Hard to leave.

It was hard to leave France.


Not "I'll miss the moonlight on the Mediterranean" hard.

More like "there are strikes and solidarity strikes on top of those strikes, and I can't actually make my flights" hard.

First: Transit workers strike in France. They're not Sarkozy fans over there. I mean, in case you haven't noticed, we have a somewhat unpopular president in the good ol' USofA as well, but he's not eliminating 35,o00 gov't jobs and divorcing his wife to marry a hot 20-something. Sarkozy on the other hand... less shy on both fronts.

Taxi drivers were largely striking, too. There were some cabs, but not many. Plus I was trying to get to the Cote d'azur airport in Nice, and it was the week between the Cannes film festival and the Gran Prix in Monaco, so that airport was the spot.

When I got to the airport, my plane hadn't taken off, but the flight was closed. They wouldn't let me on.

Well, I was trying to get to London in time for my flight from London to Washington, and on to Charleston. It was Thursday, and I had a show Friday night at Spoleto.

So? Time to catch another flight to London, right?


Second: An air traffic controller strike that started just after my first flight left delayed every flight by a couple of hours. No hope of making Heathrow in time for my flight. I rescheduled for the first flight out Friday morning.

I snagged an EasyJet flight to London (couldn't get to Heathrow, so I had to hit Luton, and then take a bus between the two airports. That was kinda cool. I was the only one on the bus, so it was like having a giant cab all to myself. )

I got to Heathrow around 11pm (after getting to the Nice airport around 7am...) and found a dark spot in a corner, unfolded my garment bag and used it as a mattress. I caught a couple of hours of airport sleep, and then grabbed my flight from Heathrow to Dulles.

There were no flights from Dulles to Charleston that day. I got one to Columbia instead. My brother Sam picked me up in Columbia and we drove down to Charleston. We hit a big wreck on I-26 and my car started to overheat while we were stuck in traffic.

We ended up getting to Charleston around 5:30pm (11:30pm Friday, Nice time. 40+ hours after getting to the airport in Nice, according to my math....). I was several hundred dollars poorer from the fees and fare differences associated with my changes.

I got a shower and headed hit the stage by 7pm for the first night of the Fowler Family Radio Hour at Spoleto in Charleston.



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