Brazil, September 2019

4 September I received an email from Aigle Azul (the French airline we are flying to Paris with) saying that our flights to Paris have been cancelled. I googled it and found that the airline has gone bankrupt! Oh Crap! So I wrote to Tripair (agent) to ask do we get a refund? Do we get another alternative flight booked? Etc. The cancellation email was very short with no explanation but there was a phone number in France to call for assistance. I am roaming with Vodafone and calls to anywhere from here is $5.79 per minute. So lets try to get a Brazilian SIM card and call with that. A call to our house owners says that the companies here in Brazil are Claro, TIM and VIVO, they are all at the Beiramar Shopping centre in the city. Sweet, a trip in the bus into the city! While we are there we should find a travel agent and see if they have any better priced replacement flights than what we can find in our initial search online. We are getting really good at the busses and understand the system now so into the city we go.

Found all 3 Telecom companies. Chose Claro as they are the main provider in Brazil. Took a ticket and waited. Got to a lovely young man who speaks very little English, but got through to him, we need a SIM and the ability to call France. OK no can do. Can get a SIM but calls are only to Brazil, but they could load it with calling ability to France but would cost $R20 per minute ($7.50NZD) no, better off with our roaming. Ok so no point in going to agent, we really need to hear from Tripair and/or talk to the airline first, you never know, they may book us onto another flight – not very likely but you never know. Plus it was pretty hard going at Claro with the language barrier and good old google translate! So we decide to leave the travel agent for now. So lets get some groceries, downstairs there is a lovely gourmet Mercado. Stuff it all into the backpack, lets find lunch and a beer, we need it!

After lunch I try to find my purse to get the money for the bus, not anywhere to be found. I traced my thoughts back to the Mercado and filling the backpack on a bench outside the store. OH Crap! MY drivers licence, credit card, EFTPOS card and around $R200. Straight back to the store, they cant understand a word, but still so friendly while shaking heads not knowing what we are saying. Chris spots a security guard and askes her, she understands that we have lost something and takes us to the balcao de informacoes and the two lovely girls there just look blankly at us. I pointed at Chris’s wallet and they reached forward and pulled out my purse! OMG such a relief. The security guard erupted in big smiles, so did the two behind the counter – we were all jumping up and down with excitement, Chris hugged the security guard, we just could not thank them enough! Obragado obrigado!! WOW can you imagine that? Someone picked it up and handed it in, everything still intact! Nothing missing. Such lovely people! Guess this would not have happened in Rio. So we go home, on the bus, no further ahead with the flight problem, but I do have my wallet!

#floripa #grateful #helpful #lostmywallet #flightscancelled #claro #zerotohero