Wait for it…..

9 12 2018

In retrospect, perhaps it was some sort of comedic karmic comeuppance when I said that we were lucky to have avoided any major issues with flying in the last few years.

We flew from Cancun into Calgary last Saturday, after a delicious week of turquoise blue Caribbean water and hot Mexican sunshine, lazy cribbage games and indulgent drinks imbibed before noon. It was a lovely getaway.

Our plane landed in Calgary a half hour early, thanks to some tailwinds. Lucky for folks living there, but now some of us had a 4 and half hour layover to kill before jumping on the plane to Kelowna. All in all, though, not a big deal. But then, as we made our way to the gate to get ready to board, the announcement came over the speaker that our flight was delayed 30 minutes. I could see the collected eye rolls of various passengers as we all plugged our phones in and tried to find something else to kill the bonus time.

Finally! The little Dash 8 arrived and I watched with amusement as the harried passengers offloaded and raced to make their various connector flights. It was cold and snowing that day, so I imagined that was partly the reason for the delay.

Finally after 45 minutes we were allowed to board. The ground crew de-iced us and the plane was ready to go…. but then the pilot announced that she was told there was an exterior panel issue that they needed to fix before we took off. Back to the gate we went, to wait for another ground crew to come and fix it all up….with a few exasperated sighs and seat shuffles that bespoke of most people’s frustrations.

Oh, wait. Did I tell you the best part? We had an active farter on board. One who, for whatever reason, thought it was entirely acceptable to drop rancid air biscuits every 5-10 minutes.

So, while we waited for the repair and then another de-icing, this furtive gas-passer continued to torture us all with what I can only assume is the raunchy results of a gastric inability to deal with Mexican food. Beans, beans, the musical fruit, and all that, I suppose. I sat with my scarf over my mouth the majority of the time. Tentatively I would gauge the air and find it safe, only to be lambasted yet again with another malodorous cheek squeak. It got so bad that one fellow sitting behind us announced that “Now would be a good time to use the facilities if anyone has to go”.

I believe this if the first time any of us had to deal with turbulence on the ground before. The tension and anger was simmering tangibly among us. I seriously considered auctioning off my little supply of Ativan to the highest bidders before anyone decided to lose their proverbial shit (pun entirely intended).

Finally after two hours of sitting in that tiny little plane with a lone wolf letting trouser trumpets fly, the pilot announced we were ready for takeoff. I have never felt such mutual jubilation in a group of tired, annoyed and disgusted people in my life. The rest of the flight continued uneventful, and apparently the guilty tooter had ridden him (or her) self of the intestinal issues and no further sphincter sirens were emitted.


Oh, how sweet it was.

22 01 2014

Someone asked me the other day to sum up our little trip to Mexico in one sentence. I thought about it for several days, letting various words dance in my mouth, the structure and play of sentences whirl around my mind like dervishes. Words like tantalize, ache, heat and love, surf and salty breath, sticky, delicious, satisfaction: they all teased me, almost in a sexual way. Erotica in the form of sand and sunshine? Maybe.

But I just couldn’t do it. There was too much to gather, to reveal and to acknowledge, regardless if I jammed it all into a long, run-on, overly wordy sentence jam-packed with semi-colons and pro-nouns and commas and adjectives.

