Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Return Trip to Bogotá



Never a dull moment...

After a month and five days in sweet, sweet TnT, it was about that time to return to Bogotá. I felt really calm about returning because I started to regard Bogotá as a home away from home. Given my track record, one can surmise that this trip was an interesting one.

Before I had even left for the airport I found out that my dad coulddn´t take me to the airport since he was running late at the mechanic. This was about ten minutes before I was supposed to leave home so that I could reach the airport on time so one could well imagine my state of mind. My preoccupation was further escalated by the fact that every taxi I knew and called either didn´t answer their phone or were on some beach in Toco. Furthermore, I was concerned about whether or not my suitcase would be overweight since I had packed A LOT of Trini delicacies like two black cakes, kurma, drops, sweet bread, red mango, fudge, paw paw ball and Lipton (not exactly a delicacy but...). Luckily for me there was no need to worry because, 1)I found a taxi driver, 2)I arrived at the airport just in time, 3)I met a friend who works at the airport meaning that my suitcase which was overweight by five pounds was cleared and I didn´t have to pay a cent and 4)my Dad, Mom and Grandma were able to come and see me off; we even ate Royal Castle (it wasn´t that good). Before I knew it I was bidding my family farewell, taking off my shoes in Immigartion and modelling in my socks towards Gate 10 while¨"Oh Oh" (probably, NOT the name of the song) by Brick and Lace played in my head.

The first leg of the trip was a three and a half hour flight to Panama City and by my standards it was relatively normal. The airhostesses or like I call them, maids on a plane were super nice and catered to our every need. They fed us turkey sandwiches, mini pretzels, Oreo wafers and two glasses of orange juice. Oh my, it was GOOD, so much so that "Afro- Trinidadianitis" eventually stepped in. My slumber lasted some 30 minutes meaning that I had an hour and thirty minutes left on this flight so naturally, Mr. Boredom paid me a visit. I started to talk to my friend about random stuff and eventually, our conversation progressed to Carnival 2K11, the fact that we were missing it and the songs we had heard thus far and liked. We both agreed that Destra had indeed come out "real BAD" this year because all her songs have TREMENDOUS potential especially "Middle Ah D´ Road" with Swappi. I dunno how but we started singing a song from either this Carnival or a Carnival gone by. I must admit that we got into it like any Trini would and we started to move in our seats. Suddenly, my friend tapped me on my foot and pointed to the seat on the other side of the aisle, laughing. I turned to looked and understoodd why immediately; there was this guy dressed in a shirt and pants, hunched over in his seat with both hands covering his ears and shaking his head from side to side as though our singing distressed him. I laughed heartily and all singing ceased at once. Thinking back as I´m writing this post the poor guy was probably feeling the effects of cabin pressure. I needed to find a new way to entertain myself so I decided to go to the bathroom. If you would get your minds out of the gutter, you would know that I needed to pee and I had thus far never used a toilet on an airplane. Gosh, airplane toilets are sooooooooo confusing with all their gadgets and signs. I felt like if I pushed the wrong button the plane would go plummeting into the sea of lights below. I was in for a shock when I flushed the toilet because the strangest, most powerful "sucking" sound came out from the toilet as its contents went down to parts unknown. This got me thinking, where DID the contents go? *Googles it* Forty five minutes after my toilet adventure the plane landed in Panama City.

The second leg of my trip was an hour and a half flight to Bogotá. We(my friend and I)got off at Gate 16 and we had to walk to Gate 28 to catch the next flight. We had about twenty minutes to board so we weren´t walking that quickly. About halfway to Gate 28, I noticed that I had left my cellphone on the other plane *insert EPIC FAIL moment* so I had to RUN back to Gate 16 so as to enquire whether or not anyone saw it. I met a girl at the desk and told her what had happened. She then asked me what my seat number was and proceeded to enter the plane to look for it. I could have SWORN that the plane was still in Trinidad because Ms. Lady took forever to come back with my phone; I was still grateful when she brought it for me. We had to walk a little faster now owing to the fact that Ms. Lady had taken so long and that I was careless with my possessions. At about Gate 23, we were out of breath when this guy in a red blazer comes running up to us.

"Parsons? Baptiste?", he asked.
"Siiiii.", we answered.
"Están esperando/ They´re waiting.", he says.

We started to panic and made a mad dash that would make Usian Bolt really proud to Gate 28. At Gate 25 we actually started to hear our names over the PA systems being pronounced in a lovely Spanish accent full of impatience. This girl spotted us and ran ahead of us to tell the airplane to wait for us because we were coming. Panicky, a little excited and out of breath, we arrived at Gate 28 where an agitated airport person asked us where were we. I stupidly answered that we were on the other plane. Our final dash was through the tunnel that connects the airport to the plane. Laughing, I entered the plane and registered that EVERYONE was seated and filling out Declaration Forms. It was exhilirating walking down the aisles and having everyone look up at you. The food on this leg of the trip was good except for the chicken sandwich. It was cold as though the airhostesses had never heard about that little known invention called the microwave and the bread was DRY and FLAKY which made swallowing a task in itself. After eating, I began to fall asleep again when I was jerked awake by the plane seemingly plummeting a few feet from the sky. A woman screamed and my friend clutched my arm while I stupidly asked, "We land or wha´?" We were calmed down by the Captain who told us that there was nothing to worry about and that we had just passed through a little turbulence. By that time I REALLY wanted to feel the ground under my feet. Oh thank God, we finally touched down.

It felt GREAT to walk down those steps and feel the cold Bogotan breeze on my face. I was in Bogotá again!

PS: The contents of the airplane toilet go into a holding tank. There are several of them on every aircraft. They are plumbed so that they can be drained at major airports where they are serviced. The contents are then dumped into special sewerage systems. The blue fluid is replenished by the same truck that drains the tanks. The tanks cannot be dumped in the air by the crew, regardless of circumstances.

Google is AWESOME :D