A. packed for this trip with the precision of a Swiss army knife.
In preparation for our trip to Argentina and Chile, we needed clothes for 18 days that could get us from broiling tropical rain forest in Iguazu Falls to nearly freezing in Bariloche in Patagonia. Oh, and A. doesn’t travel anywhere without his compact travel guitar. Lastly, everything had to fit as carry-on on because we have a lot of flights and tight connections making the loss of suitcases problematic.
With all those conditions, A packed everything with great care. And it all fit like a blade in a sheath.
All went well at SFO where we shot through security without a hitch. We easily flew to Mexico City for our connecting flight to Buenos Aires.
However, the Mexico City security xray machine spotted something in A’s meticulously packed bag. Things went haywire from there. First they took out his clothes. Then they removed his guitar packed half in a pillow case for the body with the neck wrapped in socks. Then they pulled out a small plastic bag. And found the smoking gun!
In the bag was a wire cutter! For trimming guitar strings. Not a box cutter! Not a saw. Just a small pair of wire cutters.
Oh, wait there’s more. There were also three tiny hex wrenches. Harmless mini wrenches that could barely fit a Lilliputian plumber’s hand. Baby wrenches for adjusting the travel guitar (all this accoeding to A. because I don’t know a hex wrench from a hex curse).
We offered to surrender the wire cutter if we could just keep the itty bitty wrenches. But no go. Security said we were carrying TOOLS. Dangerous pointy tools (those hex wrenches) that are forbidden in the cabin. I might add that these implements sailed through TSA on other trips.
We were forced to check his bag! So out through security we went and way,way back to check in area. Then back through security again. This time we passed with flying colors!
The good news/bad news is that our connecting flight was delayed by three hours so we had plenty of time for these unplanned airport shenanigans.
Also, we had sprung for business class because it was surprisingly inexpensive on Aeromexico. So we got free use of their private lounge where we consumed breakfast, lunch, great coffee and wifi for three hours.
Finally, we made it onto our flight and arrived at midnight in Buenos Aires. Our suitcase also made it safely. Our driver was waiting to take us to the hotel and we crashed into bed. Early wakeup the next day as we head off on yet another flight to explore the mosquito infested jungle to see my long awaited waterfalls!
P.S. We left the now notorious wire cutter at the hotel! (But we still have our wrenches.)