Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

Liquids, Gels and Aerosols are Forbidden Beyond the Security Checkpoint

Posted from San Juan Airport, Puerto Rico at 11:20 am, March 7th, 2009

The great whale trip of 2009 is underway. After enjoying wet suit night on Wednesday (the wet suit fits, but is apparently inappropriate for lounging in the living room) I got everything packed up and headed off to the airport for a redeye flight last night. In a battle that most people have probably waged I gave up territory early and had to surrender the armrest and some of my footspace to the guy in the middle seat. I tried to stand my ground when he fell asleep and started drifting left, but man-touch issues prevailed and I ended up crunched up against the window. Sleep was not one of the evening’s highlights.

The layover in Puerto Rico is four hours, which is just long enough to make visiting Old San Juan a temptation. However, given that there is only one flight a day to Puerto Plata and my mastery of Spanish is less than masterful the sightseeing has been deferred for a future trip. Instead, the plan turned into a “find-the-breakfast” exercise, which led to Cinnabon. I walked up to the counter, pointed at a pastry behind the window, and politely asked if I could have one.

“No, they aren’t ready yet” was the reply.

Undeterred, I asked what was ready.

“Only what you see behind the window” she replied, pointing at the pastry I had previously chosen.

Since I’m the one who is sleep deprived I will assume that a person of average intelligence would have been able to crack this code. Because I am not such a person I pointed at the pastry next to my original choice, crossed my fingers, and was rewarded with a sticky, gooey mess that tasted like butter and sadness. Now approximately two hours remain until my flight boards for the next leg of this journey, leaving ample time for watching other travelers stroll past. Sadly, a large percentage of these travelers seem to be sunburned elderly people who have made the very, very unfortunate decision to attire themselves in ways that reveal well-aged body parts that no one should have to see, and especially not early in the morning while operating on only an hour or two of sleep.

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