Somewhere Over the Rainbow

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South America » Argentina » Santa Cruz
January 21st 2016
Published: February 22nd 2016
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Well, I made it. I’m on the plane. It did all work out, but not without hiccups along the way. The bus driver helped me the most. Through a lot of body language and the word “aeropurto.” I asked about a dozen times, “Aeropurto by seis en mañana?” He would smile and nod. It was a confident nod, like he really knew what I was asking. But still, he just could’ve done the smile and nodding this just to shut the nagging white girl up. By the third or fifth time throughout the ride, I asked. He asked to see my ticket to the bus. I didn’t understand why, but I game it to him anyway. “Viente tres.” He was reading my seat number. He said something else that I didn’t understand, but something along the lines of, “I’ll come get you.” The stop I was getting off at was apparently different from everyone else, which is enough to put anyone on edge. I couldn’t sleep and was staring at the small rural towns that would pass by the window. Two o’clock came around, then three. I saw street dogs eating garbage, local residence waking up to go to work, some
looking like they had never went to bed yet, dark alleyways made up from buildings that were made with dirt and unfinished cement. It wasn’t until probably around half past three that I finally dozed off. Next thing I knew, I was being woken up by the bus driver with the message, “El Alto. El Alto. Aeropurto.” I popped up, “Gracias, gracias!” and quickly gathered all my things. I was in such a rush, it wasn’t until I was in the taxi that I checked the time, 4:38am — I’m gonna make it, with time to spare!

In the taxi, I was all smiles. The driver kept asking, “Terminal?” I didn’t know it. I was showing him the booking confirmation from my email in hopes he would spot a word or a name he knew. Then he pulled up to a bus station. “Terminal?” he insisted. Oh shit. “No. No!” I gasped. “Aeropurto! Aeropurto!” With my hands I made a gesture of a flight taking off, even made a whooshing sound. That’s when I learned the word, “Avíon.” You could tell he was pissed. He drove to the other side of town. Good thing was that
the airport was 15 minutes away, in the other direction. Bad thing, he totally screwed me on the rate. 100 Bolivianos. I tried arguing with him on the best Spanglish I could muster. He was just getting more frustrated. I wanted to be in the airport so badly that I just threw the money at him and gathered my things.

At the counter, I greeted the airline host, an English speaker — thank God. But was I in the clear? Nope! They couldn’t find my reservation. Yippie! Nothing is a lower feeling than watching the blank stare of a flight attendant deciding your fate. It was the longest five minutes I have ever waited. He looks up, “No, we don’t have it.” He looked at the email I was sent through Kyack. He typed in something else on the computer, and then he smiled. “I found you.” Everything that lead up to the flight was a breeze, security, checking bags, the works. Now I am in the Santa Cruz Airport, waiting for my next flight to Buenos Aires to meet Jon. I can’t wait.

Getting sleepy…must nap….

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