in which i lost my rag

Houston Travel Blog

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a zen moment above the atlantic
So! time for a Texas based rant methinks..

that journey was.. less fun than having my leg gnawed off by beavers?

the first part went well, on a transatlantic flight with no one on it, i constructed a three seat palace from cushions and blankets, and was peaceful and zen for 9 hours. even the in-flight meal resembled actual food, and apart from temporarily losing my passport and freaking out, everything was good.

but on arrival in Houston things began to go Terribly Wrong.

with only 1 hour to make my connection, i bounded through to immigration, and picked the shortest queue (with only four people ahead of me i thought my chances were good).  but after twenty minutes of watching a frightened looking spanish family being interrogated by men in hats, i became despondent.
the real face of immigration control

forty minutes later i started wondering if they'd still let me into the country if i did a wee on the floor in the immigration queue.
for an hour i sat right beneath a loudspeaker that loudly and relentlessly welcomed me to Houston, while in front of me, a 5 minute looped video of perfect looking people with perfect teeth, perfect hair, and feral grins, attempted for the twentieth time to convince me that i was Having a Great Time Really.

so by the time i reached the immigration warlord, i knew my chances of catching my flight were slim, but this didn't make it any easier not to want to grab his pen and draw a penis on his forehead, as he asked me a range of totally retarded questions including - 'are you planning on having any children during your stay?' (in three weeks? that would be a challenge), and my personal favourite  'does your father have any children?'

finally through though, i collected my luggage, and limped through customs, where i was promptly hauled into a back room by an ex marine in latex gloves, who took clearly his job of lingerie inspection very seriously.
my feelings by this point

as he went through every single item i had packed, i maintained conversation by asking him what the strangest thing he'd ever found in anyone's bag was.
'ah, that'd be the couple who made their own sex toys and had a whole suitcase just full of them'
made out of what?
'blown glass'

the mind boggles.

finally freed from customs and his incessant rambling about his time in the marines, i trudged on through to baggage recheck, to put myself on the next flight to albuquerque.
being told the flight was full was made only slightly more annoying by the surprising realisation that i somehow had one less bag now than i'd started with.

as jetlag fuelled rage gripped me, i was handed a standby ticket and sent to a gate, manned by Bastards who told me they couldn't guarantee i'd be out of texas until the next day, and no they couldn't offer me a hotel room because their Heads were wedged firmly up their Arses.
elusive metal bird

so i found a bar, like any reasonable person would do in such a situation, and ordered meat, beer and tequila, which i consumed while fending off personal questions from some Actual Cowboys - who looked like they'd been living in the bar and drinking heavily for at least a decade..
maybe they too had once been normal, but forced to survive on beer and chilli, dressing themselves from the tourist shops, and sleeping beneath cowboy hats had rendered their souls texan, stripping them of their previous memories forever..

so i curled up to sleep beneath some chairs, in line of sight of the aeroplane i was so determined to be on, cursing Houston and the ground it Sullied, and awoke suddenly to find a random child pulling my dreads, while a car sized women waved a ticket at me and gingerly poked me with her foot (the way one might poke a dog that might or might not be dead).
in which we left the atmosphere for distant solar systems

'we've squeezed you on this one' she said, with obvious disapproval, and as i collected my things and ran, a gaggle of toothy children gathered behind me shouting about the christmas haired lady, and i finally found myself on a strange smelling aircraft, next to a man chained to a briefcase.

finally on the last stretch of the journey, but houston still got the last laugh, as my stomach considered and then violently rejected the meat as unfit for further digestion. aeroplane toilets are not fun places for sickness. i don't like those weirdly lit, cubical toilets. there are always bum imprints on the mirror from people's mile high club excursions.
and i'm always afraid that the vacuum flush will malfunction and suck me to a terrible end in which sub zero temperatures, lack of oxygen, or a face full of someone else's poo will jostle for the right to be the cause of death.

so.. to say that i don't recommend Houston as an Internation Hub would be a gross understatement. i would almost rather have walked. except that sharks would have got me. but i think that might have been more fun.

and to those who might think my experience was an unlucky one off -  the last time i flew through houston i was 17, and that time i got put in room full of mexican six year olds who tried to eat me, and ignored by staff for 24 hours while they closed the airport for Fun.  happy times yes.

michellepowell says:
Oh I can feel your pain in Houston; the airport has slowed me down more than once. The last time was over the alleged Cuban cigars in my bag. After 45 minutes of explaining to them the bag wasn't mine hence the male boxers in it.
Posted on: Feb 02, 2008
fishh00k says:
i nearly got ditched at that airport when i was 12. i was told to "wait here" while my chaperon looked for the right gate for our connecting flight to florida. and then was awoken by "where the hell were you?! our flight is about to leave!" from the same person who had told me to "wait here" and subsequently received hard stares and harsh words from gate and flight attendants. assholes
Posted on: Jan 20, 2008
webbeachboy says:
Haha - Nice rantings Caz :o)

Of course this couldn't possibly happen to me... because I would never go to America ;-)
Posted on: Jan 20, 2008
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a zen moment above the atlantic
a zen moment above the atlantic
the real face of immigration contr…
the real face of immigration cont…
my feelings by this point
my feelings by this point
elusive metal bird
elusive metal bird
in which we left the atmosphere fo…
in which we left the atmosphere f…
photo by: vances