Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Airport Adventures

Upon returning to Toronto from Boca Chica, I opted to stop over in Miami for a day. I love that city.

I thought I would be really smart and only pack a carry on, get there at 9 and South Beach it up til my flight at 5. I booked my flight to be there for Independence Day by accident. I left Toronto on Marty's birthday. Which I forgot about. I'm not the best at remembering things.

First of all, on my flight to Miami, I got sat with a tween who smelled like a cheese foot (don't they all? Grow up, Tweens. So disgusting!) and a girl about my age who would not stop sobbing. Where is the SUICIDE BUTTON, American Airlines??!? Like seriously, I did not purchase my copy of Savor The Moment (trade paperback, thank you very much) only to have my book-reading time disturbed by Smelly Tears over there. I had the window seat, so it was next to impossible to ascertain who was doing all the stinking.

No matter. I'll just put my trusty headphones on to drown out the crying and watch the in-flight film. They played that Tooth Fairy movie, starring "The Rock" on my way there, so whatever they throw at me can't be worse than that. WRONG!! Old Dogs. That one with John Travolta and Robin Williams. It's a long 3 hours.

Once we arrive on land, everyone with a connecting flight is directed to pick up their luggage and go through customs with it. Haha, SUCKERS! This was the whole reason I just brought a carry-on.

I have to take a moment to pause and punch myself for not bringing a camera with me.


As I smugly wave goodbye to all the assholes having to go wait for their luggage and go through additional security, I get stopped by a miniature security officer. I'm 5'3, so any man I have to look down to is hardly a man at all. He's like a G.I Joe toy!! But I know better than to treat him like one. The "Talk Back" areas in international airports is the last place I ever want to be in. Again.

The problem here is that Officer Cookie Elf speaks in whisper decibels, or maybe I'm still deaf from the flight. I don't want to lean down to listen because I feel like that would be patronizing, but I also don't want to not do what he says. What a pickle! I sort of cross my legs and hunch, pretending like I have to pee so I can hear his instructions.

He tells me I have to pick up my bags and go through customs prior to leaving the airport. Triumphantly, I tell him I don't have any bags, just my backpack, and prepare to stroll on merrily past. He stops me and tries to convince me that it's my only chance to pick up my bags, because they aren't going straight through to Toronto without me clearing them through customs first. He literally asks me to be absolutely sure I have no bags coming through. Yes sir, I am absolutely positive I didn't pack an entire suitcase, check it in at the last airport I was in, and forget about it in the last 3 hours.

On the way out the door I am pretty sure I walked through 5 meter radius fart.

Not the best airport experience.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Back from Hiatus

Hi all!

I'm back due to an overwhelming load of fanmail and requests. Well, really my friend Tamara just asked what I was doing with my blog and that's 17% of my followers. Hey, I'm a crowd pleaser.

I just got back from Dominican Republic on a short visit to Boca Chica. It's a far cry from the other times I've been to DR, which have been at high starred resorts in Punta Cana or Puerta Plata, places that have made me grimace when people mention Dominican Republic. It is low season, so Boca Chica was relatively quiet. It is riddled with more prostitution than I've ever seen, desperate beach vendors, and polluting mopeds. The few tourists there are generally European men, wearing bathing gear that immediately draws your eyes to their balls. "Come hither," the balls beckon, seductively, "look how I dance when Fernando walks."

I loved it. I love the nitty grittiness of Boca Chica, the being forced to use Spanish, and the wooden cabin-like place we stayed in.

We went on a couple of scuba diving expeditions: a wreck dive that we penetrated and it was easy to pretend you were a ghost pirate, a night dive where we saw plankton light up the black waters like a million fireflies, and finally, two cave dives.

On cave diving. I'd never done it before. I've done some swimthroughs underwater but nothing in complete darkness and nothing lasting more than 10 seconds. I'm not an overly experienced diver, maybe 20 dives or so, but have generally thought myself to be completely comfortable underwater. I've come face to face with sharks, gone 170 feet under, and completely lost my mask at 80 feet, always remaining calm.

We head out to Las Tainas caves with our French Divemaster and a guy from Denmark. I'm not very good with accents and can lose attention quickly if I don't understand. When the DM was talking about what now seems obvious as virginal beaches, I stroked my chin pensively. "Vagina bitches, you say? Sounds interesting. I'll have to look it up." (n.b., Do NOT look it up.)

Anyways, we had to lug our equipment down this treacherous stair path. I don't have any good pictures because I didn't bring my camera to DR, but this is what the entrance looked like:

It was moderately terrifying and I'm quite sure I won't be doing it again. It was extremely beautiful and crystalline, and there were interesting formations that can't be found elsewhere, but it was freezing and for the most part, I couldn't stop thinking about how we were 70 feet deep in a lake 40 feet below earth. There's no air on top of me! Some stalagtites/mites had broken, due to earthquakes, the DM said. Earthquakes. Well thanks for that reminder!! We also passed through some haloclines, which are when freshwater meets saltwater. It was like crossing through a mirror, and that is the only way I can explain it. The saltwater has a different density than the freshwater, and from one side, looks like the surface of a lake. The person in front of me disappears onto the other side, like something from a Sci-Fi movie. I can make out his flashlight but forget about any other detail. When disturbed, the effect is like mixing water with vinegar.

Okay that is all i'm going to write about today because I am going to try to make my posts shorter.