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#1541 Airport taxes etc. : A comment
Regarding the airport taxes levied upon departing passengers in Haiti. $30.00
US + 10 gourdes from each foreigner. I have no idea how much is levied from
Haitians. I do not mind paying the money but want to know what is done with
it. I go to Haiti once a year and never once felt that said collected funds
are put to good use. One time recently I felt an urgent call of nature while
at the mais gate airport. After asking around I located a bathroom in an
isolated area. I approached the bathroom with a look of urgency and slightly
bent over. I saw a man standing there near the bathroom door observing me. I
entered the bathroom and luckily noticed in time that there was no toilet
paper in there. Upon exiting the restroom, I observed the previously noticed
man was approached by another who handed over to him a loose bundle of toilet
paper wrapped around a fist. Without a word, the traveler now armed with
toilet paper gave me some of it and said "Fok ou kon' la pou al la". I
thanked him, did my thing and went to make a telephone call. I was directed
to a teleco office located at the airport. No problem Monsieur, the person at
the counter told me, "you can call Miami, i will dial for you". When I
explained that I did not want to call Miami but rather wanted someone in
Petionville, I learned that the teleco office couldn't call Petionville. It
was not wired for local calls, only international calls. So then where can
someone find a telephone at the airport to call Petionville. The teleco
employee pointed to a wall near by with a telephone unit mounted on it. Only
she said it does not work, for everytime it is fixed, ti vakabon yo kraze'l.
So there, you have to bring your own toilet paper, and call Miami to get
Miami to call Petionville for you. As far as chairs for the weary traveler,
none couldn't be found. Lucky for me there was an empty stool at a lunch
counter. I sat down there but had to order something from the lunch/bar to
justify using the stool. A/C was and is still non existent at the airport
unless you are in the last waiting room before boarding, and even there......
So what is the money being used for? After all this is an international
airport. The first place experienced by tourists visiting Haiti.
Take my money but give me service.