Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Very Muslim Christmas

First I'd like to say that either Homeland Security started reading my whiny blog and took me off the 'most likely to be a terrorist list' or Kris Kringle sent me a little seasonal help. I was only patted down ONCE and it wasn't even in the US. An impressive female Hitler impersonator gave me a smashing (not said lightly) invasive fondling in Frankfurt, Germany, and I might have liked it. But other than that it was a poking, prodding, puffing, and sadly body scanner free flight, all four, so far.

But now after a short sojourn in Zurich, Switzerland (lovely place for Christmas), I am experiencing the polar opposite in Kosovo. Whenever this side of my family (way too often) enjoys one of their Muslim holidays (Insert opportunity to give their kids money and eat foul suspectly prepared food), I always wish them a "Happy" whatever the heck it is.

But today, even with my more than once reminder that today was Christmas, not one "Merry Christmas" did I receive. I did receive however lost and pillaged luggage courtesy of the Pristina Muslim Airport Police. In all fairness, (And I am so about that) they did call and are now ready to turn over my shocked underwear. I suppose I shouldn't blame them, they were only doing their job. Perhaps, I should explain....

Two days before our flight learned that we were not only expected to take an aforementioned bag of demanded goodies, (which ended up costing us $50 after all) but were now expected to act as a document delivery service as well. Apparently they couldn't use DHL or FedEx as that would be too Christian or something. I refused to let my hubby hand carry said documents, as was the demand, in fear that we would be arrested or something. I mean surely Homeland Security has some sort of a law on carrying someone's guaranty to move to the US, or maybe not...either way I didn't want to take that chance. (Getting deported once in my life was enough to teach this old dog a lesson.)

But I blabber, the airport police not only ripped off that bag, but water-boarded our other checked luggage for answers. Yes, it was soaking wet, everything in it.

So to get back to the point, I'm pissed that no one, except my sweet FB friends and my husband, (although he has done so whispering) has wished me a Merry Christmas. I didn't expect any spiked eggnog or edible food, but a 'good tidings' would have been nice.

So now, I plan to drown my sorrows in this fine bottle of Finlandia Vodka courtesy of Duty Free shopping, sans nog (gratefully honestly) and wish you all a very MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Jihad Baggage Not Allowed

The day soon approaches for our trip to Kosovo and thus the vultures begin to circle. And by vultures I mean his well-meaning(for themselves)family members with baggage, and I'm not referring to their mental issues.

Every year as we plan our sojourn to Eastern Europe for a little R&R the age old question arises, "How many bags are you allowed to take?" The answer has not changed from the beginning of international travel, er not in my economy flying lifetime anyway, but I guess they can always hope. Two per passenger. When we traveled with the kids that totalled a whopping eight bags, and mayhem and madness soon ensued.

Apparently cargo mailings are not kosher (or perhaps halal?) in the muslim religion, as the minute travel plans are announced we have more muslims (many only seen upon such occassions) on our doorstep than illegals in a field at strawberry picking time. Each bearing gifts desperately needed by family members still residing in the old country. (Which is also inaccurate as Kosovo is the newest country in the world, but I digress.)

This year, it being only the old man and I, I said, "NO!" We only get four bags after all. My dearest love agreed that being strapped to such stringent luggage rules, it was probably for the best. He didn't need to mention that I'm on every Homeland Security terrorist list created and Allah only knows what his family is liable to pack. Trust me, I'm not exaggerating, common sense is not a family trait.

So, I get everything I want, right? I get the better part of a month off, 1 week Kosovo, 1 week Dubrovnik, 1/2 week Kosovo, 1/2 week Budapest. Absolutely Fabulous! Of course not, no sooner were tickets purchased and hotels booked, (I always pay the side trips in advance to avoid extra family members joining our excursions as well as the assurance that I actually get to take them)than we get the 'must bring list' for certain persons.

Now you must appreciate the list, not only does it command what they'd like, but gives exact brand names. But I smile, pull out the wallet, curse extensively under my breath and start shopping. All's well that ends well, right? Wrong, two days ago I learn I've been preempted on our arrangement and a certain person will be packing a bag to take with us and could I please turn over my purchases to be included in that luggage. I smile, I scream, I curse, I send spells of diarrhea, (all silently naturally)and I turn over the bag.

My generous beloved has agreed to give up one of his bags to carry the extra bag and bless his heart, I hope I can some fit underwear into the ONE he will be carrying, because not a gosh darn thing is going in my TWO.

I did get one concession...his family will not meet us at the airport with said bag of jihadables, (unmatching hideous luggage held together by duct tape and razor wire). I will receive the suspect luggage the night before. Giving me the opportunity to repack it, thus matching my chic luggage, and offset profuse sweatage ensuing when asked by Homeland Security if, "I packed each bag and or received any unknown items from unknown persons?"

So let the prodding, puffing, poking, and this full body scanning commence!