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14 March 2010

Flying Home, Not a Moment Too Soon

6:25 PM. Saturday, March 13, 2010. Panama Tocumen Airport.

My stomach was about to explode, and so was my mind.

So here I am, already tired from a long hot day in Panama and just wanting to ge on the flight back to LA, when I find out that there's an extra security screening of our bags at the gate. There's an incredibly long line. Only because it's a flight to the US?! No way. Fuck that, I'm going to chill here, rest my feet (and change my smelly socks), and wait for the line to die down.


6:50 PM

I'm in the airplane now. And I'm feeling annoyed, to say the least.

The extra security thingy was in place only for my flight, not for any flights to Guatemala or Brazil. And here's the rub: They didn't allow any drinks on the flight! I HAD TO CHUG A HALF-LITER OF WATER AND A HALF-LITER OF GINGER ALE (because I stubbornly wouldn't throw them away after having bought them) before they'd let me on the flight. My stomach was about to explode, and so was my mind. I really don't understand why they have to do this. I mean, international flights would be so fun without all the paranoia and security. It simply frustrates me endlessly.

Great, now I'm nauseous as the plane begins to taxi out. I'm going to be peeing non-stop this whole flight. Damn.

I'm going to get back into my books, The Sun Also Rises and Freakonomics; hopefully reading will calm me down and I can get some shut eye over the next 7 hours. It's going to be a long night when I arrive in LA. Here goes...


9:50 Panama time / 6:50 California time

An excerpt from Freakonomics, which I just shifted to reading: "emotion is the enemy of rational argument"


10:45 PM (Pacific time).

I'm now super pumped...

We're now starting our descent into LA. I just came back from the toilet (I was good on this flight, despite how much liquids I had to drink before taking off... only had to go twice). The flight wasn't bad; I read a good bit, the food was airline-level bad, and I got a couple hours of sleep too! I'm now super pumped!

I can just make out the lights of Palm Springs below; a few minutes ago, I could make out the lights of the US/Mexico border (near the Arizona/California border too). It's interesting how you can easily notice the border - the organized, straight street grid of the U.S. suddenly contrasts with the more chaotic (some might say, organic) pattern of avenidas south of the border.

The flight's getting bumpy again; it's hard to write. I'll close this out by saying that this has been one intense, eye-opening, and simply... great trip.

Now to get through US customs and arrive in style! I'm getting picked up by a party bus at LAX!

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