Friday, June 24, 2011

PRX: Valium

I don't travel well.

I am the woman who sits down on an airplane and immediately starts rummaging through the seat in front of her for the handy white disposal system, more commonly known as the barf bag. I've even been known to ask the people sitting across the aisle if I can take their bags...just in case. Needless to say, plane rides for me are usually filled with awkward silence. That is, until I start tossing my complimentary cookies and Coke.

Even when I drive, the traveling gods do not smile upon me. My brother, a friend, and I were stopped and interrogated for hours at, of all places, the Canadian border back in 1990. It must have been a slow night for border patrol because they even went so far as to search our car--a 1980 Pontiac Phoenix LJ, belonging to my mother--a highly suspicious car in its day... NOT! After an hour of detainment and separate interviews, it was finally insinuated that our story--which consisted of a weekend trip to Cardsten, Alberta for our brother's wedding celebration--"Didn't add up." Apparently, the thought of two siblings meeting their family for a reception taking place one week after the wedding reeked of suspicion. Our looks of dismay when we were told the border patrolman had "no reason" to believe us seemingly worked against us, and the fact that my younger brother (being the eighteen year-old smart ass he was) told the interrogating guard "We'll send you pictures" probably didn't help either. Luckily, we were eventually released and made it to the reception, both of us vowing to never grace Canada with our presence again.

Years later during our first (and what will more than likely be our last) cruise, I had Vertigo the entire week. Then again, maybe my nausea was due to the fact that while standing in line at Customs, we were informed that our stop in Cancun had been canceled due to hurricane damage. Or maybe it was caused by the news that our children's dog, Hondo, had been hit and killed by a car the night before we set sail... We were affectionately known as "the dead dog people" by our fellow "sailmates." It was a rough week.

Finally, upon arriving at the Atlanta airport, Christmas 2008, my family and I made our way to Concourse X-Y-triple Z, only to find that my bag was presumably missing. Presumably missing, you ask? Why yes, we eventually discovered that my bag was indeed on the luggage turnstile, and probably had been the entire time. It was just difficult to recognize because it had been shredded on the conveyor belt and then plastic wrapped into suitcase oblivion. This, only after the nice baggage claim clerks gathered what they could of my obliterated belongings and mushed them all together into one soupy vacation clothes-and-lotion surprise. True story.

I think it is safe to assume that whether by land, air, or by sea, if there are grouchy people to encounter or unfortunate mishaps to be had, I am sure to find them.

So, if you happen to see me anywhere in the world and I appear to be traveling, please say hello. Then, hurry and run the other way. It's okay, I'll understand.

1 comment:

Joe Average Writer said...

Nice. Great to hear your voice again. Just hope I'm not sitting next to you on my next flight.