Monday, December 17, 2012

Travel is no fun

Have just returned home after 2 months in Tirana, where I coordinated lots of work regarding celebratory events for Albania's centenary, and now  I am tackling all personal chores, accumulated paperwork of all kinds , and essential tasks of the upcoming holiday season. 

Although I experienced lots of rain while in Albania, and just few days before my departure also saw the mountain peaks taking on the white blanket of snow, I felt good, energetic, and able to deal with the stress and pressures of what needed to be taken care of, while also attending several events, official celebrations, and hosting friends and relatives that traveled for the occasion from the States, Italy, and Montenegro.   
Tirana did not have many problems, except for the usual predicaments due to the steady rain, such as enormous  traffic  jams, temporary loss of electricity, and, in some cases, like mine, water penetration from balconies, and lack of elevator services.  When I left my apartment at 2:30AM to reach the airport I had the unpleasant surprise of having to walk down 12 stories, with luggage! 

Once at Rinas airport the unpleasant conditions persisted. The incoming flights from snowy northern Europe were cancelled forcing complete rerouting,  which took a few hours to complete. Albania and the entire Balkan region are also suffering from an unusually harsh and early winter, with dangerous traveling conditions and several deaths due to the freezing environment.

Somehow, I made it home, although traveling from JFK airport into the city took forever due to extremely heavy traffic.  NY weather was clear, brisk, and I was faced by its constant wind that I tend to forget when abroad.  Within less than 24 hrs from my arrival, however,  the weather has turned for the worst, and I started having arthritic pains, which increased in intensity  and became excruciating!   It's no fun having to deal with this unusual condition as well as jet lag, but it all shall pass, after a much needed rest that I can now afford for a few days.  

Only consolation during this troublesome travel was experiencing the pleasant atmosphere of the business class on board of the transatlantic aircraft that took 10 hours to reach NY from Rome.  

The seats of Alitalia's Boeing 777 were not the most comfortable, but the leg room and the service exceeded expectations.  It was also pleasant to be 'sandwiched in' between two noted personalities, an Italian TV actor and Maestro Riccardo Muti, who was coming to NY only for one day to receive an award, and to be able to enjoy a gargantuan and luscious dinner that lasted over 2 hours and included excellent varieties of interesting dishes.

No comments: