So the Mister and I are officially back on-island and he’s off to campus for his first day of third semester. We got back late Saturday night, and there were a few striking things about our arrival that smacked me over the head and literally screamed, “Welcome back to de island, man!”
But more on that in a minute. First, I want to offer a few observations about airports and airplanes. We’ve been in several of them lately so I feel qualified to comment on their eccentricities. Especially in Miami, my goodness!
First of all, why are airplanes basically the only “places” (if you can consider the inside of an airplane as a separate place) where bathrooms are exclusively referred to as “lavatories?” That’s always confused me. “It is illegal to tamper with the smoke detectors in the airplane lavatories….” It’s a bathroom. Call it a bathroom. Nobody knows what a lavatory is anymore.
Secondly, if I’ve already been through security, why must you feel it necessary to drag me aside as I try to board the aircraft and search my carry-on bags again? Do you really think I bought bomb ingredients in the duty-free store and assembled them during my layover? Come on now; you’re giving me way too much credit. Also, “checking a bag” is its own concept at airports, so when you scream at me that my tiny bag needs to be “checked,” don’t be surprised when I stare at you blankly while I try to figure out why and how my laptop is going to be put underneath the plane. And then when I figure out you mean you need to search my bag, don’t snatch it away from me and basically dump it all over the floor. I’m sure that’s not efficient bag-searching procedure.
Somehow, by happy expedia.com accident, our second set of tickets ended up being the bulkhead seats in business class, so the Mister and I were pleased to find out we had more leg room and exclusive meal service. However, the nazi flight attendant immediately shattered our visions of complimentary blanket-covered bliss. This plane was large enough that passengers were not required to check their carry-ons in the jetway, like on tiny airplanes, but we’ve never flown in the bulkhead seats, so we didn’t know the luggage rules would be different for us.
The Mister and I each had a carry-on bag and a personal item (backpacks), like we’ve always been allowed to have. We tried to put our carry-ons in the overhead compartments, like usual, but the bulkhead compartment is half as big as the others and was already full of something the attendant told me I “could not move because it had to stay there.” So she jerked both our bags away from me and started complaining loudly that they were past the weight limit anyway, she didn’t know why we even had them on the plane, and that we obviously hadn’t been paying attention and didn”t know anything about flying. First of all, I had all our bags weighed at check-in and they were well under the limit. Secondly, they would have fit fine if we’d had a normal amount of room.
Then, after I had to check those bags back on the jetway (thankfully for no charge), she was super nasty about making us cram our backpacks into the tiny overhead space, rather than keeping them out with us. I understand that is a safety procedure, but she could have been 100% nicer about it and not muttered about me in Spanish under her breath — part of which I understood thanks to two years of foreign language in college. It wasn’t nice, and if I’d had enough confidence in my memory I would have said something back to her in Spanish to let her know I could understand her ranting.
Then the Mister got a migraine headache and nausea almost immediately after takeoff – not a good idea to have a big last-American-meal during your layover. So that was fun.
The island welcomed us back with air more humid than I remember and a single immigration desk serving 100+ people with an attendant who obviously assumed we were idiots and treated us accordingly. I wondered what we’d done to offend her. Then I remembered.
We got out to a friend’s car in the parking lot and couldn’t get her trunk open. She doesn’t have a trunk handle and the latch doesn’t work from the inside. I almost asked if she could just push the button. Then I remembered.
On the way home I kept thinking, “What is wrong with these roads??!” every time she would hit a vehicle-sized pothole and send me and our suitcases bouncing in the back. Then I remembered.
Sunday afternoon we had to eat at a cafe because there was no food in our house, and the sandwich I looked at in the deli case was $14usd. I thought “Whoah! It’s just a sandwich!” Then I remembered.
The Mister and I sat at a table waiting for our food and watched a tourist family approach the counter to place an order. They were confused when the cashier standing at the register ignored them completely for five full minutes. The waitress brought me a panini and root beer instead of a regular sandwich and a Dr. Pepper. I thought, “Welcome home to the island of misfit toys, where the service is a joke and your order doesn’t matter.”
But we escaped the single-digit snowstorm temperatures back home and our flights weren’t cancelled for bad weather, so it’s all good, man. It’s all good. Carry on.