Nineteen words you never want to hear on an international flight, “Ladies and gentlemen: If there is a doctor on board, please head to the back of the plane immediately.” Of course, I say that as if I’m an experienced travel pro; I’m not. Still, flying over the Amazon rain forest, just having watched the first episode of Lost season 4, it didn’t exactly seem like the ideal situation. But of all the movies involving turbulence in the air, Jodie Foster in Flightplan, Samuel L. Jackson going against snakes on a damn plane, Wesley Snipes always betting on black in Passenger 57…..the only one I could related to was Airplane!. Did I have the chicken or the fish….err “airplane food” ravioli? Is there a nun on board who will sing Kum-Ba-Ya with her acoustic guitar? When will the white lady (June Cleaver) start talking jive?
It was all for not, a pseudo false alarm. Some lady got a little faint, they took her to the back kitchen/bathroom area, layed her on the floor, and monitored her for the next 45 minutes or so until the SNAFU became an ‘SN’. Curious surroundings on the flight nonetheless. The hacking cough woman in the same row across the aisle (I was on an end seat in the middle row) was now sleeping while completely erect. Actually, I’m not so sure she was sleeping at all. I couldn’t tell because a blanket was over her head and body creating a cacoon of sickness just waiting to be unleshed all at once upon the poor teen sitting next to her.
But that’s only half the story of the quarantines on the flight. The last three rows on the right side of the plane (facing front) became their own little tent/fort. A blanket of buttons somehow snapped from the over head luggage to the ground completely encasing these six seats. Has anyone ever seen the before? I’m aware of first class. I’m aware of the isle, window and dreaded middle seat options. But a tent section? Where was that on the flight manifest?
In any case, the 12+ hour red-eye transit from DC to Atlanta to Buenos Aires ended in copacetic fashion. I arrived after 9 am. My girlfriend Monica’s sister, Karina, and her boyfriend Gustavo were there to guide my arrival. “¿Dónde está el cartel con mi nombre?”
The morning eased itself upon me from there. I had a half day’s lay-over in Buenos Aires until another flight was ready to take me to Salta, Argentina from a different airport; luckily, this one would only be an hour and a half. In the meantime, I was treated to an authentic (and traditional) Argentine feast at Gustavo’s father’s house. Both father and son run one of Bueno Aires’ taxi cab companies, so the casa was in one of the nicer sections of BA. The house, the carne, the chorizo, the swim…..it was the perfect relaxing siesta in between flights while my peoples in DC enjoyed February.
The edge of the backyard, pool side.
The boardwalk near the second airport, the place to relax on Sunday.