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!

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