June 6, Friday at the NAIA (Ninoy Aquino International Airport), I noticed lots of people flying Air France were lined up early for the 8:00 AM flight to Paris. Regular check-in didnâ??t take too long. Everybodyâ??s temperature was taken right before the first x-ray machine â?? a measure to detect symptoms of the SARS disease.
As I looked at the passengers, I couldnâ??t help but wonder why these people were going to Paris. Were they going to Europe for the first time too just like Jerry and me? Were they as eager as we were to see all the wonderful and breathtaking sights we only read in books and see on National Geographic? Probablyâ?¦ God only knows how excited we were. I couldnâ??t even start to put it into words!
The flight took all of 14 hours â?? the longest single time I wasnâ??t in front of the computer, so far. What a break!
Breakfast consisted of egg omelette and sausage with croissant and â??pan de salâ?? and was pretty filling. Then our first French meal was served for lunch. Jerry and I had yummy fish terrine, Waldorf salad, medallion of pork, Meaux mustard, potatoes au gratin, French green beans, cheese, French toast and pineapple slices for dessert. Unlike most of the people on board who took soda and fruit juices with their meals, Jerry and I opted for nothing else but French red wine â?? a small bottle each of Vin de Pays de la Cite de Carcassone. What could be more French than that?
The flight to Paris was rather long but the inflight movies kept me from being bored. Not much of a movie-lover, I surprised myself by watching 3 movies in a row: Frida, Chicago and How to Lose a Man in 10 Days. The movie marathon was interrupted only by naps in varying lengths plus a few trips to the restroom.
Finally landed in Paris at 5:30 PM. The smooth touchdown was impressive but the queue that formed inside the tube as the French airport guards checked everybodyâ??s passports was a big letdown. Jerry and I were caught in the middle of the long line and had to endure the almost unbearable heat in the glass tube. They should have set-up the checkpoint somewhere inside the airport where it was cooler and more convenient. The unwilling lady employee in the waiting lounge worsened the situation all the more. But hey, this is supposed to be a great vacation, so enough of the negative comments.
There was a slight delay in the Paris-Geneva leg but the waiting time was okay. We enjoyed taking shots and watching other passengers while we waited.
Our in-flight food was a baguette of ham and cheese plus a teeny-weeny can of orange juice.