There’s an unwritten corollary to Murphy’s Law that states that the chances of something going completely belly-up is directly proportional to its significance (and this trip to meet Kathryn at Curacao is very important as to see if she can put up with the budding horns growing on my forehead and my smell of sulphur). And another unwritten corollary says that if you come from my home country, these possibilities are raised to the power of X times any subject’s given value.
I solved (sort of) the matter of printing my flight information and my insurance voucher (for those of you not versed in the matters of my country, there’s a resolution from the Ministry of Tourism that says I won’t be allowed to board any plane without showing proof of travel insurance) by having a friend print it all out for me.
But that was just the first of a long series of hurdles I still have to face.
Of late, I was having issues getting online access to my itinerary on the airline’s website (which, BTW, has such a poor rating that I’m of two minds in my choices of boarding that plane or swimming my way to that tropical island). Seems this particular airline has been revamping their website recently, and apparently it has commissioned its design to Munchkins on methadone; I get tons of 404 errors while trying to access information in web pages I just loaded in my browser, and this organization is probably outsourcing the online access to reservation details to a web services company in Thala Kampell (a small unheard-of-country in the Himalayan Tibet, sandwiched someplace between Nepal and India) for, on every occasion I tried to input my booking reference or e-ticket numbers, it constantly spewed back that my name is invalid or void.
Of course, after an entire weekend tearing at what little of my hair remains (and dealing with the existential problem of being told by a Thala Kampellian computer that I don’t exist) I decided to contact the airline offices in Caracas. Of course, the only one of their local phone numbers that I noticed was buried under one of those 404 Page Not Found errors. I consulted the local Online Yellow Pages. Yep.. another phone number… this one completely outdated.
Of course, it doesn’t help either when you only have access to a phone service that seems to have been designed by Alexander Graham Bell… last week. My phone (which is just a cell phone masquerading as a regular phone) doesn’t work if there’s no electric power, takes no incoming phone calls and most communications are garbled with a nasty feedback echo of your own voice that makes everything hard to understand.
Time for a plan B.
I chatted with Kathryn today and told her of my issues, warning her that she should take over if I didn’t make any progress (we’re sort of a Online Tag Team from Hell, you know). Luckily, I managed to find a working phone number and I spent almost an hour explaining my problem to a mindless drone who thought I had an Industrial Blender working in the other room (which is the way the phone sounded to me on my side of the line). This person had a slow, monotonous drawl that made me suppose he reads Excel spreadsheets as bedside stories for his kids (though, truth be told, is anyone’s guess if this guy has ever got a chance to reproduce with that voice).
Well, after an hour of that, I was passed to a supervisor, who apparently seemed more interested in cursing me in Swahili than solving my problem. However, I was able to resolve this mix up on my own (I guess) in the end.
Now, to tackle the next hurdle.
Which involves taking a (gulp!) bus to Caracas…