Jake Gordon

Argh... Airport, Travel Agency... Argh!!!

24 August 2003

Being the riskay kinda person I am, I thought I’d get in an illegal taxi to the airport in Cuba as well. Mainly because I only just had enough money left, and I wouldn’t have had enough if I’d taken a proper taxi. I had to pretend the woman in the taxi who got out with me was a friend, so the police didn’t think they were a taxi. That was funky.

Now, Cubana’s (Cuban airway) isn’t exactly the same as British Airways. On the way over ot Cuba, I got a Yak 42 - a plane sold to Cuba from Russia, because Russia decided it was too hard to maintain, and pretty dodgy. There were weird air vents on that plane, with smoke eminating from them on landing and take off. But the plane back to Cancun was even better - no big jet engines on this one, just propellers!! ‘Aero Caribbean’ enscribed on the side, with nice big pictures of sand, sun and sea. Not the best air conditioning, everyone having to fan themselves down with the safety instructions. Actually though, the flight wasn’t too bad - appart from a bit of pretty hefty turbulance for a few minutes, but that’s to be expected on any flights. Far better than stories I’ve heard… one guy who had a return to Cuba and refused to go when he saw the Cubana plane. Another who told me about how the captain was smoking in the cabin, then going back into the cockpit and doing some ‘fun’ wing dips rather than going in a straight line. And another person who was half way across the Caribbean sea when one of the propellers cut out, so they had to turn back. I think I was fairly lucky!

Okay, so I get to Cancun airport and I’ve got about an hour and a half to get my bags, get my ticket which is supposed to be waiting for me, and get a connecting flight to Monterrey. Only thing is, with 45 minutes to go before my flight, after having got my bags, I find out that the flipping travel agency doesn’t seem to have sent my tickets there. Damns baffoons! So I have to wait patiently, seeing the time ticking away and ‘boarding’ appear by the plane I’m supposed to be catching. I’m waiting for someone from the agency to bring the ticket to me. Apparently he’s in the building somewhere, but where? Idiot. Finally he comes with the ticket, but like a muppet, he’s about ten minutes late. So I’ve gotta wait another four hours in the bloody airport for a plane which stops off in Mexico city first and doesn’t get me to Monterrey until almost midnight. Oh, yeah, and I’ve gotta pay another $10 to change the time of my flight too. The travel agency guy can’t pay because he doesn’t have any money on me. But he takes down the number of my bank account so he can pay the money into there. Yeah… right.

These things get me pretty pissed off and stressed. Oh yes.

I’m also fuming because I was stupid enough to pay $5 too much to get my tax thingy out of Cuba. Forget to get my change. Idiot.

Anyway, I get a pizza to calm my nerves and get on the plane. Fairly easy journey for the rest of it.

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by Jake Gordon, some rights reserved