August 9, 2002

8/9/02 Chicago

Leavin' on a jet plane

Mom saying goodbye

The plane just passed the coast and we're now flying over the Atlantic Ocean.

Sitting next to me is 12-year-old Ricardo who has assumed the role of my guardian. Every summer he flys to America to spend time with his grandparents in Minneapolis. He is traveling alone because his brother had a bad wreck on his bicycle (flipped over the handlebars, bruising his spleen) and the doctors didn't want him to fly for a few more weeks. So Ricardo, Ricky to his American friends, went on while his mother stayed with his brother.

As a frequent flyer, or maybe because I clearly don't travel much by air, Ricardo has politely helped me out when I couldn't figure something out. Like listening to music or turning on the overhead light. So far, it's been a pretty uneventful flight, nothing like my flight last year at the start of the bike trip. Somehow I got locked in the planes only bathroom, and the stewardess had to break the door off the hinges to extract me. Caused a 45-minute delay at our layover to repair it.

Ricardo lives near Madrid. His mother is American and his father is Spanish. And he has two brothers, Ricardo being the youngest. His English is very good but he gets stuck every once in awhile. If only I could be so lucky with Spanish.

Before dinner, he gave me pointers on places to visit in Spain. Dinner itself was 'interesting'. The chicken was cubed with skin still on it. Not the most appetizing but my other choice was veal (or maybe I lost something in the translation).

The sun has set and the movie "En La Cuidad sin Limites" (City Without Limits) is playing overhead while I write in the journal. Ricardo must not be interested in it either because he's drawing Simpson's cartoons. He liked the airplane tail I drew.