American Airlines flight AA986 at 7:20 am - 11:44 am from Managua to Miami.
Collect baggage... at carousel 4... and clear American customs... line 4.
Find a cab that will take me to a post office in Miami to ship a large Nicaraguan purchase to Washington. Turn around when I see the meter go beyond the value of said purchase and realize it's saturday.
Find a suitable bar for a 5 hr layover.
Re-check bags and clear Miami security.
American Airlines flight AA56 at 5:00 pm - 6:35 am from Miami to London.
Collect baggage... carousel 4... and clear English customs* (see full story below).
Take a train to international departure terminal 4.
Find a suitable breakfast cafe for a 5 1/2 hr layover.
Check into Malaysia Airlines, re-check bags and clear Heathrow security.
Malaysia Airlines flight MH003 at 12:00 noon - 7:25 am from London to Kuala Lumpur.
Find the nearest train to take to collect baggage, clear Malaysian customs... line 44, which included but was not limited to my first ever thermal body scan (for fever and any signs of H1Mwhatever), and panic slightly when I realize how much there is to do in a 3 hr layover.
Malaysian's International Arrival Airport is completely separate from Malaysia's International Departure Airport. This was a first. Fuck the bus. Buy a ticket for an airport limo to take me to said airport, which turned out to be a half hour drive away in a Malaysian style racing limo. I am definitely back in Asia.
Get out and smell clove cigarettes in the air. Realize I'm getting really close now.
Check into Air Asia, re-check bags and clear Malaysian security.
Air Asia flight AK362 at 10:55 am - 1:55 pm from Kuala Lumpur to Denpasar.
Clear Indonesian customs.
See Steffan waving and smiling.
Smile big back.
Re-adjust to Balinese driving style (this mostly means forgetting that those white lines actually mean anything.)
Get to Ubud.
Big dinner with everyone.
Go to the Alex Grey charity show.
Must find sleep.
Fall asleep to the sound of frogs in the rice terraces.
Wake to the sound of roosters and exotic birds.
I'm in Bali.
*Heathrow airport shattered for me, once again on this trip, that age old American girls' quixotic conjecture that men bearing an english accent are, assuredly, gentlemen.
Heathrow is now officially the first airport that has pulled me into a room for a full body search. It wasn't the fact that they did the search that swayed my full vote on this issue... it was the manner in which they did it.
The man that plucked me out of line was very pleasant about the entire procedure. Too pleasant.
While I was putting away my things he strutted up, looked me up and down with my sweater still off, smiled broadly and asked, "would you like to please come with me mum for a body search after you've packed your items?"
I said it hardly seemed it was a question of liking. He laughed and concurred. I picked up my bags and started walking with him. He asked if I had come far. I commented on how many hours I'd flown and how many there still were to go.
He said it shouldn't bother me, I looked gorgeous and none the worse for the ware. He then asked, "could I hold anything for you? Could even hold you if you like, throw you over me shoulder even and take you the rest of the way."
I declined his offer and was taken into a small room that, despite my having nothing to hide, still made my heart pound like I did.
After I passed the screening, I was escorted back out and my accompany commented that he hoped to see me again and would look for me on my way back through.
Note to self: Don't go out in England. It seems it'll be far too much of a hassle.