Scenes From an Airport
Day 000 – July 22, 2011
At 9:09pm local time (or 2109 for those, like me, who enjoy their time using the 24-hour clock), our plane touched the tarmac at Jorge Chavez International Airport and we were now semiofficially in the country in Peru.
It was oddly comforting to know that even though the family and I were in foreign country, some customs appear to be universal for as soon as the plane parked at the jetway, the “Wejusts” appeared.
The “Wejusts” are the name I give to the people who, as soon as the plane stops, whip out their cellular phones, call up their buddies, and say “We just arrived…” or “We just landed…” or “We just got here…”.
We de-planed and walked down the jetway and I entered…almost every other airport terminal for a major city I have been to in life. I’m really not sure what I was expected (llamas? alpacas? chickens? Please see Disclaimer No. 1), but I really should not have been surprised by this modern terminal that serves a city of almost 9 million people.
I did have my first taste of what living in Spanish-speaking country would mean for me for when I walked around the terminal to find the baggage area, a large majority of the billboards were in Spanish. This did not affect me that much as I have lived in Southern California for a large part of my youth and am used to this experience. However, I could feel the tranlsation-engine in my brain begin to clear out the cobwebs and prime its engine. It would soon be getting a large workout.
Coming out of the jetway, our family was greeted by two co-workers of my wife who were to greet us, meet us, and drive us to our house. The gentleman was holding up a sign that had our last name on it, but it was misspelled as an “A” was in place of the “E”.
More on this in a later posting, but that vowel switching would be the least of our problems concerning our last name.
Digression: The funniest “waiting” sign I ever saw was when I came off of a plane in Boise, Idaho (which probably was the type of terminal I was expecting when de-planing in Lima). As I came through the jetway’s door and into the terminal, I saw a cardboard cutout of a chauffeur with white gloves and driver’s cap. He was holding a sign that simply said….
It still makes me chuckle.
Back in Lima, we stopped at the baggage carousel and did the “wait-and-pray”, but it was not needed as yet another of my wife’s airline-elite-status perks kicked in and all of our eleven bags were given “Priority” stickers and were some of the first ones off the plane. We had all our bags in under fifteen minutes.
After a wait in line, we presented our passports to the kind-looking and smiling immigration agent. All our papers were in order, our books were stamped, and we were given a quiet “Bienvenidos” by the agent.
We were now officially in Peru.
Posted on August 16, 2011, in Peru, Transit and tagged airline, airport, Boise, cellular phones, Idaho, Jorge Chavez International Airport, Lima, Peru, travel, Waiting for Godot. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.