Saturday, October 29, 2005

28 June 1989

Ok, day 1 of our trip at last.

We leave Brookdale Community College at 6:00 p.m., wondering why 6:00, because our flight doesn't leave JFK until 11:45 p.m. So -- as we are standing in line at 7:30, the gentleman behind us tells us that the flight has been delayed until 2:30 a.m. He is putting his father-in-law on the plane to Guayaquil. Father-in-law did not confirm his ticket, so it was canceled. Son-in-law gave me an 800# to call to see if our tickets had been confirmed. I got a recording every 30 seconds that said an agent would be with me in a moment. I heard that recording 20 times, but finally the phone rang. "Aha!" I thought, "I have broken through the bureaucracy barrier." Well, all I got was, "Our office is now closed. Our hours are. . ." Everyone I spoke with afterwards was really impressed that I had gotten that far. Usually you get a busy signal or no one answers.

Someone said that you could tell the Ecuatoriana Airline line from the American Airline line by the BIG suitcases and the BIG packages. The line was the longest I've ever seen (well, perhaps Star Wars was longer), and everyone had huge packages wrapped in paper, wrapped in cloth, tied with twine, and strapped with tape. Most of the people were dark haired, and there were a few Andean Indians with high, sharp cheekbones and aqualine noses.

Anyway, I guess it was good that we arrived at the airport so early. I have a feeling that they take the first few hundred people and then cut the line off -- even if you have a ticket!


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