Uncertainty and Control

When the sign on Track 12 blacked out the info for the train to Rovereto, it was fortunate that we had enough Italian to know we have to move to ‘binnari siete.’ After a quick scramble amidst lots of 20 somethings to Track 7, we got into our car for the 45 minute ride to Rovereto from Verona.

What Are We Doing In Brussels?

Travel requires flexibility. After reading about a family travelling from Uzbekistan to Lithuania over 2 months in 1920, we agreed that our travel seemed pretty tame. But it still had its moments. The schedule was scuttled from the start when our plane to Montreal was stuck in St John’s Newfoundland due to bad weather. No big surprise that, but disruptive all the same. This switch required standing in line a very long time waiting our turn at the counter and an even longer time while the desk agent searched for options. (A perennial mystery is that as a customer, I can book a flight with a few clicks on a computer screen; a desk agent types in vast amounts of text to reach the same outcome.) That cost us the connection to Frankfurt where we were to connect with a flight to Verona. Instead, we were rerouted to a later flight from Montreal to Brussels. That went fine.

In Brussels, there are no airline transfer desks, so one must await the gate opening for one’s flight before getting a boarding pass. When that moment came around, it emerged that the Air Canada desk agent had not closed the deal on our flight to Frankfurt to get a later connection to Verona. That could not be handled at the departure gate, so we trooped back to the departures lounge where an impressively competent Swiss Air agent got us on a direct flight to Bologna where we could get a train to Verona. While awaiting the flight, we went into Brussels where we were charmed by the architecture and appalled by the prices (5.20 Euro ($8.00) for a tall plain coffee at Starbucks!).


Why Did The Flight Attendant Flap Her Arms & Cluck?

On the flight on a Dash-8 over the Alps, the flight attendants handed out sandwiches. A woman wanted to know what was in the sandwiches, but her language fell outside the range of various European languages with which this Italian flight attendant was proficient. It was turkey and cheese. Turkey was too great a performance challenge, so she clucked and flapped her arms, communicating chicken effectively.


Uncertainty and Control

Control is a lovely thing. But it is necessary to relinquish it when moving outside one’s comfort zone. Otherwise, complacency becomes one’s fate. But with relinquishing control comes uncertainty that is always a bit distressing.

So far it seems worth the effort. A bit of resiliency is a valuable thing.

Onward to Rovereto! Age in the Workplace awaits.

Bologna Train Station

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