Cou-Cou – A Snippet of Bajan Culture


The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish.   To make an authentic Bajan version of cou-cou, one must have corn flour, okra and an implement called a cou-cou stick (the wood stick also doubled as a corrective instrument when we were naughty kids 😂).  Besides flying fish, cou-cou can be paired with other fish or meats that meets the eater’s palate.  Some folk would swear that the choice of meat and gravy is what makes the dish so appetizing, but that is subjective and left up to the diner’s preference.  Even though the staple ingredient is course or finely ground corn flour, other ingredients such as cheese, butter, milk, etc. may be added to enhance the flavor and consistency.

The corn flour meal is known by different names in other places around the world.  In some of the Caribbean islands it is fungi, in others it’s called tun cornmeal, in USA and Canada it’s grits, and as far away as Italy it is called polenta.   In all these countries the variations exhibit a consistency quite different to each other when cooked that may be either firm, soft or runny .

Today we cooked cou-cou with salted codfish gravy.  View the ingredients below.

Want to try your hand at making the dish?  Follow the simple recipe below:

  • 1 pound of finely ground corn flour
  • 12 or more medium sized okras
  • Large onion
  • Salt
  • Water

Cut off the tops and tips of the okras and slice okra into rings.  Place okras, salt and onion in a large saucepan of boiling water.  Cook okras until soft and tender, and until water has a slime.

Strain the okra from the slimy liquid and put in a separate bowl.

Pour half of the remaining liquid into another bowl and leave the balance in the saucepan.

On a medium to low fire, add in the dry corn flour into the liquid that was left in the saucepan.  Use the cou-cou stick to stir the corn flour in a circular motion to avoid lumps.  At intervals, gradually add in small amounts of the slimy liquid from the bowl, stirring continuously to allow the corn flour to steam and cook.

Once corn flour is cooked it will become thicker and stiffer.  Gradually add in the okra to give the cooked corn flour a mellow smooth texture.

Mom’s test for well-cooked cou-cou:  Place the stick in the center of the cou-cou.  Stick should stand upright to show stiffness.  Pull stick from cou-cou.  The stick should come away clean, not with clinging clumps.  If the stick falls when you put it to stand upright and does not come out clean, then it means the mixture still has too much water and needs more steaming.  

20191206_112552Cou-cou is most enjoyable with lots of gravy.  The gravy may be seasoned to suit your specific taste.  Try this tasty dish, you won’t be disappointed.

Community Peeps, now that I am enjoying life in the land of the sand, sea and sun, I also want to share with you snippets of the Bajan culture from time to time that will help you become familiar with my island home.  2020 is around the corner and now would be a good time to plan a bespoke vacation to the shores of Bimshire, if you haven’t already.  Any questions?  Let me know in the comment box below and I’ll gladly assist with your itinerary.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

 

 

 

Homeward Bound


“Nothing good comes without a struggle,” was my go to phrase for encouragement as I transitioned into starting my new life in a different state.   A few other phrases like “change is good,” and “forward ever backward never,” has helped to propel me towards the relocation strategy and planning I have been orchestrating for the past couple months.  Well, I’ve finally made the move and now look forward with eager expectations of all that will unfold in the months and years ahead.

Saying goodbye is always a hard thing to do.  It is never easy leaving family and friends behind.  They tried a variety of ways to change my mind but failed to convince me that I was doing the wrong thing.  Only time will tell.  Also, I had to cut the emotional ties to things I treasured which held sentimental value to me.  Getting rid of my most prized possessions taught me a valuable lesson, and that is, never place so much value on things that will eventually be discarded.  After all, as long as there is life, they can be acquired again.

So, without much ado, I loaded up the rental vehicle with the few items (mostly clothes and my artwork collection) and began my long drive south.  Most road trippers know this already, but I can reiterate it here again.  The best time to travel is at night.  The roads are clear, and you can make great headway before sunrise to your destination.  Pleasingly, I owned the road as I drove from New York through New Jersey, Maryland, District of Columbia and into Virginia before stopping to sleep at a rest stop.  After a two-hour sleep I was back on the road continuing my push further south through North Carolina, South Carolina and finally into Georgia.  Intermittent stops for gas and bathroom break was the only other stops I made.

I arrived early evening at my destination and was able to unload and pack away my belongings.  By this time, I was thanking God I didn’t have to unpack all the other stuff I had given away.  I was exhausted and couldn’t do much else but to get a hot shower and fall into bed.  I have not worked this hard in a long time and it has taken a toll on my body.  I am now fighting off a viral infection which I hope clears up in a matter of days.

