Starting with the day I purchased my flight ticket to visit NOB, I had been apprehensive about the flight. Everyday I would recall what Steve said once in his blog, "Flying is the pennance we pay for a nice vacation." And I believed it, what with all the security measures and stories I have heard of just downright mean checkpoint people.
So last Thursday I was prepared for a day from hell. But it never came! My biggest complaint would have to be that the cashier at the Ultramar ferry could not cash a 200 peso note at 6:30 AM. I resented giving up my smaller bills, but I needed that ticket if I was to get off the island and be on my way!
My taxi was waiting on the other side and I climbed in and we were off. He didn't even argue with me when I paid him the posted rate of 270 pesos! But then came another minor glinch. The Immigration office at Terminal 2 was closed. No inidication of when or if it were ever going to open again. Something I just don't understand is why, as a valid FM3 holder, I have to go to Immigration at the airport and obtain an exit visa? Why can't they just stamp my FM3 that I am leaving or something? So I hung around for awhile and then decided F it. I took the shuttle to Terminal 3 where my flight check-in was and got in line. I had no problem checking in but she wouldn't give me a boarding pass until I had the freaking exit visa. Voila! There is now an Immigration office in Terminal 3! And it was open! The guy manning the office couldn't have been nicer. Back to the front of the line, got my boarding pass and had 1.5 hours of smoking time before I had to get to my gate. Sweet!
My flight landed in Memphis where we had to exit the plane, go through Immigration, collect our luggage, recheck it and get back to our assigned gate. No problems! It all went so smoothly and the people were all so polite, I could hardly believe it! Back onto the plane and it what seemed like no time at all, we were descending into Minneapolis. I do have to say I was a bit disgusted in Memphis about one thing. I was dying for a Three Musketeer candy bar. But they wanted $4.40 USD for it! Hey, I'm not quite as stupid as I look so I left it there.
My ride was waiting at Baggage Claim as promised and off we went. Finally back in the land I know and love! If it just didn't get so damn cold here in the winter!
And hey, I did end up with a nice car to drive, even though I was promised an economy car. It remains to be seen what kind of gas mileage it gets. At $3.60 a gallon, I hope it is good!