport before the trains started running, and I didn't want to pay for a taxi to Heathrow. I took the last train the night before and slept, sort of, on the floor.

I don't remember anything special about 2003 or last year. I think 1994 was also uneventful. Three reasonable returns out of seven. I suppose that is OK. Obviously I could significantly reduce the chance of drama in my life by either never going anywhere or by never coming back.

Advice to Myself: Accept the drama. And get a new car insurance company.

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