Thursday, March 6, 2008

Peru -- Day 1 + The Flight

It's Thursday. I'm in Peru. I've already taken 60 pictures (edited down to 30). I'm eating fresh fish, fresh fruit, and probably anything else starting with the letter "f".

As mentioned in my last post, I don't like to fly. I'm rather subtle about expressing myself, so you may not have picked up on it in my last post unless you read between the lines. (Note, this is called sarcasm.)

There was a big snowstorm in Toronto from Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Luckily, my flight left in the afternoon, so there was no delays due to the weather. Oh, there WERE delays, but not because of the snow.

As everyone settled in their seats, the flight crew wandered about, making sure people were stowing their carry-ons properly. Well this seemed to be a surprise to one lady sitting across from me who insisted on keeping her bag at her feet. Of course, the steward was equally insistent on the bag being stowed properly. In fact, he discovered that the bag was too big to be considered for carry-on and it had to go with the rest of the luggage. Needless to say, the lady was not amused and didn't want it to leave. The steward pointed out that either the bag goes with the luggage, or she's more than welcome to disembark with her carry-on and try another flight. She chose to put the carry-on with the luggage.

We're now 10 minutes late.

They close the door and start to go through all the announcements about safety (i.e. if the plane blows up, try to hold your breath because there's no oxygen at 37,000 feet) and the lady flags down the steward and says she needs her passport number to fill out the customs form. Her passport is in her carry-on...with the luggage. It was neat as I almost witnessed a member of the flight crew almost strangle a passenger.

They went and retrieved her bag, she got her passport, they took her bag back to beneath the plane and shut the door again. We were now 25 minutes late. The joys of flying.

Ultimately, the flight itself was a boring 8 hours. There were 3 movies of no consequence. Dinner consisted of rice with a "chicken-like" substance with sauce, and shredded carrots au jus. There seemed to be some sort of dessert, though I wasn't able to identify it. I can tell you it had raisins in it...or really shrivelled grapes.

My biggest concern, as always, is the customs agent. I never know what they're going to ask or how they're going to treat me. What if they think I'm hesitating? What if they think my big nose is a sign I'm lying? In this case, it was even more nerve-wracking since their native language was not english and mine was not spanish.

I believe the encounter went something like this:
Customs agent: "Ola"
Me: "Hello"
Customs agent takes passport. *Stamp* "Gracias"
Me: Stares

So here I am. The weather is nice, the food is amazing and the traffic is more chaotic than any video game you can imagine...seriously. As I mentioned, I've taken 60 pics so far with about 30 of them having any merit (to be edited later). One that I had to share right away was a shoe store they have at a mall here. I'm really hoping they understood the play-on-words. See below. I'll try to post occasionally while on my vacation. Pics to follow afterwards. Ciao, baby.

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