Home for the Holidays, Part 2

I honestly believe TSA agents got their ideas for how to clear Aruba-based US Customs from The Maze Runner.

That shit was nonsense. I just have to say it.

It left me disoriented, exhausted, and crying.

As I posted earlier, I was hop-scotching across the Caribbean to make it home for Christmas.

After a four hour delay in Venezuela that almost made me miss my connecting flights, I made it to Aruba.

Aruba was supposed to be the turning point. It was here that I would board a US-bound plane with a different airline carrier.

My time in the Aruba airport, the tropical paradise, made the four hour delay in Venezuela (with no A/C) look like heaven.

Let me just list what happened because writing about it will physically drain my body all over again.

Upon arriving in Aruba, I…

  • discover that my luggage has been left in Curacao as a man plays Bob Marley’s Three Little Birds on the steel drums. The irony is not lost on me as I report the luggage and keep moving. I have a plane to catch.
  • I get to Delta just to discover my plane has been delayed and over sold. I start wiping away tears as I click “Hell no!” to giving up my seat and check-in.
  • I keep walking to Customs while wiping my tears because I don’t have time to go to the bathroom, wash my face, and then keep moving. I have a plane to catch.
  • Good thing I kept it moving because as I turn over my shoulder while a man regales people with Aruba’s soul-crushing lines, I see one that is snaking out of the building and down to a different entrance.
  • After clearing Customs…or whatever the hell this is for a second time in the same damn airport…I head to a security check point (check #3 on this journey).
  • I’m starving so much I’m beginning to shake. I see a food court…and a monstrous line at least 100 people deep leading to all US-bound gates. Surely the gate must be right there, but something tells me not to stop for food. I have a plane to catch.
  • I get in line and enter The Maze aka a huge room where people are reclaiming their pre-screened luggage and then waiting in, you guessed it, another line that wraps the room’s perimeter in order to drop. that. same. damn. luggage. back. on. a. conveyor. belt.
  • I cut the line. I can’t lie. With my neon orange shirt and darkest skin in the room I say F*** it and do how we do in Venezuela and ignore all protocol. I have a plane to catch.
  • I stand in another zig-zagging line where I have to scan my passport again, get my picture taken, and interview with a border agent. He notes my lack of luggage. I tell him it’s lost. Eyebrows are raised, a nice joke is exchanged, and I keep moving. I have a plane to catch.
  • I walk through the ever-changing  Maze and then…there’s another security checkpoint (check #4).
  • By this point, I’m pissed. The agents are super-friendly and smiling and good thing because the air is saturated with frustration. This is the epitome of what friends have crudely termed a cluster F***. I’ve never used the term. But now I understand it.
  • I do the NYC power walk to make it to the terminal’s far end, ignoring my screaming stomach as I bypass food stands. I have a plane to catch. 
  • The plane’s not boarding. I confirm that this is what’s happening because I very well could be hallucinating at this point. Nope. It’s happening. There’s not even a plane at the gate.
  • I hustle back to the terminal’s entrance to get food and then back to my gate. I’m paranoid I may miss my plane.
  • As I eat a Supreme pizza, my hand shakes like an 80 year old who has lost her fine motor skills. My stomach is rioting, flipping, and karate-kicking me. It’s rightfully pissed that I ignored it all day. It ain’t having my pizza and Sprite-filled apologies.
  • As the food hits my body, I can feel myself stabilizing. Thankfully, I’m not a diabetic or I would’ve been in even worse shape.
  • When finally aboard the plane, I fall asleep before takeoff. This is a rarity for me because landing and take-off give me low-level anxiety.

The worst is over, right?

Continue traveling with me to find out what transpired next during my bid to make it home for the holidays.


One thought on “Home for the Holidays, Part 2

  1. Pingback: Home for the Holidays, part 3 | (Im)Migrating with a Purpose

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