Don't know if there's anybody still out there, but I am here. I know. Alert the Media! Bring out the balloons and the clowns!
In case there is somebody there, let me explain. I got floored by a variety of health issues, including getting a new knee. I had always been happy with the one God issued me, but I guess the warranty ran out. Then other health issues kicked in to complicate things along with a variety of family issues, travel, and having to deal with my "vast" real estate holdings--Downton Abbey, you got nothing on me. A couple of trips to the DC area--ugh!--and other such travails.
The Diplowife headed off to Spain to deal with her mother's death and the various issues that flow from that. It was a nightmare getting her on a plane. The American Airlines rep who sold us the tickets said all we need is proof of vaccination against the (drumroll) dread ChiCom virus. We dutifully got that, with booster included, and proudly waved our little booklet certifying that we are good citizens of the Republic. Well, guess what? That wasn't enough. Since I suspected as much, we arrived three hours early for the flight. The Diplowife showed her tickets, passport, proof of vaccination (all this more than you need to vote), and I swung her bag onto the scale in anticipation of it being whisked away. No. The rather rude AA clerk, while clacking away on her computer, and without looking up, suddenly says, "Where's your health form?" We didn't know what she was talking about. No health form, no boarding. Only after some interrogation did she reveal that we needed a health form from the Spanish Ministry of Health. In response to my stupid question of where we get such a form, she mumbled, "From the Spanish Ministry of Health." We're at the airport in Raleigh, North Carolina amidst a crowd of impatient passengers, and I am told to get a form from the Spanish Ministry of Health. Fortunately some kind soul wandered by and said, "You have to scan this QR to get it." He showed us the cute little box QR code, and I scanned it with my camera. We were told to get out of line as we were holding things up. Off we scurried to a little corner, and on my wife's phone, I fill out the form over and over. For some reason it wanted the dates year/month/day without explaining that. The whole thing was written in some weird Spanglish. We finally fill it out correctly and press "SUBMIT"--very appropriate word. And wait. And wait. And wait. No "OK to board." Fortunately, another passer-by heard us, and said, "Oh you have to download Google Chrome." I had never heard of Google Chrome. App Store; download; fill out the form again; we get our OK form and back to the ticket line. No cutting!
Diplowife reports that the AA plane and flight were horrendous. It's a crappy airline which has gotten worse and worse. When I was a Diplo I hated using AA or any of the other US flag airlines we were forced to use. Terrible. The best? Singapore Air. Always used it whenever I got the opportunity. But, I digress. Spain? One of my favorite places on earth has gone nuts "combatting" the China Virus. The Diplowife reported total mask madness, and a brainwashed population convinced that millions are dropping like flies every day. No proof required. Well, she survived, and came back, and guess what? She's heading back to Spain next Friday. We are filling out forms, again, on the assumption that the flight won't get cancelled.
I will resume blogging once she's on the plane.