Back Home – Oct. 2009

I am back “home” now and am completely discombobulated. It feels really strange to be back here. I got used to a rustic Belize lifestyle, and now there are all these luxuries around. Unlimited water and electric, fantastic food, cheap groceries & booze, everything is all clean and proper, TV, etc. I am walking around in a daze. I keep asking myself, “Why did I want to leave all this?” Hopefully, it will come back to me.
Although I never shopped at Wal-Mart before unless I had to, I went to one today for the experience. I was in shopper’s paradise from a Belizean perspective. I still hate the damn store, but it was an unreal experience after being in Belize for nine months. If a Wal-Mart could be teleported to Belize, and the locals went into it, they would be in total shock and awe. They have no conception that a store like could exist. But they’re probably the better for it.
Got a corned beef fix today from the local deli. It was delicious, especially the kosher dill pickle. Got a junk food fix in Houston at McDonald’s. Lots of other treats await me.
Tuesday night as I getting ready to leave Coco Cabana, the excavator showed up. I was sort of expecting him, and the crew had put out a halogen work light that I powered with the generator. I also used the pickup truck’s lights. He got the job done so-so much belatedly and only after Mary had told him that she wanted to strangle him. I had to find some strong wire so he could make the dozer blade operable.
Last night, as we were coming into O’Hare airport for a landing, the plane suddenly gunned its engines and pulled up again. Not something exactly routine. The pilot came on the intercom and said he had a fault light on his screen. Nothing to worry about, he said. Just being careful and wanted to check it out.  I said to the guy next to me, I’m going to listen in on the conversation that the pilot is having with the control tower, put my headphones on, and tuned to that channel. He did likewise. I don’t think anyone else on the plane did though. Well it seems that he wasn’t sure if the flaps would deploy or not. Hello!? So he wanted a longer runway. So we were instructed to circle around and burn off some fuel. The pilot was also informed that something like runway glide spray wasn’t available because of construction. Neither of us knew what that was, but I’m thinking foam used for  putting out a fire. This is now becoming hairy. So the guy next to me and I are starting to talk about this with our headphones on and wondering just what the hell is going on?
The pilot gets clearance to land on such & such runway and was asked what speed he’s coming in at. The pilot asks, “Is anyone on the runway?”  Huh? Why would anyone be on the runway? Well this was pilot talk for an emergency crew in case anyone such as me was listening in. Sure enough, when we hit the ground the runway was lined with fire trucks and emergency vehicles lights all flashing. A couple of them led the way to the terminal with another couple following. Whew!
The only other person who knew anything more about this other than what the pilot said over the intercom to comfort everyone was a woman sitting in the third seat next to us two guys. She had overheard our conversation but didn’t think much of it until she saw all the emergency trucks on the runway. She then just about flipped, but we were on the ground already. Later I saw her meeting some friends and overheard her saying, “Ignorance is truly bliss.”

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