The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Friday, May 25, 2007

Is a Zip-Top the same as a Zip-Loc?

by Melissa Bell

Part I
As you read this, I hope to have crossed over that chilly boundary of U.S. customs at Toronto's Lester B. Pearson Airport and be flying westward for a few wonderful days in sunny Mexico.

As I write this, however, I am nearly sick with travel anxiety. I'm not looking forward to the journey - the destination, yes. But the getting there... Aren't we supposed to have perfected human teleportation by now? What are those lazy scientists doing?

I remember when air travel used to be fun. Really. It was great. You'd show up early because you'd be all excited and you'd sit and relax in the lounge and watch the planes come and go. Now you show up early because you have to. Or else. An 8:00 a.m. flight means be there by six. You may need to be thoroughly probed, but not in a good way.

Part II
I'm still awake and still in Toronto. I can't sleep. Are you kidding? This gels and liquids thing in containers no larger than 3 oz. And one 1-quart zip-top bag. Per person? Am I a contestant on Survivor and I don't know it? And why is it okay to carry on more than 3 oz of KY jelly, but if I want my large bottle of L'Occitane Shower Gel close at hand, no dice? And my precious knitting needles? I'm not even going to try no matter what the rules say. By the time I get to the check-out, I'll be too tired for the argument. My normally mild OCD has turned into something that will demand a whole new name by the time I'm finished. I don't plan on sleeping. My suitcase remains open in case I should remember something at the last minute. I'm not just carrying travel documents; nay, I have a file. A see-through plastic sleeve of photocopied papers. Just in case. E-mails from the hotels to prove I have accommodation where I'm headed. My online-printed boarding pass in triplicate (not that it matters - I'll still feel a need to do a proper check-in just to make sure). Where is this coming from? My father was a pilot for crying out loud! Shouldn't I be so cool and casual about this stuff? Where's my hahaha bon vivant nature disappeared to?

Thank goodness there's a vacation waiting for me at the other end. I'm going to need it.

To be continued...


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I know you're gone but I'll wish you a happy holiday, anyway. Tell us all about it when you return.

Fri May 25, 01:22:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Chumplet said...

Man, it was sooo much easier 'back in the day'.

In '76, when I was sixteen, I visited my dad in Algeria. I smuggled a Playboy magazine and some bacon in my luggage. They were both forbidden.

Good thing my dad knew the airport guys. He waltzed in just as they were about to open my suitcase and they greeted him, and promptly waved me through. Gotta love it!

Fri May 25, 09:34:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger Dudley said...

Wow, that sounds like a lot of stress. Hope your travel goes/went well!

Fri May 25, 10:04:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Ah, yes. This was me a week or so ago, though I've never been a calm traveller, for all my travel experiences. Only in the last few years has it sunk in that I can always buy what I forget. Now this hoop to jump through. My dream of being a free-and-easy carryon traveller continues to evade me.

See you soon! Enjoy.

Sat May 26, 10:50:00 am GMT-4  

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