The long way to Colombia

We had ahead of us a 25 hours trip, counting all stops, to get from Wroclaw to Cartagena.

Our first stop was in Frankfurt, where we were going to spend 5 long hours before our next flight. During this time we walked around the different terminals as if we were tourists in a new city, not a particularly beautiful one. The only goal was to use the 14 euros and 97 cents we had in coins, and that otherwise would be kind of useless as the exchange rate for coins is way lower than for notes. We needed an adapter to charge our electronics. The 14 euros and 97 cents were divided in maaaaaany coins, small and big, but mainly small. After checking every single shop in the whole airport that sold adapters, we went to the cheapest one that had them. While having my hands full of coins, basically the guy at the shop told us that he could not take the coins: “I can’t take that, no, I can’t take that man”. I got pretty pissed. Last time I checked, coins=cash, cash=money. Picturing in my mind multiple ways of chopping off the guy’s head, we went to another shop, from the same commercial chain, where they had the adapter. This time I asked Kasia to handle the talking, and the guy at the shop was very nice and had quite some fun watching us count the coins, that Kasia was placing in little piles of 1 euro, mission accomplished.

The flight from Frankfurt to Santo Domingo would be almost 10 hours, so having some extra space to stretch the legs was pure gold. That’s why you could see many people who already had taken their seats, searching with their eyes the whole plane looking for empty rows, and get ready like hawks to jump on their prey once the last passenger had entered. I decided not to wait for that, saw 2 empty rows of 2 seats and convinced Kasia to conquer the new land. Once seated, we watched and hoped that every person that entered the plane would move on and not stop at our seats. When we sat down, in the middle row next to Kasia’s seat, there was an Asian man sitting. He nodded at me with a little smile when I sat down, then moved a bit his right leg, spitted on the floor and stepped on the fresh spit, looked back again at me, but this time there was no smile on his face. Obviously I was shitting my pants at that moment. I didn’t know if that was a message, kind of “enjoy your new place you bastard, cause i’ll murder you on your sleep”, or at least that was how I read it.

Anyway, as it couldn’t have been any other way, the last guy, the very freaking last guy that entered the plane had his damn seat right in the row I was seating. At least Kasia got to keep her row, and I got to use her empty seat next to mine. I must say I felt quite relieved to move some rows away from a criminal, unstable Asian mind, but I couldn’t stop feeling a bit sorry for Kasia, who was staying there, less than a meter away from the guy. But well, better one of us than both right?

The flight was a bit of a pain. After trying 64 different positions to sleep, and not getting any to work, we finally arrived to Santo Domingo. On the room they put us to wait for the plane to be ready again, we met a very nice German guy (sorry I can’t remember his name). He was also going to backpack around South America, and we learned a very good lesson from him. Apparently, he got for free the same breakfast the folks flying business had, the upgrade in the TV to watch all movies and what’s best, a shampoo bottle from the scary Asian guy. And how did he get all that? Asking, simply asking if he could have it, except for the bottle. So the lesson we took was basically to always ask for free stuff, and if you do get some, ask for more free stuff.

The shampoo bottle he didn’t ask for it. The Asian guy at some point left his seat, and his row was empty, so the German guy, a fast hawk, took the free row to lay down. Few hours later, the Asian guy came back, who knows from where, and demanded to seat on his place. After helping him fill in the customs formulary before arrival, the Asian guy gave him a bottle of shampoo in return.

As many people left the plane in Santo Domingo, plenty of empty rows were left, so during the 2 hours flight to Panama we rested a bit while laying down enjoying the free space.

The flight from Panama to Cartagena was really short, only 1 hour so it went really quick. We got there at 8:30 am, and the very moment we set foot outside the plane, this massive heat, even at that early hour, hit us straight in the face. So yes, it’s really damn hot in Cartagena. You sweat everywhere, at the sun, under a shadow, at home with a fan shooting strong wind right to your face, it’s sweat time all the time. You take a shower, dry yourself up, and in 5 minutes you already feel sticky and sweaty again.

But besides this amazing perk of the tropical weather, we are really enjoying our time here.

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