To my mind, a vacation would be the perfect remedy for my malaise 😂, and as if God was answering my unspoken thoughts, a situation arose that needs my attention therefore I will be traveling in a few days to my beautiful island home of Barbados.  The timing couldn’t be better even if I had arranged it myself.  This trip was not a part of the original plans but sometimes situations cause plans to change.  One of the reasons I relocated to Georgia was because of its temperate and mild climate, and I was hoping to test that theory for myself this winter.  However, I will spend the holiday season and winter in Barbados instead.  I still believe, it’s the best of both worlds and whether here or there, I will be enjoying fantastic weather, basking in the sun, swimming in the ocean, strolling the beach, eating vegetarian foods, hiking the hills and dales, etc.

Community Peeps, it has been a while since my last post, but I am back in the saddle, and as I am homeward bound, I will keep you apprised of travel interests and expeditions in Bimshire.  I would be re-missed if I did not mention the national call to all Barbadians (Bajans) living abroad to return home to the island.  View the link re the initiative which is called “We Gatherin 2020” for more information on upcoming activities and events.  You may also view the video below.  If a visit to Bim is on your bucket list, as your itinerant travel planner, then I recommend that 2020 should be the year.  Let me know your thoughts or questions, if any, in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

New Digs In Two Weeks


The road trip is over, and my friend and I are back in our respective places.  As I reflect on the adventure, I can truly say it was a time of discovery and relaxation, anxiety and disappointment, decisions and promises.   The time flew by in a jiffy and the real reason for the road trip altogether is to relocate which is now here.  Moving is never easy.  Though I do not claim to have lived a nomadic life, 20 years is by far the most time I have spent in one place, and looking back at all the moves I have made in my life, I can say it has not gotten any easier.  I will be leaving friends, neighbors, my church family, and all that’s familiar to me for unknown and uncharted territory.  Let’s face it, the road trip is superficial and does not give me the truest picture of what my life will be like there.

In my time of discovery and relaxation (hopefully the photos will speak volumes of our experiences) I realize, as in the other 49 states, there are a myriad of things to do and interesting sites to see.  The Atlanta skyscape is truly beautiful at night.  The roads are wide and smooth.  But, of the many things I found interesting while visiting the Atlanta Metro Area and other counties in Southern Georgia was the absence of crowds.  I mean crowds and traffic like what I am used to in New York City.  At one point in the middle of the day, in the heart of midtown on Peachtree Street, I asked the question, “where are the people?”  The cheeky reply was, “they are all working.”  I chuckled at the response but realized that this was the norm, whether uptown, downtown or midtown, there just weren’t crowds anywhere.  View the video clip above, it tells the story more succinctly.

Nowhere did I encounter a crowd or have to wait in long lines.  Everything was accessible and our travels via MARTA was easy.   There were times we rode some stages of the trolley route alone.  We took advantage of the free parking in the city where available.  Even though we were in rush hour traffic a few times, I came away with the thought that it’s all relative.  In my opinion, rush hour traffic on the I-75 or I-85 is a breeze to traffic on the Belt Parkway or I-678 where the possibility of road rage is extremely high.  No doubt in the future also, I too will be saying like fellow Georgians, “rush hour traffic is horrific.”

We tried our best to fit sightseeing in between apartment hunting and job search. Our entertainment besides visiting memorials and festivals included, a Cirque Du Soleil show – Volta, attended Stone Mountain Highland Games and Scottish “Outlander” Festival, Alice’s Wonderland at the Atlanta Botanical Garden, tours of CNN and The World of Coke, respectively, crashed a surprise birthday party and spent a day with a distant relative.

My time of anxiety and disappointment surrounded my job search and housing prospects.  Interviewing can be a daunting task.  Especially, if the work applied for is not your forte.  To make a long story short, that job opportunity I mentioned in a previous post, slipped away, but I managed to purchase a new dress 😊 because of it.  The stress surrounding housing all had to do with appeal, availability and affordability.

Our time of decisions and promises were more about ourselves and how we were going to face life in the future.  My girlfriend and I spent much of our time catching up on all the things that brought us together throughout the years.  Even though we have not always been in contact, we have always remained in each other’s thoughts.  We have similar likes and dislikes, can finish each other’s sentences, laugh at each other’s jokes, and on and on.  We committed to changing our lifestyle, our looks (we ate good food and came back a little heavier 😂),  for her too a new address.  We promised to support and pray for the success of the other, to stay in touch, and to be there when we need each other the most.  We both decided that it was high time to take charge of our lives and step out in faith, following God’s plan wherever it may lead us.

