Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just call me Timothy McVeigh.

We made it to America. I'm sitting here in Tyler, Texas, at my in-laws' house just hanging out, and I LOVE it. It's a really strange feeling, because in some ways it almost feels like we never left, like we haven't been in Korea.

Now, it wasn't all sunshine and lollipops getting here. If you remember, we brought our cats with us as carry-ons on the plane. We packed a little cardboard box and some kitty litter in our other carry-ons to give them a chance to go to the bathroom at some point (otherwise they'd have to wait about 25 hours to use the potty). About halfway through the 12-hour flight (Tokyo to Minneapolis) we decided it was time, so we checked with one of the flight attendants to make sure it was okay to do this in the bathroom--we were in the very back row, next to the lavatory. She said of course, and how cute and thoughtful we were. Marc took the cats one at a time into the bathroom but neither of them used the litter. He proceeded to wrap the unused litter back up in the ziploc bag and tossed it into the garbage (we wouldn't have time later on to try this again).

After landing in Minneapolis, we had roughly an hour and 20 minutes to make our connecting flight to Dallas. We had to go through customs and pick up and re-check our baggage--not a lot of time, but we were sure we'd be okay. Well, it took about 30 minutes to get through the customs line; they took Marc's passport and sent us to the "Baggage Control" area to have the cats checked out, and they'd give his passport back at that time. We picked up our luggage (3 giant suitcases and a giant iMac computer) and got in the "Baggage Control" line. There were 4-5 people in front of us, and ONE customs officer checking the bags. The person he was currently checked had about 98347598374 bags filled with sketchy-looking wrapped baggies and packages, and the officer had to open up EVERY ONE OF THEM. After 10-15 minutes, the other officers apparently came back from their break so now there were 5 officers working. Then we were next, but this guy ran ahead and cut in front of me. I was so exhausted I just didn't even say anything. While we continued to wait, Marc mentioned to a passing officer that we had to catch our next flight in about 30 minutes; he replied, "Other people have connecting flights too," and walked on.

FINALLY it was our turn. The guy quickly checked out the cats, said they looked good, confiscated our cat food and cat treats (ha!) and let us go. We walked about 10 steps, and another guy walks up to us and says, "Do you guys have kitty litter with you?" I said, "We did, but we threw it out on the plane." He said, "Okay, wait here for a few minutes, some other people might want to talk to you," took Marc's passport and walked off. Another guy came up to us and asked more questions like, "Where were you sitting?" (66H and K), "Where did you put the kitty litter?" (in the bathroom behind our seats), "Who did you talk to about this?" (the flight attendants). He told us to sit down and wait some more, and walked off. Now I was really starting to feel the exhaustion and stress and started to cry--I was worried we were going to miss our flight (which by this time we probably were going to anyway) and then I was worried about the cats because they'd gone so long without using the bathroom and food and water (we offered but they didn't take it).

About 5 minutes later another customs officer came up to us and told us that the cleaning crew on the airplane found the cat litter and thought it was FERTILIZER and that it smelled like AMMONIA (which is impossible because it wasn't used and unused litter smells like flowers--at least ours does). They delayed the flight, blah blah blah. He let us go and said that everything's okay now, and if anyone gave us more problems to tell them that Supervisor Buck said it was OK--and then he told us congratulations on the pregnancy. We ran to re-check our luggage and *maybe* make our flight; Marc had just started putting our stuff on the conveyor belt when ANOTHER officer came bursting through the doors and shouted, "I don't know what they told you in there, but what the hell were you thinking??!?!??!?! You don't leave cat litter on an airplane! Because of YOU, we had to call the FBI and Homeland Security, AND delay this flight!!! Yell yell shout yell blah blah I'm a jerk shout yell yell blah, and Val's going to come talk to you so DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE!"

Now I proceeded to start bawling, and the nice little ladies helping us check our bags looked completely bewildered and shocked and asked what happened and why that man chased us down like that. Marc started to tell them about our ordeal, when the mysterious Val came in--she was apparently some Delta representative who we decided must have already been chewed out and had to come chew us out to save face or something. She yelled at us some more and then barked at the poor bewildered woman, "Just put them on the next flight out of here!" and off she went. The next flight wasn't for 3 hours (since our original flight was leaving at that exact moment) so at least we got to take our time.

Welcome to America! (At least I got a frappuccino.)


Amanda Kiska said...

What a bitch! I'm so sorry! At least you are home safe and sound. Welcome to America!

Darlin1 said...

Welcome back! It really hasn't changed much!

Amanda said...

I so agree with Amanda. What an awful ordeal. I am so sorry. But I am so glad younare back, safe and sound!

Miss Vickie "The Queen Bee" said...

What a freakin' nightmare! Glad you are home safe.

Justawallflower said...

Oh my, i would have been bawling as well! So glad you made it through tho!

~Lisa~ said...

I'm glad all of you are home safe and sound... And i'm sorry you had to go through all that.. It must have been horrible!! (((hugggggsssss))) to you, and welcome home!

...sarah. said...

What adventures! I can't wait to see you guys.

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