I have arrived at my final destination, Managua in Nicaragua, after 22 hours of adventures, surprises and “stay calm and find a solution” scenarios.
The 8h flight to Miami went well, I sat next to a nice English girl who was going for a trip around South America and shared some Lonely Planet pdf’s with her, then I watched Wreck it Ralph, and worked.
Upon arrival to Miami airport we got the confirmation that we would need to pick up our luggage and pass customs to get to our connecting flights, everything seemed clear, and my 2,5hours to connect wouldn’t be a problem. Anyway, as a rule I always make sure to find my gate before starting to explore airports so I rushed on in the front of the big stream of people, following the signs. Suddenly an airport worker started separating us into the categories of US citizens, and visitors – where US citizens seemed to walk on, and visitors quickly became a huge line of desperate people missing connecting flights, bachelor parties and guided tours. It was chaotic. “Don’t ask me, ask the government” the information man responded. Somebody handed out leaflets explaining what was going on. I negotiated my way to the front of the line. “This will take at least a couple of hours” was still the answer.
Suddenly the airport security man said “You know what? Screw this” and removed the block – so we ran. Slaloming between people and babies in carts I got lucky again and managed to get into a a line for customs that was one fifth smaller than the rest.. My boarding time was in 25 minutes. “Once you get in that room, it will take you at least an hour to exit” an officer had said before. I stood in line with very stressed people “The next flight to Barcelona doesn’t leave in three days!” and a particularily angry lady who said that “Even on a good day, it will be a bad day at Miami airport – I have missed three flights in this airport this year already.” I guess that’s somehow valuable information. I know that I will try hard to avoid a stop-over in the US and particularly Miami in the future. All the hassle about having to check out and in again, getting a US Visa, and being questioned on what I do for a living doesn’t make any sense to me at all if I’m on American soil for less than three hours, I just wanted to shout: “Stop taking yourselves so damn seriously!!”
So the officer in the booth of the line I stood in walked away for a coffee break, and a moment later another guy came who had the energy to actually make things happen. He was nice, said that Nicaragua was cool and that I should try his job if I want to be in a rush. I got my stamp, and continued to the luggage reclaim. The amount of bags was crazy, they were covering the floor all over the place. I ran around for a moment until I found my bag, and then I continued though the exit and to the bag drop-off. In the Miami airport, a luggage cart costs 5$. In coins? And my bag was in a flightbag that doesn’t have a strap. So I grabbed the 23kg’s with one hand, broke a nail, and dragged it, looking fairly strange, for 10 minutes until I got to the dropoff point, passed security once again, and found my gate. Workout for an entire week.
With a couple of minutes left to boarding, I ran off and bought myself a portable bluetooth speaker – a small gift for successfully having solved all those little adventures during the day. And I got a discount for being funny. haha
After a couple of hours of pleasant company on my Managua flight, a long taxi-ride where Chaves was the main subject of conversation, wonderful hospitality provided by an office colleague, and a long hot shower – I am now finally in a bed, 26 hours later, after 40 hours of not sleeping properly. It’s 1am.
And I have bruises on my arms – from carrying those 23kg’s, plus 10kg´s of hand luggage, in the strangest ways, while running. haha
And now I say good night from Managua with two taxi photos.
Almost all items on the list of lists have been ticked off. In two hours I’m boarding a train to the airport with the beautiful wooden floors.
My biggest dilemma? Which external harddrive to bring. The almost full one, or the empty one? I can’t seem to live without my database, but who really needs 2TB of stuff? “But what if I need one of my photos from 2006? Or want to listen to the Pink Floyd discography?!” Life is complicated sometimes.
I do actually have bigger things to worry about right now – speaking Spanish again after an entire year of maningue, muito bom, posso, agora, então, isso, depois, obrigada and many, many boa tarde’s, for example.
Here’s part two ofthe packing process, by the way, all packed now:
“What, you’e only bringing 23kg’s + carry-on?!” Well yeah, and myself.
I experience a weird kind of pleasure from having everything perfectly under control, maybe my last name makes me slightly German after all.
I have to show you my beautiful packing list tomorrow. It’s based on a master list that I adjust according to what the aim and destination of my trip is. It’s so pretty and nerdy! Oh, excessively meticulous? Me? Nahh.. haha
The kind of travel I’m packing for now is one of the more difficult types. I need formal and neutral office wear, skirts for sunny afternoons, casual beach wear, happy dancing dresses, long-distance bus wear and some warmer stuff for air-condition abused areas. Different kinds of cities, different kinds of meetings, different kinds of awesome. And I will have to look like a person almost all of the time as well.
I’m actually bringing my trainers this time as an attempt to keep on moving and get out of the office sometimes. And then there are the gadgets – a thousand essentials. I mean, who could ever do without an extension cord, a portable battery-pack, a mini luggage-scale or a USB hub?