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8 July 2013 / leggypeggy

Eduardo—our super hero

Eduardo and Dani

It’s not an illusion. Eduardo really is larger than life, but Dani isn’t shrinking—at the Escher exhibition

Months ago we decided to go to Curitiba for a few days before starting our overland trip. We’d read that it was an innovative and green city that was ahead of its time, thanks to a forward-thinking mayor in the 1970s.

We also hoped to catch up with Eduardo, who was on exchange in Australia in 2004.

As it turned out, Eduardo and his family invited us to stay with them in Curitiba, so all we had to do was get there. Luckily, Poor John found a super cheap return ticket on Tam Airlines.

We hopped on the bus to the airport in Rio with a couple of hours to spare, but traffic, an accident and other general congestion meant we didn’t get to the airport until about 35 minutes before the flight left.

Never mind how much arguing and cajoling we did, never mind that we had confirmed seats, never mind that we had no luggage to be checked, never mind that the flight was taking off 20 minutes late—Tam would not let us go through to the gate.

They were, however, more than happy to sell us two one-way tickets for US$1000. Sorry, but that was not an option. I don’t deal with thieves. Huffily they suggested we try another airline. So we did.

After sending a message to Eduardo to let him know we weren’t on the flight and didn’t know what would happen next, we trotted to the Gol Airline desk in next terminal.

The woman at Gol was very helpful (and mentioned that her dad had the same birthdate as Poor John) and sold us two one-way tickets for US$500. Success! I bought a phone card and let Eduardo know we were on the way.

But our dramas with Tam were not over.

We still had a return ticket with them! Right? Wrong! ‘Missing’ the first flight meant we forfeited the second. A fact no one mentioned until we’re trying to use the return ticket. They wanted another $800 to take us back (cheaper on a Monday than a Friday night).

Bless Eduardo for not dropping us at the door as we had suggested. He had come in with us, and this was now a fight he was not going to lose. He talked to the man at the desk, then the supervisor. After much haggling he convinced the supervisor to call the manager in Rio.

And suddenly everything was okay and we were being issued with boarding passes (funnily enough about 30 minutes before the flight was to leave).

Eduardo told us that we should thank the widespread demonstrations. He’d used them as one of the reasons we could not get to the airport to begin with, and apparently that the one and only excuse they could accept.

So thank you Eduardo for being our hero. Your quick thinking saved us a lot of frustration and money.

P.S. Curitiba is well worth a visit. Go there if you ever get the chance.

Eduardo and Dani, Museu Oscar Niemeyer

Eduardo and Dani, outside the eye-shaped Museu Oscar Niemeyer

6 Comments

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  1. weezaj / Jul 8 2013 11:54 pm

    Ooooh. Big like to the happy ending, but big dislike to all the time and energy-wasting red tape!

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Jul 9 2013 3:19 am

      Bureaucratic money grabbing, if you ask me, but a good outcome.

      Like

  2. Gary Walker / Jul 11 2013 4:20 pm

    I reckon that was very stressful! What a huge time-sucker and money-waster that situation was. Glad that Eduardo could use his influence and native language skills to help make sense of the silly mess.
    .
    Eduardo and Dani are a very handsome couple. It must do you proud to see your former exchange student doing so very well.

    Here’s hoping for less stressful travels for the rest of your journey. Regards to Poor John.

    Like

    • leggypeggy / Jul 11 2013 8:37 pm

      You’ve got that right—on both counts. We are so proud of Eduardo. And we’d have had to pay an absolute bomb to buy last-minute tickets.
      But seriously, if that’s as bad as the stress gets, we can’t complain.

      Like

  3. Gary Walker / Jul 12 2013 2:07 pm

    I know you and PJ don’t watch much TV but you guys could be serious contenders on The Amazing Race. It’s a reality show with a million dollar prize. Contestants race around the globe trying to get to the destination first. All expenses paid.

    You wouldn’t have to prepare for the intercontinental journey… you guys already have plenty of experience from past travels and know how to deal with setbacks.. And you both are quick witted and resourceful.

    Who couldn’t use a million dollars? It’s a paid vacation for the two of you.

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    • leggypeggy / Jul 14 2013 1:54 pm

      Thanks for the vote of confidence, Potsie. You have to live in the USA to qualify for your version of The Amazing Race. There was an Aussie edition, and Petra (younger daughter with all the languages) and I talked about entering but we never did. I wonder if it’s still going? Temptation.

      Like

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