Okay, let’s wrap this tale up as it doesn’t seem to hold anyone’s attention. My final stretch in my trip to Aruba couldn’t be less anticlimactic and unexciting.
I arrived to Maiquetia (Caracas’ airport) sometime around 4:50 PM (yeah, I wasn’t paying attention to time at the moment; just feeling an immense relief from finally arriving alive at the airport without any bullet holes). My first task at hand was to locate a place to crash for the next ten hours, the most direct route to a safe, drinkable water supply and an even safer route to the restroom.
Wonder of wonders; I found a nice spot to sit… but unfortunately the airport’s air conditioning was working at full blast, lowering the air temperature to something little less than 50°F, which for someone as me (used to temperatures bordering the 110s) was murderously cold. So I spent the best part of the next 10 hours freezing my butt off, in constant fear that the next time I stood up my ass would remain glued to my seat.
Time passed and with it the night. At 3 AM I went to the Imbecile Airlines check-in desk (as I fondly call the guys who supposedly would fly me to Aruba) and I already met a 20-people long queue in place there. Which is cool, as I was expecting that; the problem was that the clerks running the desk didn’t show up until it was nearly 4 AM. Sigh.
And these were the same idiots who endearingly urged me to show up at 3 AM to check in- Double sigh. Well, check in went okay (hurrah!) but there was a small issue with the airport tax; the thugs-in-charge of my country’s government had decided a month earlier that the airport tax fee should be raised unilaterally and I still owed 200 bolivars… which I grudgingly paid just to move on.
See? I told you the money I earned scavenging cans back in Caracas would come in handy. I felt so smuuuug at the moment that day. *chuckles*
Well, I got my boarding pass, went through airport security (which is about 45-particularly-humiliating-minutes-long in my home country) and finally made it to the boarding area. There, my butt kept freezing for the next hour, half expecting a flood, earthquake or an Act of God to stop me in my tracks to meet Kathryn again.
At 7 AM I boarded my plane without any incidents (save for the strange looking guy who occasionally unglued his eyes from the smartphone he was using to check weird videos online) and let out a sigh of relief when I finally got to my seat.
There’s not much left to tell you about this small odyssey; flight took off on schedule, arrived the same to Aruba. I went through a more decent immigration procedure (just filling a visitor’s card that looked more like those warranty cards you found inside a VCR box in the past) and then I felt the urge to use the nearest restroom.
I was floored the moment I opened the door of the men’s room at the Queen Beatrix’ Airport; gaudy neon yellow wash sinks with junglish and tropical touches decorating the walls. I’ll spare you my description of the toilet bowl (I couldn’t help but take a picture of the sinks after I recovered my breath; yeah, the pervert you see reflected in a corner of the mirror is me).
I made it.
Civilization at last!