East of Paris Bookstore

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Arrived in Paris, with two surprises.  First, the Air France flight was better than expected.  The equipment was new and the flight attendants were, well, attentive.  Second, the hotel representative met us directly on exit from the aircraft.  She walked us through passport control, arrange for our luggage to be taken to the car and walked us through customs.  It was the fastest most efficient entry into a country that I've experienced. Very nice [reminiscent of the VIP Lounge service in Moscow].

This was a good end to a slightly nervous start.  At LAX we had passed through more security screens than even before. I walked through the new "X-Ray" machines ... but was patted down anyway.  There were extra TSA staff checking papers as we handed our boarding pass to the AIr France staff.  Then, after passing into the jetway, we saw at least 6 more TSA personnel, who again asked to see our passports and boarding passes and asked a few questions.  On top of that, I saw a couple wearing, let's call it, "eastern dress," that gave me a Juan Williams moment.  A decent way to deal with said frisson was to say "oui" to the in-flight champagne.

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