Community Peeps, the hardest thing for me to do now is pack.  Whether going away for leisure or relocating to a new house.  I hate to pack.  I am inundated with boxes, bins and everything is a jumbled mess.  Conversely, I look forward to being in my new digs in two weeks.  So, this is me giving you an early heads up.  My postings may be scarce until I am moved in and settled, unless something interesting or inspiring comes up to write about.  As always, I encourage you to share your comments with me in the box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

One Hundred Times But Keeping My Day Job


Taking the good with the bad is a fact of life and as a blogger/itinerary planner, I must admit the processing experience has not always been ‘rosy.’  Last week I submitted my one hundredth post and it felt good to reach that milestone, but it didn’t come without its challenges.  While I can’t speak for every writer/blogger I can certainly tell you that writing an interesting post from week to week is not always an easy task without running the risk of sounding trite or frivolous.

One of the promises I made as a blogger to my readership and to myself is to always be true and transparent.  When I started this website and blog, the intention was to keep my readership informed on travel related matters and publish at least once a week, but there were times that I missed deadlines.  There are several reasons for that, but the most important ones are these:  I had nothing interesting or important to talk about, over-extended myself and was too busy, or in a sad funk about circumstances affecting me.  These reasons are all subjective but nonetheless real.

I love to write but after this 100th post it is clear that I should keep my day job 😝. When I’m inspired, writing flows easily and naturally, especially when the subject matter is of particular interest to me.  All the posts that I’ve published so far are expressions of my thoughts, life experiences, and I hope my writer’s voice is clearly heard.

Community Peeps, even though you may not be keeping tabs on me, I still want to keep it real. I celebrate this achievement knowing that you have an interest in what I bring to the table, whenever I post.  Thanks for your affirmations, comments and likes.  It means a lot to me.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Road Trip Precipitates New Life


It is often said that there is more fun and excitement when you do a road trip with someone else.  Well, in my case, that is proving to be true.  My gal pal and I set off on our adventure in the state of Georgia and we already have a few stories to tell to family and friends, as well as, some pictures to show.  So here goes.

The 90 degree weather is great and we are enjoying every bit of the sunshine so far, having left behind cooler temperatures from our respective home states.  We arrived very late in the night, only to awake our sleeping host at the Airbnb location where we are staying.  The next morning, after picking up our vehicle at the rental location in Midtown Atlanta, we proceeded to set out on our journey.  First incident that happened right out of the gate was my plug-in GPS malfunctioned.  Every time I would enter an address in the device, it would revert to a New York location.  It was disconcerting for a while not having clear directions, but to move in traffic aimlessly for a short while until we could correct the problem.  With no map in hand nor a Map-Quest print-out of directions like back in the old days before GPS, we were helpless, but thank God for cell phones and Google Maps.  To cut to the chase, we managed to reboot the gadget and it has been working fine ever since.

 

Our travels have taken us to popular tourist attractions and historical sites in and around the Atlanta Metro Area.  We’ve visited a few parks including Stone Mountain and watched their spectacular laser show.  Fall festivals are in full swing and we’ve enjoyed browsing the stalls at a few of them.  We’ve also been on a couple interesting tours in the downtown area.  My girlfriend and I after walking in Piedmont Park decided to check out a few blocks in Midtown.  As we walked, we talked about many things and caught up on the different direction our lives have taken us over the years.  In the midst of the evening walk, we entered a fancy hotel to ask for information.  On the way out the door, coming towards us was the familiar face of the man who plays the father’s role in the popular TV Show – Greenleaf.  We walked right next to him, and on realizing who we were looking at, we both turned around as we watched his tall lean frame stride into the bar at the end of the lobby.  I tried to run after him, but my friend grabbed my arm immediately and prevented me from following him.  I am not a groupie or even a fan of the TV show, but we both recognized who we had just passed.  We left the hotel laughing and talking about our near encounter and the possibility of what could have happened if I had escaped my friend’s tight grip and been allowed to say hello.

