Friday, November 20, 2009

Cuba #1 - Fatwas from Camp MIA

Dong dong. The. current. local. time. is. twelve. o'clock. am.

I can't decide whether the 15 minute reminders of earth's rotation are making time go faster or slower here in Camp MIA.

Camp MIA was originally the the row of chairs that Tiesha, my equally frugal classmate who also refuses to pay for a hotel room, and I had commandeered in Concourse G of the Miami International Airport. With a blanket kindly but unknowingly donated by American Airlines, I formed a bit of a bed for myself with my feet propped up on the seat of a chair and my head resting on a lumpily comfortable carry-on bag, I was good to go for at least the first portion of my FIFTEEN hour layover.

Yes. 15. Hours. (said in the always chipper voice of the time lady). That is what happens when one is expected to start checking in at 8am for a 1pm flight. A one hour flight across a fairly small strip of water takes 5 hours to check-in apparently. I'll let you know more about that tomorrow.

After an hour and a trip to the far away ladies' room, I discovered an even better location for Camp MIA, so Tiesha and I went M*A*S*H (Mobile Articulate Smart Hotties.) We now have upholstered benches upon which to lounge.

I am enjoying the airport's nightlife. We are hardly the only people here for the evening. Airport staff, security, a number of other travelers. The old dude who drives the mini-zamboni back and forth to polish the floor taps out a great rhythm to go along the jazzy elevator music that intersperses the many safety reminders and “Nombre apellido, venga a un telefono blanco de cortesia, por favor.” I have seen a couple of stylish camoflauge outfits (but distinctly not military camo...think ooh-I-wish-I-was-as-tough-as-this-stylish-black-and-white-camo-outfit-makes-me-look styles.) Dunkin Donuts is open 24 hours and they start putting out fresh donuts at 4am. Currency exchange opens at 5am. TerminalDR (yes there is a doctor's office in the terminal) opens at 7am. I've found the free wireless network and nearby outlets to charge my electronics. Now that I'm not trying to relax on the cold floor, Camp MIA is darn good for the price of NADA.

I am enjoying where my mind wanders to at these late, sinus-congested hours. Nothing is sacred, I'm afraid. I might start telling people I have a frontal lobe disorder that has damaged my ability to inhibit saying my thoughts aloud. It's pretty much at that point.

As I've indicated, I'm still getting over my head cold from earlier this week. It is on the exceedingly gross “evacuation” stage. Several people have made an exceedingly wide berth of me when I've been coughing. Given that swine flu jokes are definitely off limits (don't want to jinx myself...a news article said that Cuban immigration was quarantining people with swine flu symptoms) I've settled for drug resistant TB jokes instead.

Then there's the actually Cuba related thoughts. My mp3 player has provided some good fuel for my cerebrum. “Children of the Revolution” from the Moulin Rouge soundtrack takes on new meaning. And when the Muppets song “Manamana” comes on I like to imagine that it is Fidel and Jose Marti singing back up with Che (in his signature beret) being the beat-nick dude in the middle who wants to improvise on the song.

The current fatwas coming from Camp MIA are:
- “Al Queda is ruining my life.” --Tiesha (This is a long story having to do with how the airport is not as convenient as the bus terminal in an old movie where Madonna went to jail.)
- Fidel's code name for the rest of this trip will be Papa Smurf, or PS. --Kate
- 4am donuts will be written off as educational expenses on this years taxes, and calories from tax write offs don't count. --Kate

Off to a benadryl induced slumber now.

Dong dong. The. current. local. time. is. one. fifteen. am.

1 comment:

  1. Hey Kate,

    You are such a good writer, you make me laugh :) Fidel Castro or code name: Papa Smurf (hilarious!)

    Sounds like you are making the best of travel purgatory. I spend the night at an airport, too and I thought it would be miserable, but I ended up meeting this really cool dude who gave me great advice.

    Love the couches, so much better than chairs to sleep in. Tiesha is right, Al Queda has made air travel so inconvenient, but safety first. Have fun, rock on!

    Mike (from MD)