Part eight of the repatriation ordeal (in which there is no hotel shuttle)

By Posted on Location: 3 min read
This is what a real coffee looks like.
Peruvian coffee, Peru
January 2020

Miami airport is large. I’m not sure that it’s as large as Madrid airport where you can stand in the hall without seeing the other end of the building because it’s just so incredibly far away from you. However when you leave immigration and exit alone into an empty hall and walk through an empty corridor to find an empty set of facilities, pass alone up and down in some large empty lifts and through some more empty halls, completely lost, Miami airport feels very large indeed.

I sat down and called my dad, he said there was a hotel shuttle.

I called the hotel, a chap said there was no hotel shuttle because of coronavirus.

I went in search of a taxi

There were no taxi’s but a cheerful chap assured me that he could find me a taxi and what’s more I could pay with any card I liked. A bright yellow cab turned up. It was so yellow I laughed. The man who had called it up looked at me as if I might be mad.

I asked the driver to take me to the hotel. He tried. He got a bit lost. He tried some more. I paid. I walked into the hotel. I checked in. I looked for a lift. I found the elevator. I counted the numbers and found my room. I collapsed on the bed.

A short while later I decided that the best thing to do would be to have a shower and go back downstairs and find a cup of coffee. The shower was a good idea, the coffee less so.

I ordered my coffee, which came in a furry plastic cup, and found some of those small UHT plastic carton things which are supposed to contain milk.

This was when my brain finally conked out and I realised that I was going mad. I stared at the plastic carton whilst sipping my plastic coffee and I read the label.

Non-Dairy. Contains Milk.

I read it again

I asked the waitress. She read the label for me and said that she didn’t know what it was. Maybe it was supposed to be healthier than the alternative option, but she wasn’t sure. English wasn’t her first language. I told her that this English wasn’t my first language either because in my English milk is a dairy product.

At this point my day got suddenly much better because we switched to Spanish and everything seemed to make a lot more sense. Suddenly I was having a very real Latin American-esque conversation where I learnt about Cuba and how a certain ‘politician’ has caused some frustration for the Cuban residents of Miami as he’s made going home to visit their mothers a whole lot harder. I sympathised, I was on my way home to see my mother and had unexpectedly found myself spending a night in Miami. Going straight home would have been a whole lot more convenient.  

I then returned to my room and ask the rain fell in Miami, I slept.