Sunday, 23 August 2009
When, a few days ago, I arrived at São Paulo's Guarulhos Airport, I had about 90 minutes to go through passport control, clear customs, and catch my flight to Porto Alegre. I looked at the long queues and thought: no way. Yet when an hour later I had passed through passport control and been waved through customs I became hopeful again. This hope however vanished a few minutes later when I realised that there was another queue at the transit check-in counter. I'm Swiss and so I usually do not jump the queue but this time I did. I went directly to the counter, waved my ticket, said Porto Alegre and sort of expected (by this time I had only physically but not mentally arrived in Brazil) to be told to go and stand in line. But no, the lady at the counter (who was busy putting tags on what looked like the entire household of a very large family) smiled, looked at the ticket and said I should get my luggage and come right here. Five minutes later I was on my way to my Porto Alegre flight.