Wednesday, October 28, 2009
24 Hour Pass
So, my Dad came over for 3 weeks to see us and stayed in the Shack. He had one major complaint in that the bed was tooooo big. How can a bed be too big? Answers on a postcard please. Apart from that he had a good time I think and the kids kept him busy. He actually managed to juggle playing 3 different games with 3 different kids simultaneously. Pretty impressive. Anyway, I thought I'd accompany him on his departure to Barbados. This is the longest I have every remained anywhere without leaving the country....what does that say?....that I haven't got island fever I guess....cool.
The new airport here is sort of finished and check in went well. However you then have to work out where departures is and eventually you have this Alice in Wonderland moment and find a little green door with no clue what's on the other side. Nervously opening it, I spot an x-ray machine and a uniformed lady with very bright red lipstick who beckons me through. A combination of travelling LIAT and the ultimate joy of not being accompanied by children meant I was travelling with no luggage only a rucksack. What could go wrong? So, the bag goes through and gets opened. You can't take water unless you put it in a clear plastic bag - no funnily enough I am not carrying one of those - can I carry it? - no - ok, fair enough. Can I buy it in the departure lounge? - no - so I have to sit here for 3 hours without a drink - yes, but you can go back outside again. Ok, we went back outside for an hour. Back again - same lady - same x-ray - no offending water. You can't take both face creams. What do you mean I can't take both? You can take one. (Absolutely no point arguing with this logic, I have been here long enough to know that). Now, is my big dilemma - do I drop my Clarins Beauty Flash Balm (which I have had for 11 years - gosh, that's a worry, it's probably gone toxic) or do I drop my No.7 Protect & Perfect BRAND NEW tube. As you can tell, Beauty Flash Balm comes out on special occasions and this was special, so No.7 can go. Customs lady could do with it anyway.
Next - my handbag. My handbag was full of complete rubbish - half-eaten sweets semi wrapped in sticky tissue. 101 broken tipped pencils. Loads of Brizees gift vouchers which I never understand what to do with. And, the offending item - a pair of scissors. Customs lady logic kicks back in - this is the deal - you can keep these but don't use them on the aircraft. Err, okeydokey. See, absolutely no point retaliating with logic.
Flight is delayed of course but all credit to LIAT as they do a super quick turnaround and we leave in darkness (eek no lights at this airport) at 6pm. Knock on effect was a very late arrival at the hotel in Barbados. The promise of a night propping up the bar and having a long leisurely dinner soon evaporates when entering the hotel it became apparent that it is overrun by a half-term school group from the UK and their teachers. Both seemed to be propping up each other by this stage. It was at this point, we should have gone to a restaurant but Dad had been raving about the great fish dinner he had had at the same place and it shouldn't be missed. Also mash potato. Ours is a mash free house because my husband has brainwashed everyone into hating it. So this would be my mash moment. In the end, we went via Reception (she felt sorry for us) to order our drinks and food. One and a half hours later it arrived and I must say our fish & mash dream meal was fab. We ate it in 4 minutes. Clearly, there had been no time for lunch.
Then it was time for bed and the dream of a Full English Breakfast the next morning. Alas, no time for dreaming, the disco was beside our room. It started at 10pm and finished at 4.30am - I had one of those classy bedside clock/radio things next to my bed which flashed in red the time at me all night. There were moments when I lulled myself into heavy closed eyes and then Dad would stage whisper over - turn the a/c up. Then he gave me a long explanation of what 'up' meant. I know what 'up' means - you want it cooler. Did that, and rolled over. By 5am I was finally asleep. 5.05am - stage whisper - turn it down now will you? - what, down as in hotter or down as in cooler? - no, turn it off - err, ok.
Revived by my Full English at 10am we went for a quick walk and after walking past shoe shops, surf shops, clothes shops etc I stumbled upon a chemist - yipee. I can't explain this but there are no real chemists here and no rows of potions and lotions and pills and just in case remedies.....I spent 45 mins in there looking, touching, occasionally picking up (being followed by security) and left with a huge bag of just in case stuff including Christmas card tags and mascara, alas not vibrating.
Back to the airport and surprise surprise everything got through the x-ray this time including new potions and lotions and a large bottle of water. And then, oh joy of joys, Barbados Duty Free is fairly dedicated to chocolate in super size me sizes. A box of never ending Maltesers came first followed by not much else actually because they were huge. But half the joy is in the window shopping for me. The icing on the cake was a gigantic display of magazines including OK & Hello.
Back on LIAT, back home, very happy. Thanks Dad for coming and allowing me to have my 24 hour pass. We had a ball hey.