Wednesday, April 24, 2013

help me, I can't get out of Jamaica

Nothing moves very fast in Jamaica and sometimes nothing moves at all. And that would be the plane that was supposed to be here taking me back to the states. My type-A alpha male personality is losing patience in this tropical heat and no one is talking to us about the cancelled flight and what we are supposed to do next.  This is a third world country which means important information is never given out freely but Americans demand information and we cluster around the airline desk in our Bob Marley t-shirts and watch the staff whisper and point at computer print-outs, the old kind with the holes in the sides.
"I've been here since 9:15 this morning," yells one overly tanned matron who should be wearing a bra and it's only 12:30 p.m. The staff rides the bus every morning to this airport and they see children begging for their drug-addled mothers and she thinks they'll  take pity on her so-called plight?   I'm embarrassed to be part of this group.

They bus us to some third-rate hotel for the night and when I open the fridge there are two water bottles, each half consumed. The walls, the ceiling are popcorn bumpy white, too much white and I am feeling depressed. The reggae band that night has not one dreadlock amongst the four of them and very large overweight blond women are trying to proposition them between sets.

dibs on the turkey sandwich

When I wake in the morn Dave has stuffed the fridge with drinks and snacks in case we are not fed and liquored in this godforsaken place.

I am in the lobby at 9:00 sharp as instructed by the airline official and there is no bus. I flag down a concierge and evidently no one knows that we are waiting for transportation. At last our elusive travel agent comes sauntering into the lobby, the bus arrives and we stow our luggage and plop down in our seats.
Thirty minutes go by and we are told to exit the bus, there is a mechanical difficulty. I whimper, I don't want to get off the bus.

And now strutting towards me is another hotel employee in a white top hat, obviously enjoying his unique costume and he says, "get back on the bus! There is enough gasoline to get you to the airport. As long as we don't shut off the ignition, it'll be fine!" 
I scowl and tell him, don't think gasoline is the problem and I down another glass of whatever my husband has handed me.

 Some guy approaches the exposed engine with a wrench and starts banging away (who hammers with a wrench?) and then three other natives join him all peering and gesturing and then the nine-year-old ADHD kid comes running over and jumps up and down yelling, "what's wrong with the bus, what's wrong with the bus?"  His mother, the chick with the ted hose and gladiator sandals and long flowing beige skirts and scarves tries to calm him down. I feel like I'm in a I Love Lucy film and I just want to go home, go home.


1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

"who hammers with a wrench?"....the mechanics from Garuda airlines in 1985. Every time the plane stopped somewhere they would appear and start banging at one of the engines. Eventually it stopped in mid air, with the kind of sound a bus engine makes when you're stopping at a bus stop. Except there isn't a bus stop at 30,000 feet. I really hope you make it safely out of there......