Apart from saying goodbye to mom & sister at the airport, Rochester to JFK was obviously the easy part of the excursion. After a quick flight via JetBlue I grabbed my bags and headed over to a different terminal to check in at Mexicana Airlines. Side note: I hate lugging bags around anywhere. As soon as I set my bags down to check in the lady at the front counter asked for my visa to Argentina (aka my biggest fear about the trip). Luckily, she was corrected immediately by another lady saying that it wasn’t necessary anymore. Regardless of the time frame, my heart was already in my throat and sweating profusely for the next 15 minutes was inevitable. I was then advised to go buy 2 TSA approved locks for my bags because they tend to get “looked through” in Mexico City. I wasn’t about to call her bluff. So, $26 bucks later I found myself with 3 stewardesses, a security guard and 2 other passengers trying to figure out how to set the lock on the damn things. Finally, with bags secured and packed away I met my friends Stacy and Adrienne for some beers before the flight.
As I came down the tunnel to board I noticed a monster of a man wearing an immigrations (ICE) badge and a stewardess standing over my black duffle bag at the plane entrance. Commence sweating. Turns out my bag was vibrating as they loaded it, so they brought it up for me to inspect (in front of everyone getting on the plane). As anti-climatic as this is, it was only my electric razor that somehow turned on and nothing freaky… sorry. Also, the ICE agent wasn’t even there for me. He was making sure some people stayed on the plane that were being exported.
The ride to Mexico City was hot, had bad food, didn’t understand anyone, blah, blah, blah. It was bearable. We got to Mexico City at about 5:30am and along with being tired and dehydrated the airport was like a mouse maze. It had really low ceilings and a lot of narrow passages lined with sombrero hat shops.
The flight from Mexico City to Buenos Aires was much better. The food was good, the plane was bigger, I got some sleep and tried to rehydrate. The only bad part about that leg of the trip really was watching “My Sister’s Keeper” with Cameron Diaz. It was really sad! Although I didn’t understand the mexican guy next to me I think we almost embraced towards the end of the movie.
Arriving in Argentina was surprisingly simple. I went through the passport check without a hitch and I didn’t have to show my return ferry ticket. My bags were 2 of the first out of baggage claim. I slid them through another security check (‘customs’) without any questions and walked towards the cab stands. The cab process was also surprisingly easy. I payed the ‘official’ cab company a flat $98 pesos (around U$S 35) and someone came, grabbed my bags and drove me to my hostel (about 25 minutes away).
Once I got to the hostel their was a minor mix-up because the ‘suites’ that I was staying in weren’t in the same building as the one from the picture. Despite the minor mix-up I found my hostel and checked-in without a problem. However, when I went to plug in my computer to check emails I plugged my computer, into a surge protecter, into the power adaptor, into the wall and I blew out the power in the entire hostel, Oops! The bright side was that it gave me a chance to meet everyone in the hostel. Lo Siento, Lo Siento!
As I crept back into my dark room feeling like I had a pretty successful day until that point, I thought I better quit while I was ahead and get some sleep! Buenas Noches.
WORDS OF WISDOM: Buy luggage locks in advance, don’t use a surge protector in a hostel and get the pasta not the chicken whenever flying. Also, drink lots of water.