It has been such a long time after the last post.
I just cannot believe how much time has passed, and the most incredible thing is, I don’t feel that much time has gone like water under a bridge.
My little one is now 10 months old, he is crawling and trying to walk in his own very peculiar way; he babbles like there’s no tomorrow from 06:30 in the morning until 20:00 when he goes to sleep.
I laugh when I read my last post, regarding all the hurdles I had to jump in order to get into the airport in Buenos Aires, and that feels like a very distant memory. BTW, you really want to know what happened when we got to passport control and customs?
Well, long story short, we passed passport control pretty straight forward – controls in Argentinian Airports are nothing like the checks in England, trust me on that one – but the inconvenience started when we had to go through bags control and the infamous x ray machine.
I say infamous because the police officers made it like that. I give you the picture: I was leaving my mother behind, with my little one half asleep, juggling hand bag, bag, pram, passports, flight tickets after a quite agitated beginning of the day only to end up in a queue after being told by a lovely girl at the BA desk I was going to go straight through the fast track queue. YEAH RIGHT.
I followed the signs towards the “fast track” only to find out it was a “closed lane”. I even – naively – went to ask if such a queue existed, only to find out that yes, it *did* exist, but oh, not today. They did not have enough passengers with a need for it, and oh, there’s only 2 (yes, two) x ray machines working.
Well, at least I had everything sorted in a way; going through the x ray machine was going to be like a walk in the park.
That is, if I was in another airport.
After waiting for 30 minutes in the queue, finally my turn to go through the x ray machine came. I started to prepare my little one to get out of the pram, put the bags on the tray, removed the milk and food from the backpack neatly separated in transparent bags, and a full explanation in my mind for when the police officer ask about the formula milk in cartons.
But guess what? I did not have to give any explanations. Instead, I had to pass the pram through the x ray machine. To my amazement, I was asked to fold the pram and put it on the x ray machine. Let’s recap here; I was alone, with my 7 months old and two bags. A man – shall I say gentleman? – offered to help me, but guess what? The police said no. I asked the police officer how did he expect me to fold the pram, what should I do, put the bags through the x ray machine, then the baby, then the pram? It felt like the tale of what would you cross first, the chicken the eggs or the fox.
His answer, “It is not my business”. Yep. That was his answer.
So, I left my little one seated on the floor, folded the pram. At this point, my bags, with the passport, the money, flight tickets, computer, phone, camera was on the other side of the x ray machine. And to add insult to injury, the police officer decided to move the queue a bit, letting other passengers go through. Cheers for that.
Pram went through the x ray machine. On the other side of the x ray machine, finally someone – I believe it was a supervisor – came to find out what was going on. She asked if I needed some help, I answered yes, but I was not quite sure if the police officers would allow her to help me. To which she answered that obviously some people there did not know what it was like to be travelling alone with a baby. Before I left the x ray machine I did take my sweet time to check that nothing was missing. Of course, needless to say, under the evil looks of the police officers.
At that point, my little one was starting to get hungry, and I desperately needed a coffee. So we went for a quick look around the free shop whilst looking for a place to sit down and fulfil our needs. And choose between two coffee shops, one more expensive than the other, with a very limited range.
The time to jump on the plane came, the flight was marvellous, the crew ever so caring! I think it was just the right TLC we needed after the ordeal.
– Argentinian customs are not mother-and-child-travelling-alone friendly when it’s very early in the morning during weekends.
– The coffee shops are outrageously expensive and the choices are limited, again, very early in the morning during weekends.
– There are some charitable souls out there, even when it’s the weekend, and very early in the morning.