November 12. I am tired, I am exhausted. My visit to the USA turned out nothing like expected. OK, better to say it - as planned. A good lesson in planning in the future.
I must say though, that usually things work out pretty close to what I expect.
For the peace of mind, I left Old Bridge a day earlier. Slept one night at the airport. La Guardia is definitely a good place to sleep! Not recommended.
I had a cheap one way flight with Spirit Air to Managua - $129, plus $30 for my bag. That's incredibly cheap! I am checking in, and they tell me that I must have a return ticket or an onward ticket
from Nicaragua, or they will not let me board. Until now, unheard of! So I go on line, try to find a Tica bus ticket out of Nicaragua. No luck.
They don't have this section developed. So I search for cheap arilines. Wow... I end up buying a plane ticket from Managua to Liberia, Costa Rica. Almost $200.
Now the Spirit will fly me. I am boarding the flight again, and they tell me that because of the weather, my flight will not make it to connect with another flight taking me from
Florida to Nicaragua. Next flight? In one week. What!?! I can't do that, sleep the whole week at the airport! So I am telling them OK, I will take this flight and wait the week in Florida.
At least it's warm there, and cheaper. I have been spending money like crazy at the airport here. Everything is incredibly expensive, including internet for which you have to pay.
You get free internet in those 'developing' countries, but you have to pay through your nose in the 'developed' country. I guess that's hoiw they make their money. Cheap bastards.
OK. Back to my flght. So I will fly and chill in Florida. Suddenly great news - they can board me on an earlier flight, this way I will connect with my flight in Florida and
make to to Managua tonight. Awesome! I check in my bag, get the boarding pass.
Happy, I am waiting with all the rest of the crowd at my gate. Waiting. Some people are already boarding, then getting off. They have some mechanical issues. It will take half an hour
and we will be on our way. Time passes, and then comes the big announcement - the flight is cancelled. Thank you. The Spirit Air workers behave like they don't give a damn.
Actually, they look like they are having fun, in no hurry to assist anyone. Being apologetic and sorry does not exist in their dictionary.
Lots of pissed off people. I am calm, as calm as a person who gave up. About one hour waiting in line, perhaps longer, and I am am getting the news. The next possible flight is
in one week. Thank you. I already know it. I am getting my refund and go to pick up my bag.
Now what... I am stuck right now with the Managua to Liberia ticket! $200 bucks! I am going to research other Managua flights.
I hop online. Delta, one way - $450. In desperation, I go for it. I just want to be out of here, out of the cold and outr of this country.
More back and forth running to Spirit. I heard they could give me a meal voucher. I ask fo it, get $7 worth of piece of paper. What a joke. And they don't even inform you about it.
I go to spent it. On the way I meet a couple whom I seen around also trying to leave the good USA. They tell me that the refund ticket has a code on it and I will be able to use it for
a free return flight with Spirit Air within a year. Surprise. Hope I will be able to use it. I definitely deserve this, but somehow I am expecting it to be some sort of gimmick with
limited availability rendering it basically useless. Will see in the future.
So, I came all the way to La Guardia Airport, wchich from New Jersey adds up, just to spend a $100 on food and internet here,
buy a useless $200 ticket to Liberia (through San Jose!!!), and buy a $450 ticket to Managua from this time - Newark. It means, going sort of back from New York to New Jersey.
Awesome. Plus, of course, it cost me a 100 buckes to get from MOntreal to New Jersey.
Another gossip I just heard - Spirit will issue a transportation voucher. It's almost midnight, and I run to see if any of those people are still around. Yes!
Gibe me a transportation voucher to Newark! Nope, can't do it. Why? Because you - I - cancelled the flight. Whaaat!?! Who canceleld? You or me? They have seen
me at their counter at least 6 times over the past couple days, adn they know my face very well. I get the voucher and a taxi takes me to Newark.
Newark. I am looking for a place to sleep. No easy. Just as bad as La Guardia. The place is empty! I spread my sleeping bag on the stone floor behing a row of chairs, which
you can't use for sleeping because the arm rests are fixed. Good night.
Morning, November 13. Early wake up call, the place become slowly alive. There is a bird which came to tell me good morning. Where did it come from?
There is no open space to the outside anywhere close. The gray sat on the rail just a couple meters from me and looks at me. I look at him. I think it's him.
He's been hanginfg around for at least 20 minutes, and when I finally started getting up, flew away. A mystery. Maybe that's one of my grandparents ;)
I walk around, eat, have a coffee, check internet. I am like a ghost. Travel from Montreal, two weeks of cold and darkness in New Jersey, three days at the airport,
loosing so much money before I even startede traveling. Not a good feeling. Sometimes I even get pissed off with myself. Why, oh why did I do it.
So here I am, sitting now looking at the clock again. Only two hours left, and I can't even get excited. I wish I would be flying to Asia or somewhere far away, 14 hours so i can just
sleep and think of nothing. I need that gap between the past, and the future. 14 hours on a plane would have been a comfortable present.
And true to the fact, I paid enough to haev that flight. I spent even more than needed! Originaly I wanted to fly to Asia. I chose Central America because it's cheaper. Plus
I got excited about the New Jersey visit. All that cost me almost an extra thousand dollars. Not worth it. But it time to let it go now.