What the heck are you talking about Dano? Keep reading.
In my last blog entry, I made note that I had travel plans to the
Ok, fine. I'll get it from her when I see her in a few days (hint....ain't gonna happen).
Thursday, the 12th, I flew to
The immigration officer (I'll call him IO) examined my passport and recognized that I in fact am now a Resident of Ecuador due to my newly stamped 9-month-waited-for Visa. He then asked me for my Censo (an Ecuadorian ID card required of foreigners but not of citizens). I told him I didn't have it because the entire (expletive) government RAN OUT of the materials (plastic cards) to make them with. SIDE COMMENT: Do you THINK someone/anyone would foresee they were going to run out BEFORE running out and re-order the supplies BEFORE running out? Noooo....thinking ahead is not of the mindset. END SIDE COMMENT. I also informed the IO that my attorney, who specializes in this matter, said once I got my residency Visa I could freely travel...that I do NOT need to have my Censo. I showed the IO copies of the orders for the Censo and Cedula my attorney provided me in case they did ask. Nothing doing. He kept saying "no puede viajar" (you cannot travel). I kept challenging him. He went elsewhere to consult with others (probably about when they were going to lunch) and came back with the same answer. I kept asking for someone who spoke English as this was too important to leave to the possibility of language misunderstandings. Finally, an American Airlines representative came upstairs, but the end result was the same.
The flight was about to leave in 30 minutes. She needed to get my bag off the plane. The IO said I could go to an immigrations office near a mall in
I decided not to do that because my connections in
Soooooo….I told American Airlines to cancel my flight and issue me a refund. I will re-book a trip home to the
After sitting on the floor and waiting 45 minutes, they finally gave me my bag. I checked my bags at a storage kiosk as I didn't want to continue to drag them around all over town. I took a taxi to the American Airlines office. It was 8am, they opened at 9am. Luckily, it was located next to Carolina Park, a very large beautiful park full of jogging paths, playgrounds, soccer fields, tennis courts, large spances of lawns, paddle boat lagoon, basketball courts, bicycle-trick areas, etc etc. I noticed on the ride over, a beautiful display of large hummingbird statues all painted in various designs. I walked over there and took several snaps you'll see below. I also spotted an old airplane over yonder (I love old planes) and took photos of that, too.
After the nice walk, the AA office was open. It basically boiled down to either cancelling the ticket or keeping the ticket to use against a later itinerary, but either way I was going to have to forfeit $200 as a 'penalty' and $75 for a change fee. GEEZ LAWEEZE!!!
Back in a taxi. Back to the airport. I needed to find a flight home to Cuenca. Nothin doin. There are only 3 airlines that fly to CUE and at most, 2 flights a day. They were all booked. The most I could do was physically stand in a line (no standby list) for the 1:45pm flight. I stood for 3 hours. A few people got on, but 5 people in front of me and everyone behind me were toast.
Back in a taxi. Back to my hotel from the night before. Miguel, the owner, was super kind and got me a tiny room for $15. I immediately got online to look for flights the next day. All the first flights out were booked, but the evening flight (6pm) had seats. But, I couldn't reserve them online without a credit card. AAAAGGGHHH!!!! I called George who was house-sitting my place and he obliged to use his card and I paid him back when I returned. With that done, I headed out to Plaza Foch, a well-known party district and enjoyed a nice big burger and 4 glasses of wine (2 fer 1).
The next day, Saturday, I had to kill time between hotel check-out time and the flight at 6pm. I did a lot of waiting on this trip to nowhere!!! No more drama after this. I flew home and in short time I was back in my house as if I had never gone anywhere. Poor guys who were planning on house-sitting for 2 1/2 weeks!!
- Taxi to
airport $5 Cuenca
- Airfare to
- Taxi to hotel in
- Hotel in
- Dinner in
- Taxi to airport in the morning $10 (but it was $6 last night!!!!)
- Taxi to American Airline agency to pay penalty $5
- Baggage storage fee $6
- Penalty for canceling flight $275
- Taxi back to
airport $5 Quito
- Unable to return to
- Taxi back to original hotel $5
- Hotel 2nd night $15
- Dinner $25
- Lunch 2nd day $13
- Taxi to
airport $5 Quito
- Airfare back to
- Taxi back home $4
Enjoy the photos.
|There are approximately 70 of these statues in the park. Including the platform on which they were mounted, they're about 8 feet tall.|
|Ummm....is this supposed to mean the hummingbird is pregnant???|
|Gee, Mom & Dad never bought ME a plane to make a slide in my playground!! Hrrrmmmpph!!!|
|An angry flying Poodle?|