So last week my job took me to Guadalajara, Mexico for work. I am project manager for some software we are building and we were kicking off the next phase of it. The meetings were intense and went really well, but to be frank I pretty much saw Guadalajara from the backseat of cars going between the hotel and the university where we had the meetings. It was pretty uneventful, no real time to suck up some culture and what I took away from Guadalajara is the following: the people are really warm and friendly, the food is awesome (can’t get enough of those little tacos), the roads and businesses practices are rather counter intuitive, nothing is really direct and the margarita’s rock. What I found though, was that my true adventure didn’t begin until I got dropped off at the airport to head back home…
I headed inside to find out where to check in. I found my way to the U.S. Airways counter, which frankly looked like someone just chose a random area to set up shop in…I was wary but I went with it. I could see they were going through bags and were asking people something about them. I planned to carry on my bag and just needed to check in. One, then two of the security people asked me something in Spanish and I had no idea what they were saying and they didn’t speak English. Luckily the woman behind me was nice enough to translate. They were asking if my luggage was going on the top or the bottom….I still have no idea what that means, but apparently carry-on did not fit either of those options. So I checked in, got my ticket and found my way to the appropriate gate.
The whole time I was in Guadalajara I had planned to have some tequila. It’s the birth place of tequila and really seemed like a moral imperative, but with the way the week had worked out I had had two really good margarita’s but no actual tequila shots. The airport though, was filled with duty free stores practically begging me to purchase a bottle. I walked past like 6 stores all filled with tequila and samples and became rather overwhelmed at the choices. I sat down and the woman that had helped me at the counter, sat down next to me. We struck up a really engaging conversation. She was 50 and vivacious and was returning from having thyroid surgery. She told me about her family, we swapped stories about online dating, she gave me some tips and places to go if I visited Guadalajara again. The conversation got to tequila and she started recommending the 100% pure agave and we went over to one of the stores to do some tasting. We tried the brand she liked, then this other brand that was pretty amazing. I was sold on it and a little buzzed at that point bought my $30 bottle of tequila (not my normal beverage or price range on booze frankly, but I figured, when it Guadalajara….). So I got on the plane with my bottle of tequila and found my seat.
|Sign of the cross|
I was seated next to a woman who I am sure had never flown and seemed convinced that the plane would fall out of the air at any minute. She was doing the sign of the cross constantly and gripping the seat bottom so tightly I was sure that she was removing chunks of the padding. I was also sure that she was not happy that she was on a plane with a bunch of sinners and we would all be going down in a ball of flames for said sins (if her logic held true, I would be no help in that department). She also had a little boy with her that had downs syndrome and was periodically making a sound much like an exotic bird (I still prefer this to screaming and kicking). The upshot was, we all survived, but the flight was a bit late leaving, I still had to go through customs in Phoenix and it meant I would have to sprint to catch my flight.
I got off the plane, grabbed my stuff and was off, I whizzed past customs and then had to go through US security for my connecting flight. I get there, put the taped up bottle of tequila in one of the security totes. There was this goth-chick, security check person who (I kid you not) SANG the following to me: You can’t take thatthrough, it’s too big you’ll have to check it” me: “are you serious” her:: yes I’m serious. You can go back down a level and check it there or surrender it. I told her I had a flight to catch in ten minutes, I will have to surrender it and that I hoped they enjoyed it. The real kicker is, no they won’t enjoy it because they have to incinerate items people surrender…..there went $30. I was fuming. I was sure it was some big scam to get me to buy it and then they probably send all the tequila back on the next flight to Guadalajara for the next stupid tourist to buy.
With that lovely experience under my belt, I sprinted to find my gate, had just enough time to shovel down a burger and hop on the plane. I was still mad about the tequila (texts to Dave can attest to that) and I got settled in my seat. At least there was one seat between me and the next person, I was on my last leg of the trip and almost home..but ok I was still really mad about the tequila and now I was all sweaty from sprinting through the airport. Cranky Cija is not fun.
I had my head leaning against the window, when I heard the person sharing my row and one seat over, lose his lunch. Violently. We hadn’t even taken off yet. I tried to pretend I wasn’t there and ignore the wretching sounds. I was waiting for the smell of vomit and for that scene in Porky’s to happen (where the girl throws up in the fountain and they everyone else starts throwing up). Thankfully that didn’t happen, they guy starts to explain to his co-workers he gets stressed out sometimes and it just happens and then he is fine. Secretly I was thankful he wasn’t carrying some type of deadly flu or some ebola-flesh-eating-virus-thing….I just don’t have time for that right now. I took the whole situation in and was starting to find it all really funny and I then I wasn’t really mad anymore. I also took it as a sign from the universe that if I had been able to keep that bottle of tequila I probably would have ended up like that guy. I turned to the guy and said “If it’s any consolation you completely took my mind off of the fact that they confiscated my expensive tequila at security. It served a purpose.” we both laughed and talked about how much that sucked and all was well.
The rest of the journey was uneventful, which was just fine. I wasn’t abducted, I was warmly greeted by boyfriend and cats and was thankful for the experience…..but that tequila was REALLY good.