Sunday, October 10, 2004

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The balance of trade in transatlantic romances

Back from Milan and I'm juuuuuuuuuuuust a wee bit tired. However, even in my sleep-deprived state I must confess to the strangest symmetry in who I sat next to on my flights to and from Milan.

On my way there, I sat next to a lovely Italian women who was on the return leg from visiting her American boyfriend -- who was in the American military.

On my way back, I sat next to a lovely American woman who was on the return leg from visiting her Italian boyfriend -- who was in the Italian Air Force.

There's no larger moral here -- it's just a bunch of stuff that happened. But that's some pretty symmetrical stuff.

posted by Dan on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM


Which one looked more like Selma Hayek?

posted by: Kelli on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

Why does Dan seem to always sit next to lovely unmarried women on transatlantic flights, and I always seem to sit next to shlubby 250-lb men? Grumble.

(Um, in case my wife is reading this... it's a joke! Sheesh.)

posted by: Al on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

Seriously, I'm with Al on that one. I NEVER sit next to lovely women. With one exception (I sat next to an Army colonel who was returning from Kosovo flying FRA to ATL once) the longer the flight, the more annoying/obnoxious the aisle mates.

posted by: Chris on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

Since when I do trans-atlantic travel, I am sitting next to my wife, I am always sitting next to a lovely woman when I am crossing the pond.

(Al -- assume your wife is reading this and always type comments like this one.)

posted by: Appalled Moderate on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

I'm with Al and Chris. In dozens of flights throughout my life I have never sat next to any woman a reasonable person might describe as "lovely." I have sat next to women who might have become lovely, but at the time I sat next to them they were about 20 years short of their 21st birthday.

And here I thought this was just a rule that applied only to me, one of those industry-wide conspiracies among ticket agents who somehow know when and where I am going to fly in time to book all the attractive women on other flights. I had hoped the Patriot Act would ban conspiracies of this kind, but even though I am evidently not the only one targeted this hope appears to have been ill founded.

posted by: Zathras on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

Why can't I ever get to sit next to handsome single men on ANY flight? Heck, even a Dan Drezner lookalike would do....

posted by: Anne on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

I just came back from egypt and sat behind two spoiled children who were a tag team screaming duo - plus it took an hour and a complaint to the stewardess to get the mother to change diapers.

posted by: TexasToast on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

Dan you need to cut down on the soft porn.

posted by: Waffle on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

The last two flights I took across the Atlantic, they had the temerity to charge for alcohol. Is this now standard practice? Back in the day, i.e. two years ago, those ingenious little bottles of happiness were included in the price of the ticket.

posted by: stari_momak on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

You're surprised they charge for alcohol? That's been standard practice on domestic flights for some time now. Some of the more cash-strapped airlines have even started charging for food.

posted by: crane on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

In 1994 I was flying to Australia (from Ireland)and found myself sitting beside a lovely young woman with a gorgeous little baby. As we landed in Abu Dhabi to break the flight we hit severe turbulence. The poor girl got a panic attack, handed me the baby, curled over and started crying.

I don't know what this has to do with anything but to be literally left holding the baby fits in with this post.

posted by: Tadhgin on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

See, it's clear Dan Drezner's a political scientist. If he were an economist, he'd note the possibility of a Pareto-optimal transfer.

Reminds me of when I was clerking, and in consecutive months we had marijuana-dealing convictions: one involving a shipment from Arizona to Illinois, and the other from Illinois to Arizona. Clearly an inefficient market.

posted by: Ted on 10.10.04 at 10:11 PM [permalink]

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