Monday, August 16, 2010

Starting the South American Tour

Ok, so my posts are going to be very random, disjointed, and who knows how often I will actually write. Just saying. Thought I would be honest upfront. I thought I would blog about my different adventures after graduation. The first big adventure is the Quidam South American tour with Cirque du Soleil. What an amazing opportunity to say the least!

So traveling to Santiago, Chile where I met up with Quidam was very interesting to say the least. Everything was packed and I arrived at the airport to fly on Air Canada. I couldn't find their ticket counter anywhere! This should have been my first sign of what was to come. I finally ask US Airways where Air Canada was (awkward) and they sent me to United. Apparently Air Canada only has one (ish) flight leaving Richmond airport every day and everything else is operated by United Airlines. Weird. So I check in and they say, "Oh you are one of the sixteen.". Then I say, "I'm sorry? Sixteen what?". "Sixteen passengers on the plane. It's just sixteen passengers, a captain and co-captain." Um WHAT! So I get to the plane and there are 8 rows, with one seat on both sides of the aisle. I could spit (almost) on the captain I was so close to him. Not to mention I couldn't hear my music on my iPOD the entire time I was flying due to the LOOOOUUUUUDDDD noise of the planes propellers twirling outside my window.

Ok. Ok. SO I get to Toronto in one piece...I just wish I had earplugs for the first flight. I walk down a million hallways (at least a mile for sure) until I get to customs and what not to pass through Canada. Things go smoothly. I get to my next terminal early and relax. I get on the plane where we wait about half an hour for a connecting flight. We finally are in the air with nearly 300 passengers this time. So I'm in the middle of the plane on the aisle (1 of 3 seats). To my left, an aisle, to my right, a 4 year old Chinese boy and his mother (I think) to his right on the other aisle. I look around my seat for my blanket and can't find it anywhere. The mother sees I'm looking for my blanket and speaks Chinese to me and hands me a blanket. Um what? I ask "Is this mine?" and she nods her head with more Chinese conversation. Ok whatever. I have dinner on the plane which is not amazing to say the least. I chose to have chicken with a weird noodle and sauce and a brownie (which was good). Meh. So I fiddle around for a bit, watch Diary of a Wimpy Kid on the inflight entertainment and then try to fall asleep. I get a total of 4 hours of sleep maybe 5. During this and even after I wake up and watch Shrek Ever After I am being kicked by the kid beside me as he tosses and turns. And I mean KICKING me in my thigh and waist because he is sprawled out on his seat and across his mother's lap. Rediculous.

Anyways, we arrive in Santiago.... I get off the plane and get my bags. While I waited for my bags, I see several bags entirely wrapped in saran wrap with lots of drug dogs running around the airport....Wow, um this is ensuring.  I stop at AFEX to exchange American Dollars for Chilean Pesos. This marks my first conversation in only Spanish. Lord help me.... I go through immigration, customs, and another screening. I get a taxi (another Spanish conversation) and hop in a taxi to go to my hotel, about 15 minutes away. The entire time during the taxi ride, I'm ensuring that the driver is following the correct directions based on my directions I got from the hotel's website. I didn't want to be taken on a random exit and taken to some random slaughterhouse...It just wasn't on my agenda, at all. During the 15 minute taxi ride, I am talking to my driver in only Spanish for the entire time. I arrive at the hotel and feel very accomplished that I had a conversation in Spanish, yes it was hard to understand and the driver had to repeat a lot to help me understand, but regardless I was impressed. Thank God for Middle School and High School years of Spanish class. I arrive at the hotel (where they all speak English!) and check into my hotel.

More to come later on my adventure...I just got tired of writing today.

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