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Last week I was standing behind you in line to board a flight from Prague back to Amsterdam… and I know you don’t know me, and I know I don’t you, but you made SUCH an impression on me! I had to write down my thoughts right away! Even AS you were speaking! Do you remember? I had my notebook out and was scribbling furiously! And then when I got home… a friend suggested I share with you what I wrote. So here goes…

As I leave Prague there’s a sadness and melancholia that hangs in my nostrils along with the faint smell of cigarette smoke. The smell of cigarette smoke is a piece that will be connected with Prague and my memories of this lovely place.

Along with annoying Americans: Loud, drunk, talking on the phone, talking about HOW being drunk on the plane “is the best!” or walking into restaurants and thinking the waiter says “food!” when he is saying “Full!” and then YOU say “I don’t want to eat here, it sucks!” very loudly. Loudly enough that the word ‘sucks’ reverberates through the restuarant, but without people realizing that you are describing the fact that only the smoking section has space and that THAT is what ‘sucks.’

Gruff Americans! Pfff! (See me do a gallic shrug.)

“I LOVED beer in high school” you say, and then “Let’s take pics and remember the trip!” This makes the rest of us think that beer consumption MAY be linked to the inability to remember an entire trip tip Europe.

“And did you see Josh?!?!?” Your friend says and then continues “IMO he’s like a 5.” (What the hell is IMO???) You respond, “Totally! But as husband material he’s an 8!”

Is this part of what’s wrong with our world? Everyone traveling so they have good Facebook pics and rating people based on their 6-pack stomach instead of loving them? Is this part of what makes so many think it’s OK to cheat in a relationship? Is it just trading up like you would flip a house?

Of course, rampant house flipping led to the collapse of the US (and World) economy – are we heading for the collapse of our moral standing too? Maybe’s already happened and we are so busy taking pictures for Facebook that we missed it?

“Have you done it?” your friend asks.

“Sort of…” You pause. “I was drunk so I am not sure.”

“What did he post after?” 

“Nothing, and I checked his wall all day.”

“Maybe you didn’t have sex.”

“I guess. I was drunk. But I’d think I’d know, you know?”

“Totally! What does his status say now?”

— This is a conversation held at full volume in line to board for a flight. Maybe if it’s not on Facebook tomorrow, this conversation didn’t happen?