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June 15, 2007

keep holding them...

Ok, so now we have Tanzania.
I had worked out the visa and an airport shuttle before going through my volunteer group. When I landed, no visa and no shuttle. The visa should be no problem because I just need to pay $50 usd and Im good to go. Well, I didnt have cash but I had one travellers check left plus $3 randomly so I figured it would cover the transaction cost but I was wrong. I was only going to get back $35 worth which was no good. I looked for an ATM-none. So, there I stood in the middle of the now deserted airport with:
-no airport shuttle
-no visa to leave the airport
-no way to get money
-no way to pay to use internet to email/find a phone number of someone to call

given the situation, I did what any traveler would do: I brought out the waterworks.

I was so frustrated from the past few days, tired from lack of sleep and just couldnt think clearly. Luckily, the bank lady was super sweet and felt bad that i was now crying, alone, in the middle of an airport on the otherside of the world from home. she lent me the money for a visa and arranged a cab to take me into town to an ATM who then brought the money i owed back to her. no worries, right? wrong. again i didnt have the address (apparently that would be a super thing to write down and carry along with u)

but anyways, Im in Africa! Hakuna Mata!

Hold on to your hats...

In a country where:
-I was inapproprately grabbed numerous times
-got a tuk-tuk driver who refused to take me where i wanted to go and then tried charging me a rediculous
amount when I got out
-was unable to walk certain areas and roads becaus they were blocked off by army personel (one area was,
ironically, Liberty Plaza)
-I left my hostel only to be greeted by a mob of protesters and police
-I got bed bugs
-I was able to wipe off a layer of dirt from my face that accumulated just from walking around

all I wanted to do was leave Colombo. My plans got spoiled when I was bumped from my flight, causing me to spend another night there when I already had a hostel and airport shuttle booked in India. I called the hostel to tell them I was coming in the next day at 5pm, but Sri Lankan airlines wouldn't give me any details about the flight-they said they'd give a wake up call in the morning that would give me plenty of time to get my stuff together and they would have a taxi waiting to take me to the airport (it felt like i was on some covert-op). Nonetheless, it ended up that I had a stopover in Chennai, India. when i went to check in for the next leg of the journey, the airline informed me that no booking was ever made and the flight was full. at this point i started asking around to see what all was in Chennai for me to do and was not getting any positive feedback. Luckily, one person didnt show up so I made it on the plane. However, now i was coming in on a domestic flight whle my airport pickup was at the international terminal. then, I didnt have the address of the hostel written down which just complicated things more.

no worries tho, i did finally make it to Delhi!

June 7, 2007

Chok dee! (cheers!)

i know u thought u cuold ship me off to southeast asia and get rid of me, but no such luck! ive been riding elephants, rock climbing, and seeing the island that the leo dicapprio movie 'beaches' was filmed at, along with riding in tuk-tuks and being attacked by evil monkeys at teh Batu Caves. ill be leavin malaysia tomorrow morning and headin into singapore where i have to take my chances with their corporal punishment (yikes!) wish me luck!!