I love flying American Airlines out of Miami back to Atlanta; because American flies out of the international terminal there, I feel like I’ve traveled to another continent. After a weekend in the sun looking for ungrateful, middle-aged women to save from drowning (see http://www.elimae.com/archive2010.html), I had a number of hours to kill at the terminal before my return flight. It gave me plenty of time to explore the cuisine and sights of some foreign lands. At the “La Carreta” cafeteria, I raised my blood sugar significantly with a “café con leche” and a pastry that I thought was a chocolate croissant but was actually filled with some kind of meat that tasted like cooked broccoli. With my meal in hand, I sat at the gate of a flight headed to La Paz. From my high school Spanish days, I knew La Paz was the capital of Bolivia.
I caught the eye of an elderly, Bolivian woman wearing a colorful derby, toasted her with my meat croissant, and said: “Bolivia.” She gave me a dirty look, which must have been because it’s winter in Bolivia right now and all I had on was my Sauro Motel T-shirt.
The flight to La Paz eventually took off, and I was once again traveling alone. Before joining my fellow Atlantans at our departure gate, I stopped off at the Duty Free Shop where I totally scored. I picked up a bottle of Absolut Citron for $69 (because I paid in Bolivian Bolivianos, it actually cost $484), and a Kenneth Cole watch for $269. Since I didn’t have to clear customs in Atlanta, who knows how much I beat ole Uncle Sam outta. Warning to my family members: Don’t be surprised this Christmas if you receive cartons of cigarettes, liquor and chocolate with funny-sounding names on the boxes.
Alas, my international adventure came to an end as I arrived at the gate for the flight home. Across the way, I looked longingly at the passengers waiting for a flight bound for San Paolo, Brazil. Phil, the unflappable host of “The Amazing Race,” seemed to like it there, so maybe I would too.