Welcome to the Buenos Blog (thanks, Crimestopper!) or Blogos Aires (thanks, Liz!). For the next few days, the staff at Greetings From Suburbia will be on a business trip in Buenos Aires so we’ll be returning to a travelogue-style of writing. Fans of the July ’06 postings from Romania remember the hijinx of Liz, Topher, myself and a cast of thousands as we toured post-Communist Bucharest. Well the three of us are back, this time in South America as we shoot a commercial for Twister Scram, new in the Twister Outdoor line from Hasbro.
Day 1: January 13
Now I know why I don’t do a lot of international traveling. I used to think it was because I don’t have any money. But the truth is that I tend to end up at the 3rd world airport known as JFK. I think it’s the only airport where the name and the official code are the same. Can anyone confirm or deny this? Anyway, I’m not in the swanky new International Terminal I got to use when I went to Romania. No, I’m in the terminal that time forgot. Vintage crap. Stained carpeting. Holes in the ceiling. And that’s just the gift shop!
Of course, I got here way too early. So now I have 3 hours to kill. And the difference between Romania’s business class and this class that American Airlines calls “economy” are becoming obvious. It’s pretty hot here. That may be American trying to acclimate us to Buenos Aires weather. It may also be American turning on the heat in November and leaving it on.
So it’s the same crew as Romania, minus Robert. Kind of a drag because he’s always good at finding something funny in everything. Now it’ll be up to me and Liz. Topher’s a really good guy with a dry sense of humor but no one’s lining up to call him Shecky if you know what I mean.
Going through security isn’t so bad. First we had to dodge the elderly couple arguing with each other about identification. The husband says she needs picture ID. His shrew wife (“don’t you hate Perry’s wife?” Anyone? Anyone?) keeps saying “photo ID or passport?” The whole thing could be solved by telling her it’s the same thing but that solution seems to be eluding the poor schmuck.
And then I get scolded for putting my sneakers on top of my computer. I’m actually told to “never do that again.” I offered to run the stuff through again and she said it was too late. Too late? Viva Homeland Security.
We should be boarding any time now. I know this because they’ve just announced that only first and business class are boarding and everyone else should wait. But everyone got up and rushed the door. And now that I’m boarding, the indignity of economy is magnified by having to walk through first and business. The sad looks. The way they avert their eyes when you look at them. And then the space diminishes and the walls start closing in. Economy starts at row 20. I’m in row 23 so I can still see that happy people with their leg room and their foot rests and their metal flatware. I got an aisle, so that’s nice. For a moment, I was seated next to an old man who resembled Menachem Begin if he were alive today. But he not only doesn’t speak English, he can’t read either. He’s supposed to be in 23F, not 23D. The woman who belongs in 23D also speaks no English but is easier on the eyes. She is carrying a printer but doesn’t even try to put it overhead. So she puts it on the floor in front of her feet. It won’t fit under the seat. So she puts her feet on the box and then covers herself with a blanket to hide it.
This being a red eye, there’s very little to say about the flight. I read. I did a puzzle. I watched “The Queen” (Helen Mirren was great, the story was ho hum). I slept for 5 of the 10 ½ hours. Topher and Liz are many rows behind me so I have no one to exchange funny looks with.
And then we land.