30 November 2014

Different Roads to Rio (ii)

4 January 2014

For all my follies and misadventures, it was a lot easier for me to get to Rio de Janiero than it was for Angie.

Let's start with pleasant stuff.

Angie stayed in Iguazu National Park a lot longer than I did. She went for a walk and actually got to see the scenery that I had to ignore.











It's called The Devil's Throat...



All the time in the world for selfies...
Ang got back to the hotel just fine from the pictures. It appears as though she took her sweet time. I hope she found it pleasant. She didn't know it at the time, but she would pay for that later.

The view from Ang's flight.
Ang was supposed to land three hours after I was. The wait was planned and I was prepared. I had my kindle. I was able to use my credit card. There was air conditioning AND greasy food. Aside from being afraid of falling asleep and having all my stuff stolen, I was in a pretty good place. Eventually I realized she'd be arriving in the terminal that hadn't yet been upgraded ahead of the World Cup. That was fine too - I realized with plenty of time to get there. 

But even after the flight arrived, Ang didn't. The monitor said she was in customs, which was fine for the first hour. Then I grew suspicious. I thought of how easy it was for me to get into Brazil and it just didn't make sense that it would take literally 15 times as long for Ang. But it did.

Eventually her little head popped through the doors. She was wearing her "annoyed" face. She had been trapped in the "foreigners" line.  While the Brazilian citizens had (let's say) seven agents welcoming them to the country, the foreigners had two. It happens in the states, and I thought that was our proprietary jerk move. I was wrong. Ang said there was an Argentine protest (slow claps for the win) but that there really wasn't anything else to be done. So she waited for Brazil. And I waited for her. Her phone had died, so we couldn't even text. Still, we eventually got together after nearly 12 hours apart. I was ready to get out of the airport, and the taxi driver was ready and waiting. Still, we had some hurdles. 

We had 0 reales (Brazilian currency) between the two of us. It was a Saturday night and though there were at least 5 ATMs in our section of the airport, only one was working. And that one had a withdrawal limit. The taxi driver explained weekend night withdrawal limits were indeed a thing, but we didn't know what the limit was, or how it translated because we didn't have the Internet.

Once we left the airport, we arrived at a dark hostel. It was open, just dark. It was my first hostel experience - something that will be discussed soon. Ang did book us a private room, and there was a great AC. We used the communal showers and I remember thinking "this isn't so bad." I would totally change my mind.