I tried to figure it out. I even had the Barefoot Cay staff assist me in figuring it out and finally…
AHA!! I had it figured out- I was going to extend my stay in Roatan because I didn’t want to leave. The only problem with this grand idea, was that Mr.Reality was staring, pointing and laughing at Miss Fantasy, telling her there’s no way around it- you have to go back home. You have bills, you were barely able to take off for this trip, you don’t have the luxury of being a true free spirit, you don’t have the funds, you don’t…
OKAY MR. REALITY. I GET IT. Good grief. SHUT *THE BLANK* UP!!!
So, reluctantly, I packed my bags, hugged the staff at Barefoot, we promised we would stay connected (a promise kept,too) and I was escorted back to the airport.
While Roatan’s airport (RTB) is small, I still found myself wandering around after I checked in my luggage. The employees were so efficient in their duties, that they didn’t recognize this tanned, brown skinned lady looking like a child who lost her mommy. I don’t recall if I ended up asking a worker or a visitor about where the gates were, but I was shocked at the reply given:
‘Have you paid your departure tax?’
Have I paid my who? My what? My…huh? What’s a departure tax, I thought, but since I didn’t want to accidentally miss my plane, (missing it purposefully would’ve been just fine, though ), I headed to the line to pay this… tax.
I walked up the counter with a smile and the clerk told me the amount for the tax. Now, remember, I was still getting the hang of converting U.S. dollars to lempiras and when she told me the hundreds owed, I thought I was going to faint…literally. I then realized that, hey, she means hundreds in LEMPIRAS, not dollars, silly girl.
Cool, I have it in my camera bag.
Well, ummm, not really.
I started counting out the amount and I felt that faint cloud hovering over me again. I DIDN’T HAVE ENOUGH!!! I guess she noticed my ‘franticticity’ (new word!) and she directed me to the ATM and told me she would hold my place in line. I went over to the ATM and what do ya know? The saying’s true- misery does love company and I found myself amongst other visitors waiting at the ATM to pay for this tax, too!!! I felt a bit better after that. I ran back to the clerk, paid my tax, and headed to my gate.
Once security cleared me of my strip search (ha ha), I found the waiting area for my plane. I waited about one hour before the plane arrived, but that was fine for me because it gave me another opportunity to ‘practica mi español.’ There was a food stand and I ordered ‘una refresca/refresco uva y empanada pollo.’ The waitress understood- GOLD STAR FOR SISTA VOYAGE!!!
Oh.Em.Gee. The chicken empanada was SOOO GOOD. I went back up to the stand and asked in English, ‘what’s in this?’ She told me nothing but chicken. My 3lb brain didn’t understand how this was possible. No cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, or guacamole, inside… just pollo sabroso. Man, that sucker was good. I wanted to order another one, but by that time, others caught on to the empanada goodness and they were gone.
The plane en route to Houston arrived (BOOOO!!) and Mr. Reality took joy in tormenting and defeating Miss Fantasy. This was it- it was really going to happen. It was time to go home…until next year, I hope.