Boredom Busting Bingo – Airport Edition

The airport can be an exciting and yet painfully boring place. You’re excited to get on that plane, but first you have to arrive 3 hours early and sit in a plastic seat at your gate. Maybe you booked the flights with a 14 hour overnight layover to save a few bucks… and are regretting it as you complete your 10th sudoku, check your watch, and still have 12 hours to go.

We’ve all been there. That’s why I’ve created this Boredom Busting Bingo to keep your brain from melting.

Argentina: Frida & Antique Markets

We venture out to our local neighbourhood of Villa Crespo and into Palermo to find some lunch. A bright purple building with the immediately recognizable “Friends” logo, and a yellow New York taxi has drawn a swarm of people. The line is incredibly long, and reaches to the end of the block. It must be some kind of pop up bar and I assume it’s just opened or there wouldn’t be this many people. I love Friends but like, not line-up-for-hours type love. Upon rounding the corner, we find the line spans TWO whole blocks. We round the next corner, IT’S THREE. There’s probably 500 people waiting in line to sit on a mock Central Perk couch. I am in awe. Do people not work or go to school on Thursday afternoons?

Argentina: Waterfront & Alfajores

We start our day off healthy – instead of a massive plate of parrillas, we get vegetarian wraps from a hole in the wall shop on the corner near our place. I forgot what it was like to eat a vegetable!

Argentina: Parrillas Para Dos

I think we’re still jet lagged (can you be jet lagged when there’s only a one hour time difference?) from our 20 something hours of travel from Canada, because waking up before 10am is unnecessarily difficult. But waking up is, in fact, necessary, because we’re getting out of this shit hostel and moving into our Air BnB!

Argentina: Subte Rides and Cheese Pizzas

Today’s mission is to find a better room. We go to the subway (or, subte) and get a re-loadable tap card. I ask for two but the woman behind the glass says we can use one between us (obviously assuming we’re temporary tourists and I’m too lazy to explain that we’re planning to stay) so we just get one card and can always get another later. The card costs 90 ARS, and we can load on as much as we want.

Argentina: Arriving in Buenos Aires

I’ve read that taking a taxi from the airport can be a headache and will cost us almost $50 USD. I usually allow myself the luxury of a taxi from the airport no matter what it costs, but in this case I thought we should look for alternatives. Uber is controversial everywhere, but it seems especially bad in Argentina from what I’ve read, so I think we’ll skip that for now. A quick Google search back in Canada turned up www.gettransfer.com, a service allows you to submit your desired pickup/drop off locations (anywhere in the world!) and have drivers ‘bid’ on the journey.

The Budget Backpacker Guide to Arriving in Port Vila, Vanuatu

Everything I wish I had known before I landed! Vanuatu isn’t a very popular or accessible backpacker destination, but it’s absolutely incredible and well worth the visit.

Vanuatu: Connecting Flights Home

The paranoia about catching my connecting flights from Santo to Port Vila and then home to Auckland has left me unable to sleep. A storm wakes me up in the middle of the night, and sparks a lucid dream where my flight is cancelled due to weather, and I’m running around the airport in a captains hat, urgently trying to charter my own plane. I have become Jeff with a J.

Vanuatu: N’gol Ritual – Pentecost

I wake up to a faint rumbling that lasts a few seconds, settle back in and just before I fall asleep, it happens again. Could it be a giant truck driving past? I’ve stayed here 3 nights now and haven’t experienced this before so it seems unlikely. At breakfast, everyone else says they felt the shaking as well so we give it a quick Google to find it was, in fact, an earthquake. A 5.2 magnitude from Tanna – maybe I did make the right choice by coming to Santo. Yikes. Google doesn’t pull up any articles about fatalities though, so fortunately I don’t think it was very serious.

Vanuatu: Jeff with a J

I caught a ride back to Luganville with the German couple from Port Olry this morning. Since arriving at 11 I’ve been pressed to find something to do, but it seems most activities start around 8:30. I’ve heard (there’s never any definitive information, everything is word of mouth) that there’s a free ferry over to Aore Island, just a quick trip from Santo. I ask at my lodge for some information or a timetable but there’s nothing – just multiple ferries per day.