Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Tired Beyond Belief

I'm writing this in the Vienna Airport. K. and I are at the tail end of a 14 hour layover -- this after getting less than two hours of sleep on the flight from D.C. It's currently 8:15 p.m. local time (we arrived at 8:30 a.m.) and our flight doesn't take off until 10:30. Ugh.

On the plus side, we've had a whole day to wander and play in Vienna (pictures will come soon). Vienna, or "Wien" is amazing... wide, open streets, lots of very pretty, very old architecture, some of those huge churches you see everywhere these days, and lots of delicious coffee and sweets. It also happens to be the 250th anniversary of Mozart's something-or-other (birth? first performance? I don't speak enough german to figure it out), so there are probably about as many people wandering around in white powdered wigs and fancy gold coats as there were in 1756.

Oddly, this is the second time I've been through Vienna, and each time I seem to get an extended layover, and a chance to tour around the city. Also, I seem to be more tired than seems possible. The last time I was here it was with my father and stepmother, and a good friend, and we were coming in from an overnight stay in the New Dehli Airport. Both times I've been amazed at just how open and safe this city seems, and how a.) organized, and b.) convenient the Viennese seem to make things. If you get a chance to travel via Austrian Airlines (and take a long stopover in Vienna) I recommend it. Aside from some issues with there not being enough seats, this is one of the nicest airports.

On a side note, just before I left, I bought and devoured this great book by Bob Harris-- "Prisoner of Trebekistan." Ostensibly it's all about his life and times becoming a Jeopardy! champion. I've watched Jeopardy! (exclamation mandatory) a couple times, but not for years, and I'm not really much of a fan. I heard about this book from a website I like to read, and figured it would make a decent airplane book. I was right. The book was not only fun, but also really useful -- all sorts of good tips on memorization, which will help me a great deal as I continue to beat my head against the Georgian language, as well as some funny and inspiring (and sad) moments that make you happy that people like this exist. It ends up being an extended love-letter to the pursuit of both lifelong learning and extensive travel -- two things that you know I love. Plus, for whatever reason, he looks an awful lot like Wash from Firefly. I'm not saying it's a perfect book, but I am saying that you all must go out and read it right this minute. My website will wait.

..see, wasn't that worth it? Anyway, we're still in transit, and I'm writing this on a laptop with a quickly fading battery, so more will come after we arrive, find an apartment, get some internet, access to a power supply, get thirty seven hours of sleep, etc. etc. I see (quickly) that lots of you wrote me (whee!) and I promise that I'll write just as soon as I have time and get settled.

Until then, wish us a safe flight into Tbilisi.

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