17 March – I left for Colombia today – I finished packing things in my suitcases – they are over the amount allotted, but I am hoping for some leeway at the airport – Sometimes they allow for that – we’ll see – it all depends – well – they didn’t!! I was so annoyed with Delta – they are supposed to be an amazing airline – they are supposed to be one of the best – but they wouldn’t budge – I had to remove items from the suitcases and a bag from the suitcases and then carry an extra bag onto the airplane – and through the connecting terminal and then on the next flight – it was so heavy. My backpack was super heavy as well – by the time I got to Bogota – my back, head and left leg were so sore I was ready to cry.
I was also very upset with Delta because they gave me a hard time for having a one-way ticket – but they are the ones who sold me the one-way ticket!! They needed documentation that I was allowed to be in Colombia and that I had applied for a visa and that I would not be staying past the 90 days allotted for being in the country. It was crazy and took me an extra 45 minutes to try to explain to them what was happening. They had to call various people and find someone who spoke Spanish. I produced my letter of invitation and proof that I had applied for the visa. It was possibly the most bizarre situation I have experienced!! (Later I talked to others in the program who had also had a hard time – one lied about her return flight – one was told how to get around it by her airline and several had not even been questioned!)
I left my blue journal and my book on the airplane – so don’t have them. I am very, very bummed.
I brought a taxi to the hotel – I had read everywhere not to use a taxi that was not an ‘appropriate’ yellow cab – and yet… a man saw me pushing an obviously very heavy trolley out of the customs area and asked if I needed a cab – I was so tired and so sore that I followed him to a parking lot where a black car was waiting. I gave the driver the address and tipped the man for loading the suitcases into his car. I know I ended up paying too much and so asked the gentleman at the hotel desk if it was too much. He said no – but the taxi driver did take less eventually by about 5 dollars.
I arrived to the Doubletree Hilton on Calle 100. It was a beautiful hotel – I was so ready to be in bed! The check-in process went smoothly – they were so welcoming – they showed me to my room – moved my super heavy suitcases for me – and showed me around the room. The room was covered with rose petals and there were strawberries and wine waiting for me! It was an amazing room – almost like an apartment! Light – airy – comfortable and it had a whirlpool bathtub!!
It was the best part of my day and I surrendered to it!