This is actually one of the forgotten stories of my time in Bonaire. Sometimes I don’t realize how many times I mentioned something because of so many blog posts that I have written. As you know the Bonairians will try to squeeze every cent out of you if you have an American or Canadian passport. Trust me when I tell you, the vast majority of Bonairians are not your friends. Only a small handful of Bonairians are good people, but that can be said for any group of people, even in America. However, in Bonaire, if you are an American or Canadian citizen you are venerable. The native Bonarians fear the European Dutch, not the Americans, surprising I know…j/k. And when they see that you are a white person, they think you are loaded with cash. My landlords are very unsympathetic, they know I’m a venerable foreign student and even then they asked me to pay extra rent money when I wasn’t staying for the entire month. So for the last month I left for a friend’s house and my landlords couldn’t find anyone to replace me for that month; sucks for them, they could’ve made some money instead of no money.
The Bonaire government will charge you over $40 in exit tax when you leave the country. So someone told me that if you’re still going to USA or Canada through local flights then tell them you are going to Aruba or Curacao or whichever part of the Netherlands island your connecting to. By doing so you avoid paying so much and you just have to pay less than $10 in local tax. I did and it worked.
I took Insel Air to Curacao and trust me when I say this; that airline is run by idiots. Insel Air left my luggage in Bonaire and the officials standing around didn’t know what to do. So I had to go and ask around to different officials in what do to. I had to call back and forth until I found an official who spoke English. I filled out a lost luggage form and got their office number, cell phone number, their manager’s number, just enough numbers for me call constantly to drive them insane. I went to American Airlines in Curacao and told them what happened and they just assured me that they’ll do whatever they can to get it. Unfortunately the luggage wasn’t lost in a domestic USA flight; otherwise the airline who lost it would just send me a check in the mail.
Two days later after I got back home I called the non-English speaking official in Curacao and understood his broken English enough to confirm that my luggage came at my local airport. And yes I communicated well with him because I had Google Translate right in front of me when replied back in Spanish to the guy. I went to my home State’s airport and apparently no available airport official could help me, what a surprise. I made a mistake of asking a TSA officer of where to go, those idiots don’t know much, except of how to use their authority to feel on women passengers; I’m kidding. Luckily I found an official of the airline, which was supposed to bring my luggage, and we resolved things out after a while. The problem was that the Curacao airport official gave me 6 out of the 8 tracking numbers over the phone; and the missing two tracking numbers were two zeros, go figure. Anyways, I was taken to a back room where a lot of lost luggages were and I found my luggages half beaten up. So, I avoided paying luggage fees to the airline and I avoided paying extra money to the Bonaire government. I don’t feel guilty about it because Bonaire government charged me on this and that, even to get my deposit back from immigration office; and I know all SJSM would’ve done the same. At the end everything worked out well, except for the half-beaten up luggages which cost me over $300.
By the way, this happened when I returned to USA last December.