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Tuesday, April 04, 2006  

Run for the Border

I couldn't tell you how many times I've flown on a plane in my life. I've probably flown every day of the week, and every month of the year. But I don't think I've ever flown on my birthday, or any other major holiday. Until this weekend. Now I've flown on April Fool's Day. Remind me not to do that again, won't you?

Our old friend BuenaOnda, who moved to Chicago four years ago and then moved to Mexico City a year or two after that, got married on Sunday. Her uncle was generous enough to fly us all down and put us up in his Mazatlan hotel for the week, in ocean-view rooms, no less. The only problem was that we couldn't stay for a week. Trash's office was moving to a new building, and they couldn't spare her for more than a work day. And leaving M. Small with my mom for a week wasn't really something we wanted to do, nor was carrying him on an airplane for a four-hour flight. So we ended up flying down on Saturday evening and coming back on Monday morning.

Funny thing about a Saturday evening flight to Mazatlan: it's a rather different atmosphere on board than, say, a Minneapolis-to-Detroit hop in February. I soon realized that I wasn't on a plane, but a bar that had been rolled up into a tube and launched hundreds of miles through the air. With little kids inside. I was a row ahead of the mother of a six-month-old and a five-year-old, and I would have wondered how she would have reacted to hearing the comment, "I can't wait to get drunk and pass out." I say I "would have" wondered, which means I "would have" wondered about her reaction if she hadn't been the one saying it. I can only assume that she's not breastfeeding.

Trash and Bitter were two rows ahead of me in the exit row, while I sat in my aisle seat a couple of rows back working on my laptop (note to my seatmate: thanks for your rapt interest in what I was working on. Buy the book!). So we both witnessed what happened to the people in the exit row behind theirs: they got cut off. The flight attendants claimed it was because they needed to be in reasonable enough shape to do exit-row-passenger stuff in the event of an emergency, but we were under the clear impression that they'd passed that point a few tiny little bottles ago. "Don't worry, we'll take care of you," they assured the rest of their drunken group. I decided that if the plane did catch fire, Trash and Bitter could go out through the hatch next to them. I'd be going out the back, because the people between me and them would turn into human Molotov cocktails.

Once we landed, the flight crew did something I've never seen before: they unloaded the plane from both ends. Which I thought was a great idea, at first. But it's not so good if you're right in the middle of the plane, because it means you're the last to get off, and all of the drunk idiots are going to get to the Customs desk before you. And they've got a week or two here to look forward to, so they get all leisurely-chatty with the Customs officials. Trash and Bitter and I, meanwhile, are getting more and more frustrated with the glacial pace of the two (count 'em, two) lines, because we've only got thirty-eight hours in this country before we're wheels-up again. Oops, make that thirty-seven. I wish I were kidding. One gets a rather warped perspective on time when one flies one time zone west on the night before Daylight Savings Time. You get an hour, then you have to give it right back. And give it back again when you fly home. Add in the hour we spent in line at Customs and I was feeling a little rooked.

But it ended up being all worth it, even with the cab and airport shuttle drivers taking turns trying to scam us at the airport curb. Because less than an hour later, we were at the poolside bar of beautiful hotel/resort on the Mazatlan beach, listening to the waves crash in the dark while we saw BuenaOnda for the first time in about a year. The Coronas and Pacificos were cold and plentiful, our rooms were perfect, and the next day we had nothing to do but roast in the sun until evening.

The wedding was beautiful, of course -- an informal affair on the beach at sunset with the guys in cream linen suits and the bride barefoot -- and the music and dancing afterwards were outstanding, which also made it worth it. Trash and I went up to bed early -- before one o'clock -- because our taxi was coming to take us to the airport at 7:30 the next morning. Basically, we never left the hotel grounds between arriving and leaving, but we were there less than thirty-six hours.

Which brings us to another reason it was worth it. If you fly down to Mexico from Minneapolis and come back a day and a half later, no way are you going to be flying back with the same drunken assholes you flew down with. You're flying back with hungover, sunburned assholes, and entirely different ones. And they're in no mood to get chatty with the American customs officials on the way back in.

Happy wedding, BuenaOnda. We wouldn't have missed it, and we wish you and English the best.

posted by M. Giant 9:46 PM 1 comments


Sorry you didn't get more time in Mexico. I live in southern Oaxaca and y'all are welcome anytime! We have drunken fools in my pueblo as well, but they're Mexican ones so the Spanish makes the babbling sound so much nicer.

By Blogger Caro, at April 5, 2006 at 9:21 AM  

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