“The suite we inherited from the Nazis posessed a czarist magnificence that dazzled us. Cupids swung from the chandeliers. Cherubs winged their way across the murals in the ceiling. The rooms were so filled with tables covered with vases, lamps with china bases, inkstands of Ural Mountain stone, and ash trays mounted on the backs of lions that I wondered how our Teutonic predecessor in all his plumpness had made his way about without knocking off an art treasure at every step. In the adjoining bedroom the immense bed was piled high with quilts of yellow satin. The bathroom was a vast tiled cave. The drawing room was equipped with a grand piano and a great white bear rug, and its finest feature was a gold-fluted pillar bearing on its summit a blue cloisonne vase with a picture of Napoleon.”
– Margaret Bourke-White and her husband, Erskine Caldwell, get an upgrade at Moscow’s National Hotel when Germany invades Russia and the German trade representative leaves without paying his bill (or packing), as noted in Shooting the Russian War (1942)
I’m in the security line at the Syracuse airport. A security person has a woman’s suitcase open and is looking at a jumble of toiletries. She asks the woman, “Do you have a ziplock bag?” “No.” She asks again. “Do you have a ziplock bag?” “No.” The security person takes a large bottle of shampoo out of the woman’s suitcase; it’s in a ziplock bag. “This is too big,” she tells the woman, holding up the shampoo bottle before tossing it into a nearby trash can, “but now you have a ziplock bag.”
A poster by Adolphe Mouron Cassandre (1901-1968) for Aéropostale (1918-1932) a French airline which carried mail, passengers, French culture and influence to Spain, Africa and South America. Among its daring pilots was writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry who described his experiences in Vol de Nuit, translated into English as Night Flight.
Travel guru Rick Steves’ daughter, Jackie, has the most delightful travel blog.
“Allow me to introduce myself — first negatively.
“No landlord is my friend and brother, no chambermaid loves me, no waiter worships me… No round of beef or tongue or ham is expressly cooked for me, no pigeon-pie is especially made for me, no hotel advertisement is personally addressed to me, no hotel room tapestried with greatcoats and railway wrappers is set apart for me, no house of public entertainment in the United Kingdom greatly cares for my opinion of its brandy or sherry.”
– Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveler (1860)