Saturday, February 03, 2007

Back Travelling - Brasil

Day starts at 6.15 am with that stupid alarm. I don't even think it was light out yet. I got a whopping 4 hours of sleep (or so). Oh well, I can always sleep on the plane. The cab ride to the airport was ... um ... interesting. The cabbie grew up in a Quaker family without any joy. They maybe smiled 3 times in 20 years. It was an interesting start to the day. How do I find these people? I really just wanted to sleep. 06.15 is not really a reasonable time to get up, I mean come on. Who really wants to get up early?

I met Jeff at SFO and gave him his passport. Why is it that whenever one travels, crazy things must happen? At least there were no bomb scares (like at BWI) or bombs going off (Paris-CDG) this time. I was able to upgrade to business class for the longer trip to Sao Paulo. That made the trip much nicer. We get to Dulles. It was weird to be back in the DC area. I hadn't been back for over a year. Though, I only saw the airport. We touched down 15 minutes early. That must have taken an act of Congress for United to do that. Of course, they still managed to be over 30 minutes as we sat on the taxiway for over 50 minutes waiting for a gate. We had to rush to scarf down a Wendy's sandwich and get on the plane. That was lunch at 6pm. Then we had dinner a few hours later on the way to Sao Paulo.

Got to see a pretty awesome sunrise at 33000 feet over the Atlantic. Except he who can always sleep on planes, couldn't sleep much. Even though I only had about 4 hours the night before. Great, that means jet lag is gonna suck.

We get in to GRU. Walk a long way, wait in line for passport control for about an hour. Our 2+ hour connection time just got a lot tighter. Then we wait in line for another 15-30 minutes to hand in a little piece of paper that says we've got nothing. Oh joy. Even less time to make a connection. Now we get to wait in another line for 15-30 minutes to check in. By this time they were already boarding the plane. Pretty stupid to tempt Murphy, I know, but I mentioned to Jeff that I had never missed a flight in all my other travels. The boarding pass says go to gate 3, which is also what the attendant said. We get to gait 3. Thankfully the security line was reasonably short. The airplane leaving gate 3 is going somewhere else. The guy was nice and told us to go to gate 5. We did get on the plane around the time it was supposed to leave. There were a bunch of other people that got on behind us, so it wasn't that close.

This is a pretty bad introduction to a country. Get up at 2am, fly for about 24 hours, wait in line for another couple of hours and almost miss the connection. At least I had been to Rio before. I don't remember any issues like that. Maybe Sao Paulo airport just sucks.

Everything else went pretty well. The airport is a long way from the city center. It's a really beautiful ride through the countryside to get downtown. I slept for a little on the plane trips, but probably less than 2 hours. Kinda tired. Travelling sucks, but man is it fun to be travelling again. :-)

Oh, we managed to get a second hotel booked. We didn't find that out until after we had already checked in the first hotel. This is gonna be interesting to see what happens. Got some good news about Testing on the Toilet doing well. But I already knew that. :-) Mail is down, but still have more to catch up on. :-(

We walk around the city for a couple of hours. There's not a ton to see here, but it's nice. Had an awesome burger for lunch! It's been 36 hours since I started, still not tired, but I gotta try to go to sleep. It's 2300 here. Good night!

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