Lately I have been hounded by cabs. I believe they think I always want to go somewhere. I can literally step out of one cab and have another cab pull up right behind it and ask me if I need a ride. In addition to this, I've been walking to the language institute from my art classes and for the entire 20 minute walk I have taxis stopping next to me, honking their horn or whistling at me. You would think I was a model in a mini skirt.
On another transportation topic, here is what is required to book a flight in South America:
- First, make one reservation on traficoperu.com, which won't actually mean anything. You won't lose money, but you'll lose some time thinking you had a reservation when you didn't.
- Now that you've lost 4 days, the prices have skyrocketed and you'll have to change your travel dates to get a reasonable rate.
- Make 3 trips to different travel agencies (I've never been to one before, but apparently that's all that the people here use. In the end I discovered I'm much better at finding cheaper fares in less time.)
- Make sense of totally incomprehensible emails (Apparently they use a special form of English at airline offices here.)
- Take one hour to make 5 phone calls to 2 different countries, as follows:
- Call reservations (press #4), who will say you should have pressed #6 on the menu to speak to website customer service. They'll be unable to transfer you and will tell you that the prices you found earlier on the website are only available to people located in Peru (which I am, and furthermore, the website didn't mention this.)
- Call again and press #6. They'll tell you that you need to change the website to Spanish. Go ahead and try it. It won't make any difference.
- Call #6 again. They'll tell you the flight doesn't exist and to please call reservations to book a flight. Note: When you ask for a supervisor, there won't be one. They will, however, give you an in-depth explanation of how the company works (punch cards, etc.)
- Call #4 to try to reserve your flight. They will quote you double the price and then say that you have to call the Peruvian customer service to book the flight.
- Call 3 different Peruvian numbers before finally connecting to an agent and buying the tickets. The first two numbers will be fairly problematic because the only thing you will be able to do is press 1 for Spanish or 2 for English. No matter what your answer is, you'll be directed back to the same language question (over, and over, and over....)
In the end we ended up getting our tickets but paid about 60% more than we were hoping. At least now I know what to expect. We still needed to book two more tickets (to Lima, and Iguazu Falls in Argentina) and I was able to get one today after a little less hassle, but I still have one more to go.
On a bit of a lighter note, if you look at the picture you can tell one of my ears is messed up; however I can't determine if one is squished or the other is sticking out.