As promised, I would give you the full details of Pamela’s and my trip up to my neck of the woods in good ol’ Blighty which might just be UK minus Scotland after the 18th September (coincidentally which is my cousin Hannah’s birthday, a Glasweigan who isn’t keen on independence). It’s over three weeks since I’ve been back. This could have been done in the two weeks that I had off. Never mind.
To start off, before we even arrived in the UK, my folks, who should think of coming out of retirement and starting up a tour operator in the UK as they seem well versed in this industry and are rather good at it, created this lovely itinary.
It’s lopsided I know, but my phone won’t let me change it to go vertically (f–king Samsung).
So, here we go.
Saturday, 5th July
Pack suitcase. Made sure that I rammed it as heavy as I could with pressies, clothes and books to give the luggage handlers a hernia. In the daytime we went for a lovely lunch at Intercontential Hotel in Tegucigalpa. I’m not sure why it’s important I tell you this but I had a lamb burger and a few beers and poor Pammie paid. An early night, though I barely slept due to excitement. Neither did Ms. Cruz, who will one day become Mrs. Rogers.
Sunday, 6th July
The ticket was booked with Taca Airlines, and I was being picked up at 4.45am by Pamela’s parents to be taken to the airport. I can’t remember the time of the flight. Check in was fine. Paying leaving Honduras tax was fine. All Pamela’s family were there to see us off. When going through to the departure lounge, the lady at the immigration desk said I just had to pop downstairs to the immigration office to get a stamp in my passport. No problem, I say. When we get down there, I show a young rotund man with a black wooly hat and sitting behind a unkempt desk my papers (they were the photocopies; my solicitor keeps the originals). He looks at them and says he wants to see the orignals. I said my solicitor has them and its 45 minutes until my flight. He looks me in eye with a small smile and says it’s my problem and repeats the request to see the original papers. Panic. I call my solicitor Fatima. 6 in the morning remember. She doesn’t really want to come, and remember it’s Sunday, but the little fat bastard behind the desk is looking for a bribe which I have no wish in satisfying. Luckily, Pamela’s father was on hand and called a very special contact (the head of immigration in Honduras as it happens), and tells him the situation. This is in front of the little fat bastard, who realises Señor Cruz is on phone to one of his top bosses, making him go a bit red in the face. Señor Cruz then passes over the phone and says in a straight voice that so and so wanted to speak to him. The immigration guy gulps knowing he’s picked on the wrong Johnny Foreigner today, and we hear a lot of serious requests down the line which the immigration responds to with ‘sí señor’. He then hangs up, grabs my passport and stamps it and throws it back at me, and now it’s me with giant smile on my face and him looking a bit thwart. “Operación Desayuno por el dinero de un chele” aborted. I leave the office and greet him a great, great day. We then race upstairs to where the nice immigration lady is sat and we tell her what happened. She confirms that he doesn’t know his job, but we all know it was a cheap shot for a bribe. First stress out the way, and here we are on the flight on route to Miami, via El Salvador.
The rest to be continued. I’m knackered and need sleep. Night night!