Sunday, 29 July 2012

Living the Life

       The Fun of Taking a Trip to Guayaquil on a Friday         

       We had to take a trip to Guayaquil  on Friday since the electrician finished his work only on Thursday and I did not want to wait any longer to change my reservations to New York in late August.        
       So, first mistake was to leave from Salinas at 9a. I am not an early morning person, so getting up early is not easy for me. So, to save some time, we took a taxi from Salinas to the airport in Guayaquil.  The taxi driver was slow to begin with (not good).  So, first we had a bite to eat there , and then we went to the LAN office and wanted to change the date on my reservations.  Well, you think this would be simple. Are you kidding?  We wanted to use our original return trip reservations from New York to San Francisco as a credit, but that was not possible.  Since Jodie is not even returning to the States, we wanted to use her original reservations as a credit toward my new reservation, but that was not possible, either.  So, to make a long story short, we did get a partial refund for cancelling Jodie’s original flight and I had to pay an extra amount for the difference in ticket price from Guayaquil to New York.  Okay, that entire transaction took about 1 ½ hours.  Then, we went by taxi to the Mall del Sol, where we had to apply for Jodie’s refund at the LAN office at the mall. The first time we showed up, they stated their system was down, and to come back in 1-2 hours.  So, we had lunch at the food court there. 

         Mind you, it is July 27th, they have on the opening ceremonies for the Olympics in London on the gigantic TV screen, and everybody and his brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, moms, dads, BFFs, grandparents, etc. were there.  You think they were giving away food with the amount of people that were there. And this was a HUGE food court!  So, we ate our lunch, which was , by the way, delicious and we then went back to LAN. The system was up (yeah) and so we spent about  one hour there since we had to wait to be called with our number.  So that is taken care of. 

           Then we decided to do a little shopping at the Mega Maxi and window shopping since I had not been at his mall before.  Then we got a taxi to the bus station since we wanted to get a bus back to Salinas to save some money.   Oooohhh!  Wrong decision again.  The line for Salinas at the bus station was very long.  But we said, ”It should not be too long a wait.”  So we waited.  In that amount  of time, we told 2 women and 1 man to get to the back of the line. They were trying to push ahead of others and us.  The Ecuadorians in the line did not seem to be bothered by this.  But I , being a New Yorker, definitely was!  All 3 of them went to the back of the line. I guess they did not want to contend with me! About 2 hours later, we paid for our tickets and then tried to get on the bus that pulled in.  We tried to sit in the seats that were assigned to us(yes, they assign seats here as these buses are filled to capacity). We found 2 others sitting in our seats, and told them that these were our seats. These people did not speak any English.  We could not understand them, either.  So, a security guy told us ,in broken English, that this was not our bus. Our bus was no. 35 and this was bus no. 9, which was not on the front of the bus that we could see.  So, we had to get off this bus with our belongings, and wait for the next bus. 

The Mall
Crowd waiting to buy tickets

Who knows how long that would take!
           By this time, we were on our very last nerve.  While Jodie was seething, I chanted “Nam myoho renge kyo”, my Buddhist chant, to let the next bus come quickly.   We were both quite exhausted, and  had let loose with some pretty foul language.  If this had been in New York, there would have been a riot and some people would have gotten seriously injured. But, these Ecuadorians were quite tranquil.  A few raised voices was all they did to complain.  Even the security guy told Jodie when she lost it to be ‘tranquilo’.  Yeah, my chanting paid off as the next bus showed up within 5 minutes. We got on the bus to our assigned seats. The seats were comfortable, the a/c was on just right, and we settled back for our trip to Salinas.  It took a while to leave the outskirts of Guayaquil because of the traffic, but we finally made it safely back to Salinas at 8:40p.  Well, we learned some things on this trip.  First, do not travel to Guayaquil on a Friday . Leave earlier in the morning next time.  Also, if things get too overwhelming and seem hopeless, either pray or chant or go to your spiritual side for answers.    Ciao!