Posted by: Googie | April 8, 2010

Miami

The next morning I was at Avis in Fort Pierce, and these guys were really nice. I got a much better car – a Hyundai accent with cruise control and for a cheaper price. I drove around Fort Pierce, which is a beautiful town and has both a river and the Atlantic ocean next to it.

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The brave pelicans at Fort Pierce

I was just going to resume my journey towards Miami, when I spotted an interesting looking bus parked in a parking lot. I stopped to take a closer look and clicked a few photos since nobody was around. Bob, who owned the bus, came by just as I was walking towards my car; and we started talking.

Bob, along with his dog Bogart was driving around the United States in the bus. He was giving talks at various campuses around the country promoting kindness, peace and harmony in the world. We exchanged websites, and he gave me a few stickers to distribute to children in my school in Ecuador.

If you’d like to read more about him, his website is http://www.OneMillionActsOfKindness.com

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With Bob, Bogart & The Kindness Bus

Next stop was Miami. The city was more or less what I had expected. I knew that the glamour associated with the place was mostly hype. It had the usual tall buildings, busy traffic, mean looking people and tough cops as in every other city in the US. I felt that it was highly over-rated, and I would rate Fort Pierce as being more beautiful. But maybe if you have the money and you lead the lives of the rich and famous, then Miami could be heaven.

Late in the evening, I went to Le Cafe, where the Miami couchsurfers were having their weekly meeting. Like the guys in Bangalore, they also met every Wednesday, and I just happened to be at the right place at the right time. But this meeting was different because it was actually a Salsa class.

From there I went straight to Avis at the airport, returned the car and took the shuttle to the main terminal. My flight to Bogota, Colombia was to leave at 7 in the morning, and checking-in would begin only at 4 so I had to wait.

When it was 4, and I went to check myself in, I was in for a shock. The lady at the counter said that I could not board the flight as I didn’t have a visa. I had assumed that I wouldn’t need a visa to just transit through Colombia, but as the famous saying goes, “Assumptions are the mother of all f***-ups”. So I was in the middle of yet another breakdown – woohoo!

The only option now was to cancel my tickets from Miami to Bogota and then from Bogota to Guayaquil, and rebook myself on a direct flight to Ecuador. This, expectedly involved some more damage to my credit card bill 😦
I have to prevent these avoidable mistakes or else I might exhaust all my money in this stupid canceling and rebooking mess.

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