This stamp almost gave me a heart attack!
November 19, 2017
I assumed that I don’t need a round trip ticket to enter Brazil because it’s 3 months visa free for Filipinos. So, what I have is just one way ticket to Sao Paulo from South Korea with Air China (cheapest and hassle-free transfer). I was at the airport 4 hours before my flight. I patiently waited on the line. When it was my turn, I handed her my passport, my ticket and my beloved eyes excited to explore South America.
She called her supervisor. I got anxious. She said I should move aside so she can cater other passengers. I only have an hour before the gate closes. I asked her what’s the problem. She said I need a round trip ticket to enter Brazil just to make sure I won’t be a TNT. I told her I am planning to backpack around South America by bus (honesty is the best policy! And my big round eyes turned into puppy begging eyes). Her supervisor said they can’t let me in unless I can present a return ticket.
I can’t purchase a ticket because I don’t know when will I go back and which country will I be that time. I planned my route for months but I don’t really plan how long will I stay in one place. You know, I’m a lazy traveler. I love to sit down the street watching locals do whatever. But, at that time, I remembered a travel hack. A site where you can purchase a dummy ticket (with eticket # and flight confirmation) for $20. So, I hurriedly booked a ticket on that site and it emailed me a ticket from Sao Paulo to Amsterdam. They won’t accept it.
Why? Because you need a Schengen visa to enter Amsterdam and you can’t apply for that visa in Brazil. I need to go home to do that. I only had 30mins left. I can hear my heart stomping. My mind’s in chaos. My nerves are figuring things out. I was desperate. I had to battle quietly with myself that I have to calm down and think. Think Donna. Use the internet, will ya? So, I looked for another site that will let me choose a specific destination where I don’t need visa. I purchased the ticket from Sao Paulo going to Peru. I was waiting for the email confirmation for about 15mins.. none. I’m about to cry. I was thinking of the money I spent.. and my dreams are crashing into pieces. No email yet. 10 minutes left. I’m chilling already. I was in cold sweat.
The supervisor told me they will let me fly in exchange, I will have to sign a waiver saying that the airline will not be responsible if Brazil declines me. I was so thankful I wanted to hug them. Lol! But, I have to rush to the boarding gate because I was the only one left. I run like I’m about to touch my dreams! Yay!
When I was finally seated I took a deep breath and told myself the ticket will come through. I will have it when I arrive in Beijing for a layover. Don’t worry, everything will be alright. You are made for South America. 😏
No internet in China until you pass the immigration. I was on the line for nearly 2 hours just to get the transit stamp. When I went to the lobby, I was happy that I finally got internet and shortly made me crazy that I can’t access google, facebook, whatsapp. I can only use Viber and my slgfi email. See, I still can’t make sure that the return ticket is in my email. I panicked. But, I was alone in China. Alone, I panicked and can’t talk to anyone. So, I talked to myself. I told myself.. shut up, think! I contacted one of my best friends KP and asked him to creep into my email and check for it.
He did find my ticket Sao Paulo to Peru. Problem is, Chinese viber can only send sms not photos nor files. So, how on earth will I be able to have a copy of it?! With a hungry stomach.. I told him to send it to my company email. It saved me! Made my mind at ease.
I, then ordered two big servings of Chinese food. Met a friend Liliane from Germany whom until now sends me different postcards in EU.
Anyway, when I arrived at Sao Paulo Airport’s immigration.. THEY DID NOT ASK ME TO SHOW ANYTHING EXCEPT MY PASSPORT FOR A STAMP. Life and the thrill of it all. Pumped me up damn good. 😶😅