60hr Travel Fiasco + Suspicion-Arousing Fashion Statement

After a clerical error Sunday night left me stranded in Santiago de Chile’s airport for another 24 hours beyond my initial 9hr layover, I am happy to report that there’s free wireless throughout the international terminal on which you can easily skype your concerned mother and download pirated movies via such sites as Nabolister. The cappuccinos to be found therein don’t merit the appellation… the closest to adequate (and cheapest) can be found in the (!) Dunkin Donuts.

“Chile” comes from the Aymara for “snow” and during the night, the metal benches provided little comfort, so I took to putting on nearly all the clothes I’d brought for my time in Asunción, including the typical Christine look of a skirt over my jeans. Apparently, this and the multiple layers of long-sleeves, while entirely practical in Chile and an unremarkable fashion choice in NYC, looked too muslim for the security people here in Miami as I tried to rush to flight that I was afraid I’d miss (this time entirely my fault as I chortled my way through http://sleepinginairports.com). The guard stopped me after I walked under the arc de triomphe of the sole operating security machine and consulted with his superiors. It took me a moment to realize the nature of his suspicion, which added to the risibility of a Kafkaesque 60hr escapade. After complimenting my style choice, I was waved through and hurried to my Newark-bound which (as of writing) is 90minutes delayed.

Incidentally, the trip down took 18 hours from NYC to Asunción, and that with layovers. And I have negotiated free beverages because the flight attendants think me an unusually patient and accommodating passenger, having switched seats a few times in order to accede to the wishes of other customers.

The culprit airlines? American and LAN.

And, for an “as-it-happened” account of the last few days, here are some text messages I sent:

“Am stuck in Santiago airport 4 24 more hrs bc of dumb error. Boo.” Sent: 4/28/08 at 4:04am
“Its worse than that. Prob worst flight situation of my life” Sent: 4/28/08 at 4:55am
“Am in miami at last! Now to immigration” Sent: 4/29/08 at 5:43am
“Stuck in Miami. Lan didn’t confirm am flight and so coming to ewr at 4pm if all goes well” Sent: 4/29/08 at 9:17am
“On plane. They thought my clothing was muslim suspicious and stopped me at security” Sent: 4/29/08 at 12:44pm
“Am on plane. We are delayed for 90min due to weather in nj” Sent: 4/29/08 at 1:24pm

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One Response to 60hr Travel Fiasco + Suspicion-Arousing Fashion Statement

Guillermo said...

Hey Chris!
I can see that you know how to have fun in airports. And it is still true that your looks can be from any culture and country (you should find a way of monetizing that feature).

Anyway, I am glad to you finally arrived to NYC. Kisses from Acapulco.
GA

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