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.