Erin Weed's Blog

Monday, January 23, 2006

Unsavvy Traveler


Here's the thing about being a frequent traveler like myself. You get into the mode where you're flying around the country for weeks on end, and you become a traveling machine. No cell phone charger goes unpacked and no hair dryer is left behind. However, after a month of not traveling, something frightening happens. I morph into an unsavvy traveler.

All you frequent flyers know exactly who I'm talking about here. Those who try to board the plane after they have only called First Class. Those who have no spacial awareness of their luggage, and roll over your toes. (Without noticing, and thus, no apology.) Those who ask for a window seat, despite having a very tiny bladder.

This weekend I went to Florida to visit family, and immediately noticed I had become an unsavvy traveler. Here are my violations, listed in chronological order:

OFFENSE #1: It started with attempting to go through security with a manual corkscrew wine opener in my bag. Apparently I'm not the only one who recognizes this little tool as a magnificent improvised weapon. Consequently, I have this wine opener no longer. (And some TSA employee is enjoying a fine bottle of Pinot Noir right about now.)

OFFENSE #2: After reaching a safe cruising altitude on the flight, I booted up my laptop and plugged my headphones into the headphone jack on the computer. I launched iTunes, and started cranking Jack Johnson. After 10 minutes or so, I noticed the volume was incredibly low and couldn't figure out why. After all, I had the sound jacked as high as it would go. I took off my headphones to investigate the problem. To my horror, music was blaring out of my laptop speakers. My husband kindly noted that my headphones were in fact, not plugged in at all. Surprisingly, the woman sitting next to me refrained from punching me in the face.

OFFENSE #3: Even when you get to your destination, it's still possible to attain unsavvy traveler status. Every region of the country has its own rules, which must be strictly followed. In Florida, the big rule is "always check your shoes before putting them on." Since I was on a streak of unsavviness, of course I did not do this. I put on my shoes and wore them for about an hour walking downtown Naples. I kept feeling this thing in my shoe, and finally stopped in the middle of a crowded sidewalk to remove take off the shoe and shake it out. What emerged was a squirming, slimy, centipede creature thrashing on the sidewalk with spastic terror. And my toes? They are bitten, bloodsucked and now completely purple.

Consequently, I am looking forward to my upcoming speaking/traveling season (which resumes in February) so I can avoid such atrocities. In the meantime, I hope I don't die from my wounds. I'll keep you posted.

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