 

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Community Peeps, in my previous post I said this trip would serve a dual purpose – an adventure, as well as, a precursory introduction to a new life in this state.  A job prospect is already on the horizon and the search for a comfortable abode is underway.  We are having a blast and most evenings I am too tired to think or even write a post.  We are dead on our feet at the end of the day and are eager to rest.  So far, we are becoming familiar with the major roads and dealing with the heavy traffic at rush hour.  It has been an exciting two weeks already as we venture further away from our base every day.  Check out the photos of what we have seen to date.  Your comments are always welcome, so go ahead and let me know in the box below if you have visited any of these places too.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Daxing International Is Out Of The Gate


Navigating through airports should not be a daunting task.  Daxing International, the newest airport in Beijing, is making sure travelers traversing from one end of the terminal to the next, finds doing so as easy as ABC.  The newly built star fish shaped mega terminal is purported to be 700,000 square meters (the size of 98 soccer fields put together, or half the size of Hong Kong).  It rivals its Asian cousin Changi International Airport in Singapore for the prolific points of interest and probably bests it in the category of technology.

Daxing International Airport is currently the world’s largest airport and is expected to handle 70 million passengers annually by 2025 and over 100 million by 2040.  The impressive terminal was opened this week by China’s President Xi Jinping, with many dignitaries, engineers, airport planners, et al to witness the auspicious event.  The original purpose for this second airport in Beijing was to scale back the use of the main airport and ease some of the travel burden experienced at Beijing Capital International.  However, since rolling out the project and the new structure took shape, planners have finally decided that both airports in Beijing will operate concurrently.

To make the travel experience less foreboding, technology has been one of the features that cause this airport to stand out.  From the minute a passenger enters through the doors, they will be on camera.  The facial recognition technology will be operating to process the passenger through the necessary securities and gates in record time.

Beijing Capital and Daxing currently trail Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International in America as the second busiest airport in the world.  Certainly, Daxing International is out of the gate vying for bragging rights and looking to topple the US airport from its perch as the busiest in the not too distant future.  This recent opening is added to the repertoire of structures throughout China that may be considered worth visiting.  I have said this before and will say it again, itinerary planners like myself must include an airport discovery plan as part of the to-dos for clients once directing through such terminals.

Community Peeps, I don’t have a bucket list but if I did, touring Daxing would certainly be on it.  More and more, we are seeing engineering feats that boggle the mind as first world countries build mega structures worth viewing.  The amusing thought to me is, while the plan is to get passengers through terminals as quickly as possible, by way of the sundry attractions (this may be intentional too), they make it more difficult to leave.  In my humble opinion as an occasional tourist and itinerary planner, no longer is travel through these mega airports an in an out process.   What is your opinion on this issue?  Share your thoughts with me in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Thelma And Louise Hackers


Road trips are all about adventure and exploring the unknown in a vehicle.  There is a familiar movie of two women venturing off by themselves, escaping from their norms, moving from place to place to enjoy time on the road.  Even though I have never viewed the film in its entirety but have only seen snippets of it, I’ve gotten the gist and feel a kindred spirit to the two females and the adventurous tug they felt, to also embark on a similar road trip myself along with another gal pal.  You might recall, even Oprah and her best friend Gayle did something similar too.  So, because of a lack of originality, my girlfriend and I have become hackers and have dubbed this trip our ‘Thelma and Louise’ trip.

Our proposed road trip will be in the state of Georgia.  It is not only a getaway but will also serve as an introduction to my new home base.  For three weeks we will meander the highways and byways, visit favorite sites and points of interest, and become familiar with routes and main arteries that provide easy access in an out of the metro Atlanta area.  Since neither of us has ever undertaken such a trip before, it isn’t an understatement to say we are excited and intimidated at the same time.  We do not know what to expect, therefore I am going to beg your indulgence and ask for tips to make these upcoming three weeks a fabulous introduction for me and a vacation getaway at least for one of us 😊.  Give some insight and directions on what we can do to ensure the trip goes smoothly, and how to plan and prepare for the trek. Even though I am an itinerary planner, I can’t claim to know everything and so your suggestions can be very insightful.

Community Peeps and visitors to this blog, we are your modern-day Thelma and Louise hackers who are depending on your input.  Share your road trip experience in the comment box.  Ready or not, we will begin our drive at the end of this month, and I hope it will be all that we envision it to be, with your suggestions, of course.  Your recommendations will be helpful and appreciated.  So, as we hit the road (no pun intended) I hope to tell interesting updates on our progress and encounters each week.  If your tip is used at anytime along the way I will mention it and the name of your blog site in the update.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Check the Cheque


This post will be brief but nonetheless succinct.  The majority of travelers are usually short on the amount of money they have in pocket versus the amount of time they are on vacation.  A fabulous getaway will definitely include bills for: accommodation, meals, entertainment, excursions and shopping sprees.  While it is nice to be able to purchase whatever you want without having to look at the price tag a few times or be overwhelmed by the price, it is still necessary for the budget traveler to create a bespoke itinerary that helps them to keep in check the how, what and where, the budgeted monies that are set aside, will be spent.  Even though many tourists include these dedicated funds as part of their itinerary expenditure for particular purchases, they may discover some inconsistencies that may turn their dream vacation into a nightmare.