What did come to me was each long drawn out day. Each one arrived with me waking at dawn, sliding out from the covers to peek outside at the sky. I’d stretch and yawn, and marvel at how we still had ___ days left. Each day breaking was like a ribbon, it stretched out before me, waving in that warm tropical breeze. I couldn’t see the end of it, as every moment was NOW. We moved in slow motion, grabbing coffees and heading to the playa to watch that marvelous ball of heat rise from the ocean waves. Pelicans gliding above the water, backlit against orange, tilting each way to play their wings along the surface of each crest. The wind blowing back my hair, feeling that warmth on my my face. Breakfasts with laughter and mimosas and pain au chocolat. Sunscreen slathered, towels gathered. Waves pushing and pulling us to their whims. Fish swarming by, flashing blue and yellow and sparkly silver. Lunch? Yes please! Pico de gallo smothering thick crunchy tortilla chips, finished off with cervezas or margaritas. A stroll to discover treasures amongst the rocks, spotting the camouflaged iguanas. Swimming again, wondering how I can be so sticky from the salt water. Laying down on the beach chairs: that magical afternoon beach nap, where you hover in between true sleep and that blissful zone of awareness without connection. Hearing half a dozen languages around you. Finding out how easy Spanish words roll out of my mouth. Knowing your nose needs more sunscreen and not really caring. Oh, wait! It’s almost supper! Meandering back to the villa to shower off and change as the sun sets. But here in the tropics WHAM, it’s dark almost instantly. There’s no foreplay with these sunsets. Rather than a long, drawn-out dance of colours, like making slow love, hovering and teasing between light and dark for an hour, they are more of a quick and dirty tryst, a quick and furtive knee-knocker, the light is bright orange and then dark…. but both are equally satisfying. No need to bundle up, folks. We walk to dinner in our sleeveless dresses, t-shirts and shorts. We laugh and eat and laugh some more. Check out the entertainment, or maybe another moonlit stroll on the sand? Whatever….We roll with it, we cease to tell time. We relax so deeply and breathe so easy. We vacation in that true sense.

Each day dawns with one purpose. To live in the moment. We stop counting days to when we go home: rather we marvel at how much time we still have here. Oh, it was heaven, and it stays with me still. The echoes of that scent of the air, the smiles of my kids, the peace in my heart, the sand between my toes.  The utter contentment we all felt.

There’s always one in every crowd… In this case, there was more than one…

21 01 2014

We went to a show at the resort one night, during our (heavenly) week in Mexico. It was a fun performance, full of hip hop, break dancing and funky music. At the end of the night, the MC got a few folks up on the stage for a couple of funny games to try to win prizes. We watched this one man up there carry on as if he were a comedian himself. (Maybe he was, I dunno.) He took various liberties with the other people on the stage to eek out a few laughs from the audience and while I admittedly thought he was funny at first, his increasingly annoying antics led me to believe that he was That Guy…. You know the one, that guy who doesn’t know he stopped being funny ages ago and thinks he can just keep on doing his thing even though most people are getting kind of squirmy and uncomfortable. He tried taking center stage, and I noticed his son and wife in the audience laughing as if it was the funniest thing in the world. Shortly after, the boy ran up on stage and started acting like a mini-version of his dad, grabbing at people and running around like a little maniac. The mom stood up and started taking video, occasionally looking around to validate to everyone in the audience that yes indeed, these two are the MOST AMAZING PEOPLE IN THE WORLD.

I try not to judge people, as I am sure they are a loving group and have nothing but good intentions… but man… sometimes there are people that drive me up the wall….

And so, two nights later, we decided to catch the circus show that had various acrobatic performances. Guess who we ended up sitting right next to?

Granted, it was no Cirque du Soleil, but for a family-friendly free show, it was entertaining. At one point one of the girls on stage was rope climbing to do some crazy-ass flippy sort of trick and her sheer strength blew me away…. I turned to comment on this to my family and noticed the mom beside me, with a pinched angry face and her arms crossed as if someone just farted in her face. She didn’t clap once. Meanwhile, her son, who was in front of me bounced around, standing up and talking to his cousin (or brother, not sure, as there was a whole crew of them), ignoring the performance in front of them and basically being a nuisance. All the while, the dad was drinking and the mom sat, unimpressed while the rest of the packed theatre went crazy with the performance.

After the show, a clown got up on stage and did his schtick. Hey!! Guess who went up on stage?? And tried to take over the show? And guess whose son went up to do a goofy dance? And guess who thought it was the funniest thing on the planet and got her video camera out? Both the son and the dad were up there, carrying on…. and what got me were the pleading looks of validation they kept shooting out to her. And she would clap and laugh and cheer them on, completely oblivious of the body language of everyone else around them. The poor clown tried to direct his comedy routine in the direction intended, but they just kept on doing their own thing, ultimately souring the whole performance. The kicker for me was when the dad thought he could grab some of the acrobatic props to try to do a trick. We finally just got up and left, as did a good majority of people, leaving them to their own desperate comedic devices.

We all had a good chuckle over “some people” as we walked under the Mexican moonlight back to our villa.

Other than the antics of the Not So Funny Duo, we enjoyed our stay at the Grand Bahia immensely and loved every single moment.