But I am home. In South Africa. Safe and more or less sound.
Why yes, less sound happens when the entertainment system of a massive plane that just took off from Atlanta and will fly for 16 hours to Johannesburg, malfunctions and leaves the entire plane completely entertainmentless. No movies or games for anyone. On a plane that is practically full.
What do most people do in such a situation?
They eat and sleep.
What does Extranjera do?
She figures out she can't really read that book she has at the ready since she has already spent three hours flying from Albuquerque to Atlanta, and then overdosed on Starbucks at the Atlanta airport during the six hours she spent there, and her concentration is consequently just a tad off the mark. It also seems the sudoku she attempts for a while is not an activity to be done high on the equivalent of eight shots of espresso, and after having been awakened at 5am. So, naturally, she decides to chat up the old fella from Mississippi who is sitting next to her and they take turns getting more wine from the galley.
It quickly transpires that Extranjera and the old fella don't quite see eye to eye.
And that the old fella is a bit hard of hearing. To put it mildly. But Extranjera is feeling the horrifying void of nothing to do and proceeds to dig out that American lurking in her brain and talks loudly and E-NUN-CIA-TES with the best of them.
Gun control somehow comes up.
So does Obama.
The discussion spins out of control.
Red wine is spilled. And dried up with the pillow the airline is kind enough to provide. What else? A napkin? Bah humbug.
The pair decide to consult the threesome of South African engineers sitting behind them on the question of gun control as well as the lack of entertainment. The engineers have been having some wine as well, and Extranjera should have known better: The engineers all love hunting. She is outnumbered and attempts to enlist the help of the stewardess who is not amused and very clearly wishes the galley would run out of wine already, but is also unnerved by the thought of this happening.
Writing comes up. Extranjera cannot, for some inexplicable reason, keep her mouth shut about the blog and promises the old fella that he can defend his views on Obama and gun control when she writes about the issues. She gives him her actual email, before realizing she should have given him the 'blog' one. The one that is not made up of her full name. Her very special, one of a kind, full name.
Finally Extranjera feels Mr. Sandman beckoning. Too bad her ears are so swollen and sore from the cartilage piercings she so intelligently decided to get just before leaving the US, that she cannot rest her head comfortably on pretty much anything. And that pillow is soaked in wine.
Extranjera pretends to fall asleep. The discussion has gotten far too out of hand.
Eventually she does sleep. Only to repeatedly wake up to a throbbing swollen ear that is starting to resemble an alien life form, and might, in fact, be growing its very own brain.
The next morning in the line to immigration Extranjera is not at all embarrassed and no one is looking at her funny. No one. Absolutely no one.
She is sure she hears snickers when the old fella reminds her of her promise and asks her to 'drop him a line' when she comes up with that 'article'.
And it is very likely that no one at all notices that her suitcase passes her by twice on the conveyor belt before she realizes that it is hers.
This might actually be my ear. Not kidding.
Silver lining: For once she is not stopped at customs.