A surprise charge, miscalculation, data entry error, or flat-out swindling are all scenarios that can alarm the unsuspecting traveler.  It is therefore imperative to review invoices received in stores, hotels, restaurants, and especially in dimly lit bars.  Take the time to check your order thoroughly before signing on the dotted line or before handing over your credit card.   Peter Lalor an Australian journalist and beer critic was thrown for a loop (thousands of dollars) at what he was charged for a bottle of beer.  Ordinarily, when he buys the various ales to taste and critique, they do not cause him to break his budget limit, but this particular brew nearly sent him to the poor house.  He is still hopeful that the error will be corrected and that he’ll be refunded the exorbitant amount he was charged.  Read of his debacle here.

Sometimes we are in a rush and only become aware of invoice mistakes, whether intentional or inadvertent, when it is too late. Here are a few tips to manage your charges when on vacation.

  1. Designate someone to go over the invoice and handle payment if you become inebriated.
  2. Whatever the circumstance, establish a spending limit and make sure that you are charged correctly.
  3. Calculate your purchases beforehand, include the necessary taxes and gratuities before calling for the check or going to the register.
  4. Be aware of the day’s exchange rate acceptable at your shopping establishments if paying in foreign currency.
  5. Question any differences on your bill immediately. It may be harder to be refunded if an error is noticed a day or two after the fact.

Community Peeps, I try to practice what I preach.  Whether at home or abroad, I always check the charges on invoices.  Invariably, I have found when I don’t, and there have been a few times when I didn’t, I would always realize a discrepancy which was too late to correct.  What has been your experience on this subject?  Were you ever overcharged or charged for items/services you never received on vacation?  Share your experience or additional tips in the comment box below.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

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Itinerary Planner

Hurricane Dorian At Your Doorstep


In elementary school, we learned a pithy little saying which we would recite every year to remind us what season it was.  It went like this, “June too soon.  July stand by.  August a must.  September remember.  October all over.”  This little rhyme helped children to know the months hurricanes are expected to strike.  Though August is a popular travel month and summer is at its zenith, it is also one of the worst times for weather conditions in the Caribbean.  Storms, squalls, frequent rains and gale-force winds are common occurrences.  Usually by the time we hear of an approaching hurricane, the first letter in the name indicates how many other hurricanes, although not a threat, may have already passed for the season.  At this time of the year, I get a little nervous for my family members, friends and fellow Barbadians (Bajans).

This week my island paradise – Barbados, was on lock down for more than 24 hours, halting air traffic in and out of the island.  Dorian was still considered in the tropical storm category at that time as it came barreling up the Atlantic coast, making a beeline to the 166 square miles of coral and limestone rock I call home.  As usual, Bajans took all necessary precautions to secure themselves, homes and businesses.   Supermarkets and gas stations were overwhelmed with people in long lines as locals stocked up on non-perishable items to sustain them in the aftermath.  Shelters were manned, prepared and ready to receive persons who felt unsafe in their homes or in distress.  The Government Information Service and Meteorological Department gave timely updates on the progress of the tropical storm and expected times when it would make landfall.  Prime Minister Mia Mottley in a press conference urged Bajans to work together and to prepare for the onslaught.  A curfew was initiated and the islanders hunkered down fearing the worse.  The last and deadliest hurricane to strike Barbados was back in 1955 – Hurricane Janet.  Even though it happened more than 64 years ago, folks who experienced it still talk of the strong winds, flattened houses and overall devastation left in its wake.

How has Dorian impacted me you might ask?  Well, all thanks be to God, my family members are safe.  My niece who is an EHS manager with Sandals Resort worked through the night to ensure the safety of guests and staff.  Obviously, beach front properties face the first strong winds to blow in from the sea and every precaution is taken to ensure the safety and evacuation of guests as necessary.   Also, far away from home, four family members, a nurse and a teacher, respectively, along with their sons are visiting the USA on vacation could not return to Barbados due to the lock-down.  Their flight was cancelled, and they are now scheduled to return in September.  This delay puts their jobs in jeopardy, but I am hopeful their bosses will be understanding and accommodating.  I am glad to say, both these situations are mild inconveniences but are not life threatening and for that I am grateful.

