Our original flight schedule was Athens - London - Miami - Punta Cana. The first two flights were perfect, except our landing to Miami. The pilot landed the plane so badly that everyone was looking for a bag to throw up. Guess he might have been talking on his cell phone ...
Arriving at Miami we were really excited to visit the United States for the first time, but our enthusiasm faded as we had to wait for more than an hour in line for the passport check. Then I realized that nowadays the Americans treat everyone entering their country as a future terrorist. Our passports are of a new kind, the one that has a micro-chip with all the necessary information. Moreover, the photos are also special, so that if they take a picture of us and measure our faces they can confirm that someone is the same person with the passport pic. I guess that's good enough for all countries apart from the US, since they needed to take our fingerprints too.
What about the land of freedom, blah blah blah....? This is the land of fear. It's like a passage from Xenophon (Hellenica 2.2.3), where he described the fear of the Athenians after their defeat in the Peloponnesian war. They were petrified considering all they were going to suffer from the people they suppressed, tortured and killed for so many years. At that occasion the Spartans showed their moral superiority. What if America has to succumb to a less humane victor in the future? Anyway, excuse my historical digression; it's my job to blame that I can't abstain from such comparisons.
|After the long-haul flight I needed a cigarette.|
|Smoking in America feels like you're some kind of a leper ...|
At this point I have to say that this season in Miami is terrible. It's really hot and so humid that each time we got out of an air-conditioned building our glasses would get foggy. Moreover, in America I think all air-conditioning apparently have only one temperature for cold. There can be no other reason that ALL buildings were FREEZING COLD. And if you know one or two things about healthy use of air conditioning, you already know that getting from 40oC (outside temperature) to 15oC (indoors) is not so good for you.
|A storm at the airport. So much rain and heat result in a sauna effect.|
When the security checks were finished, we tried to find the check-in point to get on with our trip. There we were told that the flight to Punta Cana was cancelled to to "bad weather conditions". We tried not to panic and asked when we would be able to fly. They rescheduled us to fly on the following morning to Punta Cana via Puerto Rico. We booked a hotel near the airport, but couldn't get our luggage, since it was tagged to go directly to the Dominican Republic and was already in a container to get on the next flight. We went to the hotel and opened the TV.
And there it was: Breaking News, Hurricane Irene strikes the Caribbean. It was supposed to hit Puerto Rico, then move to the Dominican Republic (first to Punta Cana and then proceed to the NE part of the island, covering exactly the places we were going to visit and in the same order) and eventually reach Miami in 3-4 days. In a few words, we had a hurricane coming after us and in that honeymoon it would be three of us: S., me and Irene. We needed a backup plan.