Thursday, December 28, 2006

Why I Hate Flying *or* Why my Boyfriend is The Best Ever

I know I said I was done posting about Belize, but last night I got the perfect ending to what happened at the Belize International Airport.

Since Matt and I weren't checking our bags, before we left New York I had spent 3 or 4 days gathering all of the travel size items we'd need: sunscreen, shampoo, bug relellant, face soap--everything I bought was 3 oz or under since that's what the new airline guidlines dictate. I did make a couple extra liquid purchases in Belize, however. Every table in the country boats Marie Sharp's hot sauce, a Tabasco-type sauce that was spicy, but really good, and I bought a bottle for me, two for my dad (since he's a hot sauce freak), one for my sister, and one for my super as an extra gift for watching my cat.

Like much of Belize, the 4 room International Airport isn't very impressive or professional looking. Only 3 airlines service the airport, there is 1 bathroom, and I'm pretty sure that shoes are optional. We checked in, showed our passports, and walked to the luggage scanning machine. Other than the woman running the machine, Matt and I were the only people in the small room.

"I see bottles in your bag," the woman said.
"Oh, everything is under 3 ounces," I started, pulling out all the zip-loc bags with our toiletrees.
"What's this? This is 4 ounces." She said, pointing to a bottle of hair gel.
"Oh right, sorry about that, I don't need that. I can throw that away." I had sneaked the contraband 4 oz hair gel with me on the flight from New York, but was perfectly prepared to toss it. Until she continued on about the bottles. I pulled out the plastic bag from my backpack, showing her the sealed 5 oz bottles of hot sauce I had wrapped in socks.
"Those are 5 ounces. You can't bring them in your bag."
"I know, but they're sealed," I protested.
"They're 5 ounces. They have to be 3 ounces or under," she responded, obviously repeating what she had remembered from the 'Ways to Stop Terrorism Handbook.' Tourists can make a bomb with 5 ounces of hot sauce, not 3. None of this bullshit 3 oz nonsense makes any sense—five 3 oz bottles or three 5 oz bottles still equals 15 total ounces. And so on. Plus I couldn’t have out anything into the bottles since they were sealed. Still, she insisted—either I throw away the hot sauce or I check my bag.

Leaving the room in a huff, I went back to the counter to check my bag. That’s when the guy at the counter told me I would have to pick up my bag at customs in Houston, probably ensuring I wouldn’t make our connecting flight to New York. Arrrrrrrgh! I gave the hot sauce to a waiting woman, then got back in the line for the woman to recheck our passports.

It was after we got through the luggage checking machine that I realized that I had forgotten to throw away my hair gel. So, the 4 oz hair gel that was so dangerous the first time I went through security wasn’t even noticed the second time. So frustrating! And there, in the waiting room along with food and trinkets, were bottles and bottles of 5 oz sized hot sauce for sale.

I sat, fuming and frustrated at the ineptness and idiocy of the airport staff, refusing to repurchase what I had just given away 2 rooms away.

And now for the conclusion of this airport story. About a week ago, Matt told me he bought me a present and was waiting for it to arrive. Last night when I opened my present, I was surprised and pleased to find 5 oz bottles of hot sauce from Belize.


Blogger Eric said...

Well played, Matt... Well played.

2:17 PM, January 01, 2007

Blogger Kara said...

Yeah, Matt rocks.

2:29 PM, January 02, 2007

Blogger Matt said...

I am quite good, aren't I.

4:08 PM, January 23, 2007

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