Though the people of Barbados are blest and were fortunate to escape the wrath of tropical storm Dorian, it has since gained strength, momentum and become a full-fledged hurricane at the doorstep of other countries and populations.  It is currently baring down on those in the Bahamas and threatening those along the Florida coastline.  I am praying for the safety of everyone.  Especially for those affected residents directly in its path, first responders and emergency workers.  In the meantime, for those traveling here are some tips to remember if caught in this vortex:

  1. You can expect delays or flight cancellations, check with your airline on departure time
  2. Plan to rearrange your itineraries if scheduled to depart or arrive at your holiday destination
  3. Listen to weather updates and accede to directives on safety measures as given by those in authority
  4. Seek help if needed
  5. Know where your shelter is and how to get to it
  6. Have medications and prescriptions filled in case of inaccessibility to a pharmacy for a few days
  7. Keep all your electronic devices fully charged
  8. Prepare a go-bag

Community Peeps, I’ve never experienced a hurricane, nor do I want to.  Having said that, I acknowledge it must be a traumatic experience for residents furthermore any visiting tourist who have had the misfortune to encounter.  If you have been through such an ordeal at home or abroad, please tell us of it here.  Write it and additional tips in the comment box below.  Share how you dealt with the situation and what you did to be safe.

Readers, as usual, I invite you to click follow to receive timely updates, select like to show your love and support.  Share this post on your social media site.  Write your comment in the box below.  Your interest, time and attention are always appreciated.  Thank you for reading.

More times,

Itinerary Planner

Grounded For Insensitivity


The flight experience for a seasoned or first time traveler can be nerve racking depending on the circumstances.  What causes most of the fear and trepidation is the dislike of air turbulence and unexpected engine troubles, but there is another anomaly that may impact a passenger’s experience negatively, and that’s the insensitive handling of passengers by flight personnel.

Since 9/11 the travel experience has taken on a new dimension in terms of acceptable or questionable behaviors on board an aircraft.  The slightest disturbance puts everyone on edge and the flight which could have been a relaxing one becomes charged and full of tension.  For the most part, flight crews are trained to deal with disruptive situations sensitively, quickly and effectively.  However, that is not always the case.  Recently a family experienced improper handling while boarding an aircraft.  Read of their ordeal here.  After the incident, the entire crew was grounded.

I have traveled extensively, and this report brought back to my memory two incidences pre 9/11 that I had forgotten.  The first one was on a trip from New York to Florida.  I was traveling with a group of friends to the port where we would board the cruise ship.  On that flight, a young man became agitated.  He started rambling, crying inconsolably and would get out of his seat even when the “fasten seat belt” sign was on.  The stewardesses tried their best from time to time to calm him down.  They were sympathetic to his plight, but firm in their handling of the situation.  He was en route to see his mother but had been informed that she had died.  The distraught man was treated by the stewardesses with compassion and not as if he was a threat to other passengers.  In today’s climate, he would probably be met at the gate by law enforcement officers and escorted from the plane for his irrational behavior on board the aircraft.

The other incident I recall took place at the Charles de Gaulle International Airport.  I was in transit.   Almost immediately after boarding, some men marched down one of the aisles to the back of the plane.  Loud shouting, tumbling and rumbling ensued.  Attempts to stand and look around where quickly squashed by a few of the men standing in the aisle.  We were told to remain seated, and to keep facing forward.  Sounds of scuffling, shouting and pain inflicted cries were heard throughout the cabin, as the flight crew looked on.  The only word I could understand was “Allah.”   Obviously, the male passenger who was being roughly handled had run afoul of the law.  The interrogation lasted for a little while causing the plane to sit at the gate.  Finally, the lead stewardess approached the undercover agents and insisted that either the passenger be taken off the plane or that the aircraft be allowed to leave.   We were already behind schedule.   The passenger was unceremoniously removed by the officers and the pilot taxied from the gate.

Community Peeps, as I said earlier, both incidences occurred prior to 9/11.  If they had to happen in this day and age, I am sure the outcome would be totally different from what they were back then.  Suspected infringements by other travelers and/or insensitive handling by the flight staff can help to exacerbate any nervousness and tension passengers may already be feeling.  Have you experienced insensitive handling by a crew member at any time while traveling?   Share in the comment box below.

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