It´s a curse and a blessing at the same time; travelling blond.
Out of the 21 people waiting in front of me at customs for the holy stamp that refunds your tax, I was the only one selected to display all the items I had purchased. A curse? Yes. Why? Always me.
Always? No. The customs attendant was female – and this is when blond becomes a curse, when the “opposite side” is female (at least in any Latin-related country). If you haven´t been to Ezeiza, the airport in Buenos Aires, I could tell you that customs there is a rather public matter. You are not brought into a separate room to let them check your goods, nope, in between check in counter 76 and 73 you´ll find the customs. It is actually a check-in counter renamed “Adeana”.
And if the customs want to see your purchases you have to open your bag on your side of the counter, hand it over to the bitch who searches the “made in Argentina”-tag. Tango shoes – ok, clothing – ok, but then every single lingerie item I had bought too?
And there the string went over the counter. Blush. And a bra. Blushing more, and another bra. AT least all the hungry eyes of bored co-travellers who´d lined up in kilometre long check-in lines were pleased. At the end of the public bag x-raying I got all my stamps – ha. No cheating, hence Blond vs Bitch, 1:0.
After the stamp collection I had to repack my 32 kilos of luggage. And yes, that’s 9 kilos excess weight when travelling Air France. Whops. However, now the blessings began
The man that coordinated the check-in queues had observed me at customs (just as everybody else) and he let me pass through to the business class check in. Economy check-in: LONG waiting time. Business class check-in: NO waiting time. 2:0
The young man at the counter was so happy to see me he forgot everything about excess weight. 3:0 He also called for another guy to “assist” me all the way to tax refunds – and so I didn´t have to bother carrying my excess weight hand luggage. 4:0
At migration I had to wait like everybody else – 50 minutes or so – that was boring. I needed a coffee thereafter and as I found out at the cashier I didn´t have enough change, the barista blinked at me and said “buen viaje” the moment he placed the paper cup in my hand. Gracias. 5:0
Boarding opened and the young man from check-in remembered me and let me and all my hand luggage board first with all the small ones and their exhausted parents. 6:0. A French guy stored my heavy hand luggage in the gloves department, 7:0, and right now I sit at 41L looking at a beautiful sky over Uruguay, the moon is about to take over the main role on the sky stage and the champagne is very tasty. 8:0
Grateful. Travelling blond rocks!
PS: I actually made it 12:0 today, and if you haven´t considered bleaching your hair before your next take off you can continue reading.
9:0 : I didn´t have to carry my 32 kilo bag one single meter. My roommates’ boyfriend took care of it from the 3rd floor to the taxi. Taxi driver took care of it from the taxi to the bus. Random guy took care of it from the bus to customs.
10:0 The taxi driver gave me a 2peso round-off (I told him the scam-poop story)
11:0 The bus driver allowed me travelling on the same bus ticket I had used a couple of times before.. (haha, $54 saved!)
12:0 I was given a big, wet good-bye kiss on the cheek before boarding from the most charming guy at the airport – he had three different kinds of Skittles and the stickiest fingers you can imagine.
Vagablond – out&about