Tuesday, May 29, 2007

A Comedy of Errors, Part 1

Well, I'm back from my weekend trip to Dumaguete to retrieve [identity-protected]. Ironically, as I type up these words, I remember reading a number of traveling narratives from fellow bloggers. Is there something about this year, a fortune cookie that reads, "Travels will be part and parcel of the landscape"?

Still, I should have had the clue when I found out the domestic airport had taken out the smoking section in the pre-departure waiting area of the terminal.

Was up early in the morning for a 7 a.m. flight to Dumaguete. Unfortunately, the lines at the airport's version of a poor cousin are usually long and this meant checking in 2 hours before the departure time. Traveling with Bear, I saw quite a number of posters warning about the dangers of making bomb jokes at the airport or on the plane. Was forcibly reminded of the number of reports about this or that traveler being detained or pulled off the plane.

"Why-- despite all these warnings-- do people still make bomb jokes?" I wondered.

"Because they can," Bear said, which eventually led him to make his own college try at it and me warning him of security arrests and cavity searches. *cue raised arm with stretchable rubber glove*

We didn't have any problems checking in the bags, the line to the Dumaguete flight still short. However, the security check to the pre-departure area was pretty tight, what with the x-ray machines and scanners. Imagine, they confiscated my box of matches, afraid that I'll somehow take a plane hostage by lighting a match under the pilot's seat. Bear was particularly wrothed over having to put in his sandals into the x-ray machine. "Where am I going to put the bomb in a pair of sandals?" he said.

I knew from my previous experiences with the domestic airport that there was a smoking area in the pre-departure room. So imagine my terror when I saw it was gone, even after an aisle-by-aisle check of the whole place. Obviously, the new smoking room in the check-in area should have clued me in.

"I guess we can not just smoke," Bear said.

"For two hours?!?" I replied weepingly. Good thing there was an exit door for those of us foolish to think we could still smoke after checking in. A flurry of cigarettes later and another harrowing x-ray scan of Bear's sandals, we were back in the pre-departure area.

To kill time, Bear and I came up with this character named Bad-Tempered Man and his adventures, quite funny but only if you're lacking sleep and waiting at a busy airport in the wee hours of the morning.

And then our flight was up and we were on our way.

(to be continued)

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