September 15, 2005

Catalonia Bound

Well, I'm off for Spain this afternoon, on a two-week vacation with my pal Dan Ramirez, an artist and former blogger whom some of you know as Lhombre. (He plans to restart his blog at some point.) Dan's been at an arts colony near Barcelona all summer, and he invited me to drive around the country with him in a rented car for his last two weeks there.

We'll have Dan's laptop on board and there are lots of internet cafes in Spain, so I expect to send you some reports from the scene. I've never been to Spain, and for days I've been underlining feverishly in my guidebook.

In two weeks I hope to return here and collapse into a more normal life routine.

I'll be traveling on an airline that declared bankruptcy yesterday, and in this morning's email I found an encouraging letter from them:

"We have taken this action as part of our
ongoing efforts to make [name of airline] a simpler, more efficient and
cost-effective airline. On behalf of the tens of thousands of [name of airline]
employees worldwide who look forward to welcoming you onboard every day,
I want to assure you [name of airline] is open for business as usual:

"Your travel plans are secure -- We are operating our full schedule of
flights, honoring tickets and reservations as usual, and making normal
refunds and exchanges. You can count on the convenience and choice
you've come to expect from the more than 7,500 daily flights to 502
destinations in 88 countries that we, along with our ... partners, provide worldwide.

"Your [name of promotion]Miles(R) are secure -- The award-winning [name of promotion] program has
not been affected, and you can continue to enjoy the program's
benefits--including [name of airline] Crown Room Clubs, double miles on qualifying
purchases with the [name of airline + name of promotion] Credit Card from American Express(R),
and the opportunity to earn and redeem miles on the thousands of flights
offered by... our vast network of global airline alliances.

"[name of airline] is honored to have been named "the Most Preferred Airline" this
year by business travelers* and we thank you for voting our [name of promotion]
program as the Best Frequent Flyer program in a Travel Savvy magazine
survey. From upgraded features on, to refurbished cabins, to
new routes and international destinations, to fewer restrictions and
service fees, we're transforming [name of airline] to be even better for you."

How does one get a job writing that stuff?