Vieques: Oh, The Joys of Flying
You don’t need me to tell you that flying kind of sucks these days. I mean, I don’t want it to sound like I’m complaining, but it really is different from how it used to be. While I do appreciate that it is all for my own safety, blah, blah, blah… it’s still kind of annoying. I’ve been repressing these feelings, and they awakened when I flew on VAL– Vieques Air Link.We recently spent a week in Puerto Rico, and I felt compelled to get myself to the white velvet sand and turquoise blue waters that grace that part of the world. We booked a flight out of San Juan to Vieques, and so began the nagging reminder that things aren’t how they used to be.
I was surprised to arrive at the airport to find no security lines, no taking your shoes off, and no groping. No checking ID’s and no boarding passes– just you and your stuff getting on a plane. The only thing missing?
The people watching.
You miss the 2 young women who find someone sitting in one of their seats. Instead of asking the person about the seat, they find the flight attendant to handle it for them. What happened to good old communication between 2 people?
Or how about the woman who sits down right behind you with the worst B.O. you can imagine? I guess you just feel lucky that she is not sitting next to you. You can only breathe into your shirt for so long, and luckily you eventually get used to it. But what other choice do you really have? Eww!
And the person that thinks it’s okay to go into the bathroom barefoot? Umm, I’m speechless. It is reassuring, though, to see a few people walk out of the bathroom with their paper towel in hand, in an effort to avoid touching the door handle after washing their hands. Nice to know I’m not the only one.
And then come the kids. It’s the perfect storm when they happen to be kicking the seat of the woman sitting next to “Stinky.” I say: better her than me. At that point you can’t blame her for rudely and repeatedly shushing the kids instead of asking them nicely to be quiet. I’m sure she is a little irritable at that point. When the parents retaliate and scold the lady for shushing their children, the entertainment really gets good. There’s too much wrong with this scenario. Again, when did we get so bad at simple communication?
And yes, this all happened on our way down to San Juan.
So it was refreshing the next morning when we took a small 10-seater Cessna over to the island of Vieques. The airline did make us pay extra for our bags being too heavy, but they didn’t ask for ID, nor did they give us boarding passes. They just walked us out to the plane, called out our names one by one, and gave us our seat assignments before boarding. The pilot gave a brief security talk, and we were off.
With such a short flight, the views were the main attraction.In a matter of minutes, it went from this……to this.Just noticing the colors was breathtaking.On arrival, there was no baggage claim. Just picked up our bags, and headed inside……but not before thanking the pilot.Whether it’s watching people and their drama or enjoying the scenery, I realize I love it all. Well, all except for the B.O. And now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, I can go back to waiting in lines and being okay with it. After all, it is well worth the hassle to get to see new places and expand my world– safely.