Back in the States

Miami Travel Blog

 › entry 34 of 35 › view all entries
When I got to Miami, it was around 6am. I always seem to be more culture-shocked upon returning to the US than I am when I leave it. After going through customs, I immediately started making phone calls to find a center where I could get a vaccination. Nothing was open until 8am. I wandered around the airport and ordered a Cafe con Leche at one of the Cuban cafes. I changed my Brazilian Reais because I barely had any cash and was saddened by how few dollars I got back. I plugged in my cell phone to charge it and listened to the random voicemails from friends who knew I was away. At 8am I started making phone calls again and after several, I found that I could get a vaccine at the Port of Miami Medical Center. I asked them how long it would take, concerned about the long time it would take to get to the center and the growing lines at the airport. They assured me I would make it back in time. So I had to get some more cash from the ATM and find a cab.

The cab driver was from Haiti and he told me all about his homeland and asked my all about my trip in Brazil. My sister was getting ready for work and I talked to her on the phone for a bit along the way. No matter how much I explained that Salvador was a fairly modern city, she was convinced that I was volunteering in the jungle for six weeks. Getting bitten by a stray animal didn't help quell those notions. When we got to the Port of Miami, I saw the huge cruise ships bound for the Caribbean. We drove around in circles a few times before we actually found the Medical Center.

Finally, we got there and it was pretty empty. I didn't have to wait long. I had to explain what happened and they looked at me like I was crazy. I know it's weird, but it's not that weird. Finally, I saw the doctor who was a bit of a nut. She said "So, you were in Mexico and you got bitten by a cat?" I said, "I was in Brazil." And then a few minutes later "So a cat bit you in Mexico?" Again, I said, "I was in Brazil." She asked again about Mexico and I said, "I was in BRAZIL!" And then she said "Oh, you were in Brazil?! You have to be careful!!! Make sure to get the vaccines on the exact dates!" I know that, why else would I have left the airport to go all the way there?! The receptionist very nice and called a cab who was waiting for me there by the time I finished.

After that, I was relieved to have gotten the shot and to have gotten away from the nutty doctor. On the way back, I had an Eastern European cab driver. I can't remember which country, but once again he told me about his country and asked me about my trip. I love cities in the US that are full of immigrants. If I can't travel, it's the second best thing. At the airport, I had enough time to get a quick lunch at another Cuban cafe before boarding my flight back to San Francisco.
Join TravBuddy to leave comments, meet new friends and share travel tips!
photo by: ellieperla