The plane tickets to take us from the U.S. to Central America were easily purchased on the airline's web site that was available in both English and Spanish. No problemo. Today, it was time to place the order for the flight on a smaller regional carrier online. The web site was solely in Spanish. Despite the generally universal information needed for booking a flight (names, passport numbers, dates, destinations, and valid payment information), it was a puzzle to work through determining exactly which blanks were for what. We wanted to fly from La Ceiba to Puerto Lempira, and not the other way around, after all. I copied the screen and e-mailed it to Laura who said it looked good. Except that the screen had timed out.
I reentered the information requested, at least that was the intent while calling the credit card company to be sure the unusual charge would be approved. (Credit card companies get kind of paranoid about "unusual charges" involving international travel.) The card representative got off the phone just in time for me to send the information completing the purchase. Except that I pushed the wrong button because I didn't know which button said what and just deleted the whole thing. Grrr. Reentering all the information for a third time, I hit the correct button to process the desired transaction only to have the purchase received by our credit card issuer and declined.
While the mister looked up assorted unknown words in an online translator just to be sure the right information was being given, and I redialed the credit card company while entering the desired flight reservation once more. This time everything went perfectly. The information was entered correctly, the transaction approved, and our confirmation printed in anticipation of the trip in three more weeks. These small hurdles feel like great leaps as I stumble along gaining experience with travel. Hopefully, the light at the end of the tunnel is a warm, tropical sun... and not the glare of airport fluorescent lighting in the wrong place at the wrong time!