If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you would’ve noticed my postings aren’t as regular as before. You may have also noticed a period when there wasn’t a peep from me. No Facebook, no tweeting either.
It was with good reason (you know Angie wouldn’t bail out on you just so-so soh).
For the past several weeks, I’ve been tweaking the manuscript for my first novel, getting it ready to query new agents again.
For those who can identify with the process, you know how taxing it can be on the brain as you spend hours at a time locked into your laptop, ignoring hunger and bathroom urges to get that one sentence, paragraph or chapter just right.
You also know how discouraging it can be hearing silence from the magazines, e-zines and other publications you’ve been pitching your other creative works to for the past umpteen months or years.
But there’s an internal drive to keep going and a spirit that won’t let you quit.
Now, about that period when I dropped out of sight completely.
It wasn’t my fault.
My sister and younger brother had a hand in it, forced me to take time off, get a change of environment, stop turn house-colour and go foreign. Yes, they booked a non-refundable, round-trip JetBlue ticket and hauled me out of the house, kicking and screaming. . . well, not really. But you get my point.
My USA friends, you’ll be happy to hear that the ticket was for a destination in your neck of the woods. Orlando, Florida. Yes, I JetBlue-d from the land of wood and water to do the tourist thing in the land of the free and the home of the brave.
When you live two hours away from the nearest airport, have to check in three hours ahead of departure and your overseas accommodation is a 40-minute drive from the destination airport, then you know you’re in for a full day of travelling.
But I packed my grip, girded my loins, strapped on my sandals and headed off unto the open road.
Ground transportation at the Jamaica end was Knutsford Express. You may recall my challenge with other people driving me around (click here to jog your memory). So, with that in mind, I dosed up on ginger tablets and chewables before and during the bus trip.
Bus tickets for the Ocho Rios/Montego Bay leg set us back about US$15 each. Drop off at Sangster’s International Airport was at no additional cost.
Well, praise the Lord, my stomach got to the airport in one piece. My likkle worms, however, did done decide they weren’t fasting that day.
Since I know how my likkle worms love behave in public, I’d already prepared mentally for the spending that could take place at the airport.
You who have engaged in international travel know seh your pocket have to very long. Because airport food nuh cheap. It expensive bad! Thank God for the Island Grill downstairs.
Check-in was relatively quick and navigating through Sangster’s was pretty straightforward. If, like me, you have no sense of direction and have to use this airport, there’s signage and sufficient staff to point you the right way.
By the time I arrived at the departure lounge, the Island Grill soup and festival had worn off. I found myself dipping into my purse for $10 to buy a burger.
That’s 10 US dollars, please.
For a burger.
No, nothing fancy. Just a few ounces of ground beef between two buns plus a tups a vegetable.
Am I cringing as I relay this part of my experience to you? No.
Like I said, I’d mentally prepared for the spend.
So, by the time I got to the food court upstairs, all I had to do was walk around a few times, give myself a pep talk, chit chat with a couple other patrons who were experiencing similar levels of low anxiety and high disbelief, fork out the $10 bill and hand it over to the cashier, who had that shy smile on his face that said, “I understand your pain.”
Island Grill, as a community service to Jamaicans and foreigners, please set up a branch upstairs Sangster’s International Airport. Thanks in advance.
Anyway, we ate, were satisfied for the moment but gathered a few snacks (for another ungodly sum) for the flight. You see, we knew what the food situation was going to be like on the plane.
Would you like to know what happened on the plane? You want to know if my little worms did rebel and get on bad like a Trini reveller at carnival?
Then tune in for the next episode of . . . From Ochi to Orlando (. . . and back).
Don’t forget to click the Follow button on this site and to like the Snapshots of Jamaican Living page on Facebook to stay abreast of the latest posts.
Catch yuh next time!
Love and peace,