Thursday, March 28, 2013

Your Limo is here Mr. Johnson....

Guatemala is very hot, they drive like maniacs and wear funny hats.  As my friend Bryan Simon said.... 
"Sounds like Texas." He is right except for the accent.
But Guatemala is where I disembarked the Vision of the Seas and headed home. 
I have found that you really have to roll with the punches when you embark and disembark a ship. Each time is just a little different. Usually there is very little communication with the crew on land and the crew on the ship. Once you are on the ship you are fine, but the minute you sign off you are mostly a stranger in a strange land. Often there is someone who can get you where you need to go... often there is not and one must figure it out for themselves.

I asked the production manager how far the airport was from the dock. He said, "I have no idea. I never got off at this port before."  I was on an early afternoon flight and the distance to the airport really meant nothing except an estimate of how long I would have to hang at the airport before getting on the plane.  
Fortunately there was a man named Roberto at the dock looking for me. He was a local and was responsible for getting me to the airport. I asked him how far it was to the airport and he knew exactly. However, he noted that since it was Easter week and there were parades and celebrations the traffic would be very bad.  What is usually an hour and 45 minute drive could be as much as two hours.  Even at that I would be at the airport a couple of hours before the plane took off.  I began to relax because it seemed to be working out.
I assumed that Roberto was the driver, but he was not.  He was the port agent. Sort of the captain of the Dock when the ship was there. He said he had arranged a vehicle to take me on the two hour trip to the Guatemala airport. We walked to a desolate, dry patch of earth.  Roberto waved his arms and gave a whistle toward a small grove of trees that served as shade for several taxi's.  There was a quick and immediate response to Roberto's hail. And this is the vehicle that showed up.  
Immediately I thought that two hours was going to seem like the rest of my life in this modified golf cart.
It was a matter of coincidental timing as the golf cart was there to pickup the guy in the red shirt. My "Limo" was the black van that pulled around after the red cart had left.  
The rest of the trip was uneventful although I did have to make a connection through Miami.  I don't know anyone who travels extensively who is fond of the Miami airport, especially when you are passing through immigration and customs trying to make a connection. The people are not that friendly, the flow patterns are illogical, and the signage is unintelligent, and don't get me started on the TSA gorillas.  Even for TSA they are below par. One agent decided Bob's head was a toy for his amusement. Knowing that they have unchecked authority in the name of keeping the public safe, there is little that one can do about these jerks. After this particular Neanderthal had played with Bob's mouth movement trigger, he began to stuff things back into place. I said I would repack. He sort of shoved the case my way.  I said, "Thank you sir I feel so much safer now." It was an asshole thing to say, but he had really pissed me off. There was a moment when his eyes narrowed in anger, but I think he saw even more anger in my face so we both turned and walked away from the conflict.  
My mission in life is to make peace with these idiots, but I am afraid the job attracts ignorant bullies.  I  am sure there are some wonderful people who work for the TSA. If you are one of those people, I look forward to a friendly exchange on my next trip. I am really an easy traveler to get along with. 
To the big fat TSA, jerk off, son-of-a bitch at the Miami airport yesterday... well I would love to have you in the front row of my show someday so I can return the favor when I have the upper hand. I will show you how an expert "plays" with the toy you seemed to be so disrespectful of.  Although I am an easy traveler, Bob is not and you really pissed him off.  We are both sorry that we didn't get your name or badge number or the location of your cage to complain about your attitude. 
As you were, 

1 comment:

Paulette said...

Some people revel in having the POWER over others! Wrong person for the job!! Glad you and Bob are home unscathed!!