October 19, 2006
I had to get up at some ungodly hour today to catch my flight. I wanted to make it to the airport in plenty of time in case an airline employee made me buy a return ticket to the US like last time. When I flew to Lima last year, I only had a one-way ticket, so I was forced to buy a return ticket for big bucks just in case the Peruvian immigration asked how I was going to get home. I got a refundable ticket and canceled it as soon as I got to Lima, but it still was a major hassle. This time around, I bought a round trip ticket from Ecuador to Miami and back, so I could've had the same dilemma. Luckily, nobody at the airline seemed to notice the discrepancy and I was on my way.
My flights to Panama City and Guayaquil were uneventful other than the vomiting guy in the row across from me on my first flight. He wretched every thirty seconds or so for a good ten minutes before calling it quits. By the end, he was gurgling and I began to wonder if we would have enough puke bags for him. Everyone within three rows of him gladly gave up their own bags in hopes of not catching site of the vile fluids that he was expelling. In the end, I think he was OK, but the rest of us had a hard time with our meals. And for the record, it was one of the smoothest flights I've ever been on, so something was seriously wrong with the poor guy.
When I got to Guayaquil, I got through customs with no problems. They didn't care one bit that I didn't have a ticket out of the country. It was so quick and easy I could hardly believe it. It's too bad more Americans don't travel because we really get treated like royalty in other countries. Entering the US is ten times more difficult even for US citizens, let alone for foreigners.
After leaving the airport, I found a place to stay, unpacked, and thought of all of the great things I would do here. I spent less than a day here two months ago before flying to Miami, but I never left spitting distance of the airport because of my impending flight. My intention this time around was to go out and explore the city, but I just didn't have it in me. I was too tired (not jet lagged: Ecuador runs on Central Daylight Time) to do anything. Figuring out the logistics of my trip will have to wait until tomorrow.