Sunday, November 19, 2006
It could only happen to me - Part One
I knew my trip was gonna be most interesting since it got off to kind of a weird start. At 4 AM, I had called a cab to take me from my apartment in Vancouver to the airport. As it was waiting downstairs, I lugged my suitcase out from my room and waited for the elevator. It normally doesn't take too long since I am only on the third floor, which was why I found it odd that minutes passed and it hadn't arrived. Instead, I could hear it opening and closing on each floor...both of the elevators were doing this. Now, if you have been to my place, you'll know that my elevators are fucked and that they tend to open up while it's in motion or perhaps it will stop between floors while you contemplate jumping down onto the floor below. Visions of the elevator scene in Speed will flash through your head.
Anyhoo, the elevator eventually did open on my floor. I pressed the button for the lobby and what does the blasted machine do? It takes me all the way up to the 10th floor. The door opens, no one is there, the door closes...and then proceeds to stop on every floor on the way down, for no apparent reason. By now I am panicking about missing my cab in my half-asleep state (you try getting up at 3:15 AM, it ain't easy).
So yeah. Not a good start.
I should also mention that I purposely left my debit card at home because I had to leave the money in my account for the mortgage to come out of. I also only had a tiny bit of Canadian cash and a few American dollars. I brought two visa cards with me, with enough money on them.
And I thought my parents were meeting me at the airport. Even though, we never discussed this. To be fair, the only times I had spoken to my parents were in short 5 minute intervals over the last few weeks because they only had a satellite phone. And, I'll get more into this later, satellite phones are useless pieces of crap. The last I talked to my parents was the day before I was leaving.
My mother said (in a crackly tone...the phone was crackly, not her)"When does your flight get in?"
I say "Hold on, let me check."
She says "crackle crackle crackle dial-tone."
I say "Aw shit her phone just died. Oh, well she'll call back."
And she never did. So, I was faced with a overall feeling of unease about how ill-planned this thing was. That my mother didn't know when my flight was coming in (though, I figured, they do have a satellite phone and could find out) and that my parents were sailing down to Cabo, which isn't as reliable, as say driving. But then again, as I have found out time and time again, Mexico itself isn't reliable.
If Mexico had a catchphrase it would be "Come to Mexico. The only rule is there are no rules!"
Yes, so anyway. I get on my flight, fly to Seattle, sleep in the airport for a few hours, spend my American and Canadian dollars and then get on the plane to Cabo San Lucas.
Seeing the clear, azure waters and white sand beaches flanking the Baja got me feeling a little more excited and upbeat (it's hard to be excited when you are uneasy and sleep deprived).
I land at the Los Cabos airport. I made it through customs (you push a button and if it gives you a green light you walk through, if it gives you a red light, they search your bags. All completely random and luckily I did get the green light) and then walk out into the hot (um, try 89 degrees Farenheit), balmy air.
Not seeing my parents anywhere, I pull up my luggage and sit on it. I watch the families and young couples trying to negotiate rides into town. I watch the timeshare salespeople walk around and try and suck in unsuspecting tourists. I watch for anyone resembling my parents to show up.
I did this for about an hour. The Mexicans doing their timeshares were enquiring about what the hell I was doing sitting there. Finally I decided to fuck all this and get a cab into town. I at least knew that I had a hotel room and that my parents were probably there and didn't come to get me because they were unsure of when my flight arrived.
Apparently though you can't just get a cab but you have to book a shuttle bus or van through a ticket person in the airport. It cost 140 Pesos (or 14USD).
I plunk over my credit card to them. Nope, they don't take credit cards.
I try and explain I have no cash. They say there is an ATM in the departures terminal next door as well as a currency exchange. I remembered that in Europe I was able to extract cash from my Visa by using currency exchange, so I scoot on over there.
The woman behind the counter tells me that they don't accept credit cards. She points me to the ATM, the only one in the airport. Well, maybe I can get cash outta my visa this way.
Nope. ATM machine is broken.
"Hmmmm" I think to myself "I am fucked."
I head back over the ticket people and explain my situation. Apparently no taxi accepts credit cards here, only cash. If I don't have cash, I can't get into town.
So I pull up my suitcase, sit on it and stare at the road. Apparently, I can't get into town.
"Oh well," I think to myself while trying to hide my panic behind my sunglasses, "Maybe if I sit here long enough my parents will have to come and get me."
Great idea, only little did I know, my parents weren't even in Cabo San Luca yet. They were somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. And it's a big Ocean.
To be continued.....
I've been getting a lot of comment spam and it's getting to be such a pain in the ass to take care that I've switched it so you can't comment anonymously. I will see if this works. If it doesn't, I'm going to have to moderate my comments, at least until I have steady access to the internet. That way my comment section won't be overrun by ads for penis enlargers. So, please comment as usual and I'll approve it when I can. When I return home, I hope everything gets back to normal. Whatever "normal" is.