A pink taxi

A pink taxi

July 11, 2010

Media Synchronization

At Charles de Gaulle Airport, after a long walk through the labyrinth of Terminal 2, and in line with a bunch of families in Euro Disney paraphanelia, we finally reached  the Air France check in counter.

When the attendant's eyebrows expressed put-on regret, I ironically couldn't help thinking of their lovely advertisement campaign. Those artistic Air France ads that portray ballet slippers, and other feminine photo montages that translate in a traveller's mind into breezy hassle free voyage. The attendant  predictably explained to me that the flight was overbooked and that we would have to wait for a few hours, in what I believe is a truly detestable airport. In that moment, I missed the reliable Swiss who spend less care on advertisement but more effort on reliability . Furthermore, in my opinion, a delay in Zurich or Geneva airports would only mean  that my kids would play longer in the play areas provided, and I could enjoy an additional cup of delectable coffee.

Here I was with my three children trying to bargain my guaranteed places on the flight that I had booked back to Geneva. The Air France representative was attentive, perhaps even compassionate and smiled at my allusion to their advertisements. However, he was surprised by my older son's interference into the conversation:

- "Monsieur! I have to get home for the match!"

- "Are you for Uruguay or Germany?" the representative responded.

- "Neither really..."

- "Well, I won't be watching either", the man told him.

And then my son admitted:

- "I actually want to go home to watch the first Fort Boyard of the season".

The attendant's face illuminated at the mention of the silliest show that my son fancies over a third place World Cup game. It is one of those shows that has two teams competing by climbing into a fort, swallowing spiders, jumping from heights, playing with scorpions or fire, and gathering gold coins hidden in the hay.

- "I will do my best to get you and your family on that flight so you don't miss Fort Boyard," he smiled.

I waited at the gate, with sweet memories of our escapade to Versailles, our expedition to Euro Disney and our excursions in the heart of Paris. I thought a flight change was a small price to pay for the superb experience my children, parents, husband and I had for four days. But we were fortunate to be called on to the flight at the last minute. I couldn't help wonder if this had anything to do with my son's conversation with the Air France attendant.

On the plane, I sat next to a woman who was reading an issue of Le Monde. It obviously was a current issue. I carefully took mine out, noticing with relief that it was only four days old , but I still carefully folded the front page so the date wouldn't be too obvious to her. I was concerned that she would peer onto mine, especially if our reading became synchronized. And I laughed at the humorous media synchronization my son and the Air France representative had twenty minutes prior!


  1. I couldn't stop wondering whether those beautiful pictures were of a retired model living in NYC with her husband and two boys?!
    I have not used Paris airports nor Air France for many years thank God!Roissy CDG facilities and design are known for their notoriety and similarity to the narrow parking lots in the beautiful capital!On both arrival and departure,I walked miles upon miles to reach my gate,to learn that it was changed the last minute without notice.
    Yet,you have to give the check-in AF attendant the benefit of the moment:that worldwide,July is a bad month to even step foot at an airport!

  2. Kabir was actually telling us the same story last night over dinner, except in his version he throws a tantrum, terrifies the poor attendant and saves the day by getting you your promised seats back.

    So who was the hero of the day? Torab or Kabir?

  3. Perfect description. I couldn't help thinking of the similarities between Torab and Talal when you mentionned Fort Boyart. It was (is?) Talal's favorite show. I can't believe that show is still running!!! That's so French! Just like the Air France ad, the airport, the aiport attendant, and reading le Monde.

  4. CDG airport sucks, with the exception of the EK service desk...everything else is typical reflection of how things do not work.....air france...well, it is not EK.....

  5. Kabir wishes he made a tantrum!It was definitely Torab's innocence and charm that saved the day!Don't misunderstand me,he's a Great travel companion,and a lucky one at that.If you want to get the best parking space,he's the one to get it.If you want a car scratch to disappear magically,he can arrange it.But his taste in food is not to be commended,especially when it comes to junk food in NYC!