Manolo says, it is Monday, and you are not at at your desk slaving away.
You are not at your desk for the very good reason that you have become that most pitiable of peoples, the business traveler; the pilgrim of commerce, outbound to your corporation’s North-East-Central regional office in the beautiful, lakeside vacation city of Erie, Pennsylvania! (Just like Lake Como, only with more soot!)
But before you can do your business and then retire for the evening to enjoy the homey comforts of the Airport Suites Inn, (Ice! Free waffles! The coffeemaker in the bathroom!) you must first do battle with the American air transportation system.
It starts with the indignity of the security checkpoint, where your reinforced foundation garments repeatedly set off the metal detectors, the delay which nearly causes you to miss your flight to Altoona.
Altoona? Yes, who knew that the cheapest connection to Erie from LaGuardia involved the plane changes at Altoona and Atlanta (in that order), with the final leg into Erie on Belavia, the national airline of Belarus, which, at least unlike the American airlines, offers you the free inflight drink and snack, even if it is the shot of vodka from the communal glass and pickled smelts from the big jar.
Luckily, and perhaps it is the vodka, but everyone on Belavia seemed so nice, including the pilots, who halfway through the flight (during the group sing-a-long) came back into the cabin and did the little cossack dance, which is again unlike the American carriers where everyone is tetchy and surly, and the flight attendants bark orders at small children and nursing mothers.
And now it is nearly 2 pm, and after ten hours of flying, you are sitting in the coffee shop near the Erie International Airport, killing the few minutes on the internet before you must make your triumphant appearance in the regional office.
Oh, how you wish you were going away on permanent vacation, to the islands, where you could shuck your constricting business clothes. On the resort beach in your dreams, you could wear the bikini (well, maybe the tankini) with the colorful coverup wrap and the beautiful resort sandals, perhaps like these, the Petal Pushers from Lilly Pulitzer.
Now that would be travelling in style!