and the journey begins!
...I was fortunate enough to get hooked up with a killer deal on plane tickets (I'm forever grateful; you know who you are!) And the best part was: with a little luck, I'd end up sitting first class for the first time ever!
This amazing deal came with a few stipulations, one of them being my physical appearance. As you may know, I tend to look rather disheveled a good portion of the time, and basically, if any of the airline employees thought I was a transient, they could kick me off the flight, and forever cast me in the role of the prick who says he's gonna travel the world but never does. I clearly could not let this happen.
Obviously, step one was to tame the wild beast known as my hair. This was a challenge, but possible.
Step two: Come up with a half-way decent outfit. Easy enough.
Step three: The shoes. The shoes presented me with quite the dilemna, mainly due to space. I simply don't have room to lug a pair of dress shoes with me around South America. The solution you ask? I'm glad you asked!
I don't mean to brag, but this idea was fuckin genius. I'll snag a pair of dress shoes, look like I belong on the plane, and ditch 'em once I get there!
So the day before I left, I headed to Savers, and wouldn't you know it, they were having a half-off sale! Half off at Savers is like a hooker paying YOU for sex. Just kidding, kids. Prostitution is no laughing matter. But you adults know what I'm talking about, right? . . . Am I right?! . . . No? Ok, my bad.
Anyway, apparently a lot of people with large feet were looking for jobs that day, because the only decent-looking pair I could find was size 10 1/2. I wear a 12. I think they were pretty big for a 10 1/2, because my feet were barely crushed squeezing into them. Still the best 4 dollars I ever spent. Seriously, 4 bucks.
The next day I headed to the airport, with the taste of freedom on the tip of my tongue and the throbbing ache of independence on the tips of my toes, or something.
The first leg of my journey was Denver to Atlanta. I strolled up to my gate, lookin' fly, actin as though the odor of my feces was pleasant. And yeah, you guessed it. They gave me my boarding pass without a hassle. I looked at my ticket: "20F; that's a little far back for first-mothafuckin-class," I thought.
I boarded the plane and was horrified that I didn't get the first class seat that wasn't promised to me. I sulked down into my chair, surrounded by other poor people, dreams temporarily crushed. Soon though, I heard an announcement from one of the flight attendants: "The following passengers have been upgraded to first class..."
"Boo-ya," I thought.
She proceeded to call the names of three assholes who weren't me. Damn.
...I only had about an hour to enjoy the Atlanta airport (the busiest in the world). My short stay in the dirty south was great, but where I was headed was dirtier. And souther.
The Atlanta to Lima flight was less crowded, and I ended up in first class! I'm pretty sure I was served like four meals during the six hour flight, and I was offered a hot washcloth at least twice...oh, you better believe I accepted! I know as much about wine as Craig Sager knows about fashion (example of Sager's fashion sense) but I thought the Chardonnay was delicious. All in all, I'd sum up first class as ridiculously over-indulgent. Anyone who actually pays for that shit can kiss my ass... it was pretty cool though.
Luckily, the seat next to me was empty. Across the row, however, was an elderly affluent couple, the husband of which stared at me prettymuch the entire flight. I would have gotten a picture of him to post on here, but the hate in his eyes surely would have rendered my camera useless.
"How did this God-damn hippie get into first class?" he yelled. Actually he didn't say that, but I'm pretty sure it's what he was thinking.
I arrived in Lima around midnight local time. I would have begged to stay on the plane and live in first class forever, but I couldn't wait to get the god-forsaken shoes off my feet. I went in the first bathroom I could find and took them off.
I left the shoes in the bathroom of the Jorge Chavez International Airport.
I'd like to think an airport employee found those shoes, and they gave him the confidence to ditch his job cleaning airport bathrooms and chase his dream of performing in the Peruvian ballet, except instead of ballet shoes, he wears an old pair of dress shoes, but no one cares, because he dances with such passion.
But who knows.