Trip Report - Day 1

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Posted by KATHIE from ( on miércoles, septiembre 17, 2003 at 17:32:12 :

Monday, 9/1/03

I met Murphy today, and his law really tried to kick my butt. He put up a big fight too and tried to knock me out in the first round, but sorry, I’m a first rate contender. I sucker punched Murphy by not over-reacting to his vacation bashing jabs.

Right now I am enjoying the rain from my open air living room area in unit #9 at Villas San Sebastian. I’m here even though we missed our connecting flight because we only had an hour to pass through customs. I was concerned about that and mentioned it to the ticket agent when booking my flight, and she assured me there would be no problem. WRONG. Actually it was really kind of comical when we ran past a window on our way to the gate and my boyfriend, Ron, saw our luggage sitting on the tarmac. He stopped running and asked me (of all people) why our luggage was sitting out there on the ground. Well it kind of dawned on us when we ran past the next window and saw the boarding ramp pulling away from the plane. I hurried over to the check in desk and asked if we were too late for our flight. The Mexicana airline agent assured me that we were. Ron was still asking why our luggage was sitting down there on the ground. I was speechless (which was a good thing because my blood was boiling. All I could remember was the reservations agent telling me one hour would be sufficient and not to worry). We were told to go to AeroMexicana airlines. They had a flight out to Zih in an hour. Since I had never missed a connecting flight before, I didn’t know how it worked. My heart sank because I thought we would be charged for additional tickets, but we weren’t (ha ha Murphy). But we ended up literally running, like O.J., through the airport to get our luggage off the tarmac, get in the ticket line for new tickets and check the tarmac luggage, and get back to the gate in less than an hour. Somehow we made it. In fact we ran up to the gate and while out of breath asked if we were too late. The airline agent looked perplexed and said no. We thanked him so much and ran over to the entrance to the boarding ramp. That rep said something in Spanish to his coworker as he took our tickets, but waved us on. We ran through and down the ramp and onto the plane. It was empty, except for a couple of flight attendants. They looked surprised and were probably wondering why we were running, sweating, and out of breath. Unwittingly we had jumped in front of all the other passengers. And they let us through!! I thought, take that jab Murphy, and he did, but he retaliated with his own left hook. The plane had flies on it. I had never missed a connecting flight and never been on a plane with flies before. They were buzzing around us the entire flight. Ron tried several times to kill them with the flight emergency card, but missed. Everyone was batting at them, but not a single fly was smashed. It was hysterical. That flight brought a new meaning to “fly”.

I had read about some situations that can pop up at the Zih airport, so I was a little bit prepared when we arrived. Someone offered to drive us into town, but wanted to tell us about some property on the way. I knew to stay away from him. Others (so many of them) tried to usher us into their cabs, they didn’t speak English, and I noticed that Ron was hot and getting irritated. I kept smiling and told the cabbies, ‘No gracias’, because we already bought a ticket for the shared ride into town, but it just so happened that none were going to La Ropa, so we ended up getting a private cab for the lesser price anyway.

Some of the areas we drove past looked poverty stricken, and my heart went out to them and beat a little bit faster. The Commercial Mexicana was the first business I saw whereas I recognized the name from reading trip reports. I got excited.

When we reached the road above La Ropa, I must say I don’t know why, but it felt comforting driving past the Hotel Irma, and Hotel Catalina, places I’ve only read about on this board. I felt so much joy when I said, ‘Oh there’s the Hotel Irma’, but got a blank stare from Ron. He was more interested in why the men guarding the construction site had rifles. He asked our taxi driver, but got a blank stare. Take that Murphy!!

Later, we ventured into town on one of the public buses. We were trying to get back to the Commercial Mexicana to shop. Ron asked the bus driver if his bus went there, but received no reply, so we just sat down and rode. When we got into town the bus stopped, and a woman tried to tell us in Spanish to get off the bus. We couldn’t understand her, but I did understand when she said, ‘No go Commercial Mexicana’. Everyone on the bus was staring at us, and the bus driver was waiting patiently, so Ron and I jumped off.

Now, there are smells, and then there are smells. I must admit that parts of Zih are very fragrant. If you’ve been there you know what I mean, if you haven’t been there yet, well when you do get there you’ll quickly find out. As we walked through the food market area we experienced a little culture shock. You can quickly adjust, but if you’re not used to it, it can be a bit of a surprise. But it’s part of the Zih experience, right?

Ron soon wanted to get back to the villa. So did I. We had planned for our first night to be relaxing, especially after such an exciting morning and afternoon.

Anyway, get lost Murphy and take your law with you. Tomorrow is a new day, and the next upper cut is coming from me...

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