Hello from Rio!
Man, what a trip trying to get down here. What a mess. We left our house in worcester around 3pm yesterday. We had a flight out of Boston to NYC at 6:50pm, then NYC to Rio direct at 9:30. No problem in boston, and then we get to NYC and find there is a half an hour delay on the Rio flight.
We actually met the pilot of the flight in the news stand next door, and chatted him up for a bit. Nice guy, Anne mentioned something about getting us there safe, which may have been an omen. So we board the plane about 35min late, and then we continue to sit at the gate for about 45min after everyone has boarded. The pilot comes on and says the air in the front tire is low, and it will just be 15min more. 15min then turns into two hours. Fucking crazy. The whole time, I`m trying to keep people in brazil aware of what is going on, as these very kind people from one of the venue´s was going to pick us up. At midnight the pilot comes on and says that they have found an error with the speed control of the plane that can not be corrected and that the flight is now cancelled. They stated that we will be given meal vouchers(but the airport is all closed now), and we will also be given hotels for the night.
Now, as you can imagine, most of the people on the flight were from Rio and only spoke a little english. They did not translate this msg about the flight getting cancelled, so people who understood it started to yell and translate. Needless to say people got really upset.
We then get off the plane, and the scene at the ticket counter was nightmare. People yelling an screaming about the flight, and the hotels, etc. They then tell us, we will not have access to our luggage, as it will stay on the plane overnight as the flight is now re-scheduled for 8am the next day.
They then start to get the hotel vouchers, and people are all pushing, shoving, and yelling trying to get a ticket. Anne was able to get one for the 3 of us, and we then ran to the hotel shuttle as there was word that they did not get enough shuttle for all of the people. The hotel ended up being in downtown manhattan, and when it was all said and done, we got to the hotel around 1:30am. The hotel was not prepared for over 100+ really angry people. Once in the lobby, a line had formed but as more people showed up, it started to become kill or be killed. Compleatly f´´ed. We were finally able to get to a room, and were able to sleep for about 4 hours before we had to be up again for the bus back to the airport at 7am. Once again a mad dash was made for the busses when they showed up.
We then get to the airport and find that the 8:25am flight was now listed at 9:25. However, there was nobody at the gate. So picutre over 100 brazilians really upset just trying to get home and nobody is there to help. I was able to fidn out via my ipad that the flight was now pushed back to 11:30am. Why Ameircan would not post that info and let anybody knoiw is crazy. So 9:25 comes and goes and people are freaking out…not until 10:30 do gate agents arrive and let people know what is going on. Even then, people started to get more agitated yelling about suing american airlines, etc. At that point, we just wanted to get on the way…not matter what.
Because of all of the commotion, they started to threaten to cancel the flight if people woudln´`t stop yelling. However, they were only saying this in engish, so most on the flight had no idea what was going on.
We finally did get on the plane, and on the way to Rio. Man that flight is long….10hours. We finally got into rio and were met by some very kind people from a collective house in Rio that we would be staying at that night. Driving into the city at night is insane….the hillsides with all of the lights, houses, etc.
We were just taken down to one of the farmers markets by one of our hosts Erick. Amazing views, sights, smells. Anne was able to get her beloved brazilian cheese bread. I actually ate some fruit!!
We are now just waiting for our friends and tour mates in Debate to arrive in Rio and then it is off to the first gig. Maybe some late night swimming after!
Anyways, will try to update as I can.
Cheers from Rio,