Sunday, September 16, 2007

Day 15: Red Eye; WMDs; Baby Gross Out

I leave for airport at 10:30 am on Friday and will arrive at my hotel in Greece at 6:30 pm on Saturday.

I) Margarita to Caracas Flight: 1 hour
Carrier: Laser (local carrier)
Plane Leaves about an hour late

Baby Gross-Out:
I'm on the plane from Margarita Island to Caracas. Next to me is a woman with an infant. Baby is crying so she gives him a cookie. After about 5 minutes, the kid's face is covered in a pasty mixture of drool and cookie crumbs. Then he proceeds to wipe his goopy hands on the seat back in front of him. Then the mother takes the goey cookie stump from the child and takes a bite. I want to reach for the air sickness bag.

Plane arrives one hour late.

II) Caracas to Madrid: about 8 hours, red eye

Carrier: Iberia
Plane leaves about 30 minutes late.
Airbus with two aisles and 8 seats across. I have an aisle seat, which is what I always request.

I go through security to get on plane to Spain. I'm able to get bring my backpack on the plane -- something I couldn't do in the US. But going through the scanner, there's a problem with items I was able carry on in the US. Security makes me open my toilet kit and they take my little scissors and tweezers. I guess in Spain these are considered weapons of mass destruction.

We're finally ready to board and the flight attendants get on. I don't consider myself shallow person (though some might disagree), but this is the least attractive bunch of stewardesses I've ever seen. They're so ugly they could work for Delta.

We're about to board the plane when some folks in military fatigues rush into the breezeway that leads to the plane. Their uniforms say something about drugs. I have a small anxiety attack: if they take my Lunestra sleeping pills I'll be screwed.

They pat everyone down. It's like the restroom line in a bar: the women's line is a mile long and the guys are moving through quickly. I get patted down. It's the most action I've had in 2 weeks. My Lunestra is intact and I take one as soon as I'm on the plane. I notice a woman across the aisle pop something into her mouth as well. Then I notice there are three infants within two rows of me.

We take off. I sleep for about 1.5 hours then wake up. To kick start the Lunestra, I ask for a beer (they're free!) Note: Though it's fun, the management at RandysTravelblog does not condone or in anyway endorse mixing sleeping pills and alcohol.

I try to sleep again. One baby starts screaming. A second starts screaming. I notice the guy across from me is hacking and sneezing in Spanish. Woman behind me sneezes. I swear I feel little droplets on the back of my neck. I get up to go to the bathroom and wash my hands as if that is going to prevent a cold. I come back to my seat. The baby next to me is up and still crying. I make threating gestures indicating that if he doesn't knock it off, he's going to wake up with a pillow held firmly over his little face. He obviously doesn't understand English and keeps crying.

I take my notebook and start drawing up some proposed legislation: Anyone who insists of having children should keep them at home until they can sit quietly in public places, such as 8-hour plane flights.

We finally arrive at 8:15 am, Madrid time