Oliver likes to hug people. I’m not sure why. He doesn’t get it from me (I like a good hug as much as the next guy, but latent agoraphobia has always intruded). But Oliver hugs his friends when he leaves school (something that seems to have spread like wildfire through the student body). And he hugs Catherine and he hugs me at every opportunity. And if opportunity presents itself, he’ll hug just about anyone who looks huggable.
In recent weeks this has extended to members of the transportation system working class: a few weeks ago he hugged our bus driver after a good ride down from the Farmer’s Market; last night he hugged the flight attendant after our Air Canada flight from Charlottetown to Montreal. In both cases the look on the face of the hugged made it clear that regular hugging by customers is not a commonplace occurrence. But they both seemed pleasantly surprised at the offer once the initial shock had passed.
Talking in the car on the way up from Boston to Keene, New Hampshire where we’re staying, Catherine recalled that our first trip on Air Nova (the predecessor of Air Canada Jazz, the “regional” part of Air Canada) was to New York City back in the mid-1990s. On that flight they were conducting an experiment wherein they had an on-board oven that was used to bake fresh chocolate chip cookies. The cookies were amazing. And somehow not at all like the sesame snacks cum mealy twigs that are on offer now (okay, I know, enough with the sesame stick bashing; but it’s what I do).
As we’re only here for 3 days this time around, it turns out that the cost of renting a “Pontiac Sunfire or similar” is only $10/day different from renting a fully tricked-out Volvo XC70. So we drove up from Boston with heated leather seats glowing, moon-roof open, and Hertz NeverLost GPS system guiding our every move. Although I could never justify (or afford) such a car for the once a week market runs, it sure is a nice vehicle.
I’m here in Dublin, NH until Thursday; Friday morning I wake up in Dublin, Ireland.