Crossroads' excellent adventure

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Flying into Basel, Switzerland on Swissair for ASTA was about as pleasurable an experience as flying coach can be. We took off on time. The food was great (that in itself amazed me). Service was attentive and friendly. Even though the plane was way overbooked (I'm pretty sure that most of my fellow passengers were ASTA delegates), it was still a pleasant flight.

Upon arrival in Basel we were supposed to board an ASTA-chartered bus to Strasbourg. And there was a bus. Yes, that's right, one bus. It was full. It left. We didn't.

After some hasty reconnoitering, we decided to wing it and piled into a couple of cabs. Of the four people in my taxi, only the driver spoke French. Unfortunately, he didn't speak English, and while he seemed to have heard of Strasbourg, delivering us to a particular point therein proved something of a challenge.

We had to rely on my high-school French and my hitherto unexplored ability to improvise meaningless hand gestures to get us where we were going.

A whopping 1,300 francs ($206) later, we pulled up to our hotel. I'd love to talk to the brain trust who decided that the best way to get to France was to fly into the country next door. The bass-awkwardness of this logic was eloquently pointed out by our driver who, as we sailed past the Strasbourg airport, pointed to the sign and asked, "Pourquis pas?" My sentiments exactly.

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