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Flight spam 3

I had a Tim Horton's chocolate dip. It was ok. Most notable thing is that the mass of the doughnut is like light fluffy cake, not inherently grease ladedn like I think US doughnuts are. Not that I have many.

WATER FOUNTAINS. Just saying. Better water than the sulferous stuff I got in SFO. I can't believe I thought that was better than Zurich water. Maybe something happened?


Did I mention that my Vodafone NL prepaid SIM card works here? Picking up Rogers carrier. So there's a good chance I'll have some comms in Chile even if pressed. Also my flight might be on time after all.

I guess I could buy duty free liquor in a maple leaf shaped bottle for my hosts. Not really my style and I'm not sure they drink anything stronger than wine or beer. Got something else instead.

Boarding chaos! I don't think I got the seat I asked for. Or maybe I did... Window seat with one neighbor makes some sense. But transfered to an aisle seat, have cute Chilean girl rather than old man. Still, I thought it was 3-4-3 seats, not 2-3-2 767.

LCDs per seat, one charger per two seats, USB port that my USB cable doesn't fit in. No air vents.

Oh, the USB port is upside down. Cell phone charging!

Heh, someone got told to fasten his seatbelt, but not to turn his rather obvious electronic device off.

Urk, young cute girl also means loud headphones. Yay for earplugs.

Beef dinner was meh. Free wine or beer though. Not that i particularly enjoyed my Chardonnay but I felt like I should take advantage. Also hoped that relaxant would help me sleep. Plastic utensils instead of the metal of LAN and SWISS, so I guess Canada is halfway between the US and the civilized world.

Think I did sleep at some point.

Getting choice of eggs (omelette) or waffle. Feel like eggs. Waffles would probably survive storage better... Yeah. OTOH, this actually is breakfast, and I though eggy protein would be good.

All night I struggled with pillows, and only near the end noticed that my headrest bends, so you can rest the side of your head without falling on your neighbor.

Got in to Santiago 20 minutes early. Got to gate 55 minutes before flight, 20 before boarding. Good luck on the entry fee line, but had to get boarding pass, and contretemps at declaration because I'd said "yes" to plants (nuts, dates) then crossed it out and said no (threw them out to avoid hassle). Big no no to change your form or something. Some guy helped out sort of, then carried a bag to check-in, and asked for a tip. 10 mils was probably far too much.

No water fountains. Also, hot. Also, can't buy a SIM card in here; could rent one from Entel, for crappy rates (not much less than international roaming) and a $200 deposit. That might mean they rent me a phone and I could take the card out. She said one could buy SIM cards downtown, so it's an airport ripoff. OTOH, I later find that Vodafone has switched over to Spanish voice, which isn't helpful, and I can't read the Dutch text. I wonder if I need to have credit to add credit, at this point.

T-Mobile also switches to Entel; just as uselessly, I get the same Spanish message no matter what I dial. Text to T-Mobile works, though. Pity I never got a credit card registered.

I remind my readers that I got that SIM card from a *vending machine* in Heathrow, one offering multiple carriers. Apparently that was abnormal; the one place I could easily talk to people, I didn't have to.

Boarding was just in Spanish, I followed the crowd and signs, but on the plane we get English as well.

Haven't gotten to see much, but Santiago definitely had tall mountains around it, descending again to sudden flatness. I suspect calling it basin and range is a confusion of geology, but then I don't recall why the basins happen. The ranges are obvious: tectonic squishing.

Flight to La Serena seems to be playing music at us. Free snacks for an hour flight.

random notes: SFO had a hallway full of Chinese porcelains, for those with time and not rushing along the slidewalks. Asian Art Museum overflow?

Toronto had, well, to the left were your conventional slidewalks. To the right, another slidewalk, possibly wider, definitely marked in yellow stripes, also as long as several left slidewalks, and faster, at least in the middle of the length; something clever may have allowed slowdown at the end. I was reminded of The Caves of Steel, though it's not the same, you couldn't get on a slow walk and then move to the faster one, for they both had their own walls and handrails.

I talked to that girl on the plane for a bit. Coming back from three months of her own travels, in Canada and/or US? Was wearing a shirt with French on it. I've been re-reading my little Chile guidebook, and am reminded of the relative poverty, and internal inequality; a Chilean being able to afford 3 months in North America or Europe is even odder than my own peregrinations. Not odd for an elite Chilean, of course.

Currency exchange in Santiago: they took my euro notes and coins, and my pound notes, but not my pound coins.

S WAS ALREADY THERE TO PICK ME UP! CALLOOH CALLAY. Apparently she said so in the email I read in Toronto but I must have missed it. Yay, no struggling with pay or borrowed phones.

T-Mobile finally sent me a text saying "you will not be able to make clls or check voicemail, and £1.50/min to receive calls." The exact opposite of what I thought I'd need.



I note that my flight-luck continues: despite the intimations of delay and the lack of advanced boarding passes or cell phones, I arrived on time with no more trauma than you'd expect of a 24 hour journey and no lossed other than the pistachios, rye bread, and dates I threw away thinking to expedite my Customs.

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Damien Sullivan
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