the ugly american

2.26.12  9:30am (Two hours later)

Just encountered the most annoying traveler on our way to Mt. Kilimanjaro: the ugly American.  This diva is clearly headed on a fashion safari, replete with her olive cargo shirt stuffed with her muffin-top into matching olive, skinny cargo pants that are tucked into her shiny, gold platform tennis shoes and accessorized with a dusty pink purse.  But don't worry, lest you think this woman's outfit might be too drab.  She dressed it up with not one, but three rhinestone barrettes.

And wouldn't you guess that after this consummate annoying safari-farer had loaded her six duffle bags on the security conveyor belt, she insisted her floral bag be returned from the other side of the X-ray so she could retrieve her SOCKS.  To put over the socks she was already wearing in order to walk through the metal detector.  Which beeped repeatedly because of those fancy, sparkly additions to her fabulously bad, black dye job (and Mallory, I know you get mad when I call it a dye job, but please trust me, no color specialist had been near her head).  When the security attendant asked her, kindly, to please take out her barrettes, the diva only exclaimed, repeatedly, "IT'S MY WIRE BRA!"

Oh.  God.

Are you serious, lady? In case you haven't noticed, you're in a domestic airport in Africa, and those guys with AK-47s are not a joke.  Meanwhile, the entire line has stalled and the United States of America has just been denigrated by one of its finest citizens.

I bit my tongue for as long as possible.  But the hotel shuttle had dropped us off at the wrong terminal, where we went through that security line before realizing we'd need to leave that building and run the quarter mile to the domestic terminal (which makes total sense since we're flying from Ethiopia to Tanzania) to make our flight and now we're stuck behind this prima donna.  I finally turned to her and said something about the line (I'm sure I was very tactful).  We eventually got around her as she was taking off her second pair of socks.

We made it to the departure area just as the plane was starting to board, and upon sighting the second round of security screening giggled with the relief that we wouldn't have to witness that spectacle again.

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