Claire and I are home from Paris and our cat Lola is slowly forgiving us. She growled at me a bit yesterday, but was on my lap for a few hours today, purring happily. So, hopefully things are back to normal.
The first thing I noticed upon returning to Canada is how wide open and isolating it is. J.G. Ballard talked once about the oceanic loneliness of North America. The buildings all seem so far away from each other and the roads are endless rivers of black asphalt. No wonder people get so fat and isolated here- you have to drive to get anywhere, and in most places you can't exactly walk a block to the cafe to sit with the locals and drink.
I also noticed how many more teenagers there are wandering around here. Where do the French put them? I almost never saw them in France. Sometimes, you'd see little kids with their parents in the park. But, rarely the teens. Maybe I was just doing adult things. That was different- it's almost impossible to find things to do here where teenagers aren't around. Bowling, movies, bookstores, libraries... where do you go to be an adult around other adults? (Aside from porno-swingers clubs)
Speaking of which, the little kids behind us on the plane were monsters, and their parents would do nothing to stop them, proving once and for all that the French can be lousy tourists too. The three little boys waged war in the seats behind us, while the little girl screamed and pulled on Claire's hair. Meanwhile, the lady next to us had an infant, so I had an airline crib in my lap for the seven-hour flight and the other four kids running around and screaming. Ugh!
Yes, yes, I know, children are our greatest natural resource. So when do we start mining them for uranium? So you think your kid is a miracle? Well, let's see if he can fly! He's a precious angel? Well, a few more kicks to my seat and he will be.
Why don't airlines have flights that children aren't allowed on? I mean, I would pay at least $100 extra per ticket to fly to France without children aboard. Maybe even $200. And I'm guessing that I'm not alone. They could make a fortune here. Is there some sort of civil rights issue here? Would someone sue? This seems like such an obvious solution to an irritating problem. I mean, alternately, parents could start spanking their kids. But, that's not happening any time soon. So, why not have 18 and over flights?