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Saturday, January 12, 2008

Welcome to the country

As much as I love to travel, arriving in a new country never ceases to stress me out. I always worry about getting through immigration, finding cash in the local currency, trying to communicate in a new language, getting my bearings straight in order to figure out where to go... all overwhelming enough to make me wonder why I didn't just stay home!

Our trip to Peru in November brought back all these old fears. To make matters worse, we were flying into Lima, but planned to head out to Cusco immediately. Only one catch - we didn't have tickets for a flight to Cusco yet! I don't know what we were thinking when we decided not to purchase those tickets ahead of time as any sensible person would have done. But there we were, wandering through a large, crowded international airport in a country where we didn't speak the language, trying to find a ticket counter.

After several laps around the same corridor, multiple "conversations" with people in Spanish, and even a trip to the infirmary (that's a long story best saved for another time), we finally managed to find a counter with tickets still available for a flight the next hour. We didn't expect to have to pay with cash (at home I use my credit card to pay for a $3 gallon of milk, so handing over more than $200 in cash was painful), but we had the tickets in our hands and were on our way in no time. How very Amazing Race of us.

And the adventure was just beginning...

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