Monday, December 11, 2006

Journey: complete

Forty hours, five airports, six airplane meals, 24 Bellingham tiny wines, three hours of sleep, three in-flight movies, one suicidal piece of machinery and one sick passenger later: I am home.

These last few days would have been hell on earth if I wasn't so excited about coming home. After Bangkok we arrived in Nairobi at four am, departing at Jomo Kenyatta Airport. It felt like when you come out of a late-night movie in a mall and all the shops are closed, lights dimmed, and your footsteps echo in the empty corridors. We had to wait until 7:30 for our next flight, but that turned out to be 13:00, as some mechanical thingy-majig on the plane decided to commit suicide (selfish bugger) as we were taxiing, so we had to turn around on the runway and wait in the departure lounge until 12, by which time they'd figured out what was wrong, but then the pilot and his crew had completed their 12-hour shift and the airline was compelled by law to find another pilot. Luckily, there was a captain and crew sitting in the government/first-class lounge playing strip-poker and drinking games with the air hostesses, chuggin' on fat Havanas, downing tequila shots and chasing them with Jack and coke mixers. They would have to do.

Tiny wine was ordered and we headed off to Joburg aka Egoli, place of gold. It was a bumpy ride but the views while flying over the Serengeti and lakes Tanganyika and Victoria were worth it, as well of course, the copious i-tiny winies in constant supply and disappearing in a perennial stream. By the time we departed at Johannesburg, Christoff couldn't focus or handle heavy machinery (afterwards he said he couldn't remember ever climbing off the airplane at JHB International - damn lightweight) so yours truly had to do the PA work, booking us in and getting us on the Mango Airlines plane, who, by the way were pretty crap, and made us about three hours late but it wasn't their fault and if you pay minimal fees that's what you can expect so we couldn't complain. Other passengers did, however and kudos to Ghia the uber-cool air hostess who handled the grumpy, "this is not acceptable service", "I have hemorrhoids so I want a softer seat" whiny-ass passengers with grace and icy-cool finesse. Nice one! If they want silver service, maybe they should have coughed up a bit more money instead of buying the cheapest plane ticket on the market.

Again, while we were taxiing on the runway, some dude got a panic attack and freaked out. Five brandy shots and seven bitch-slaps didn't rectify the situation so we had to turn around again and drop him off. Back into the queue waiting to depart. I'm not sure, but I think we arrived in Cape Town at about 22:20 last night. It was good to see the folks and fam who had been waiting since seven I think, but luckily they used the Kotzé family common-sense and headed to the nearest airport restaurant to polish several bottles of wine whilst waiting.

I'm as happy as an ant in a cookie jar, bee in a honey pot, or caterpillar on head of lettuce. Will update again soon!


alet said...

Jippie jy's terug!!!

Linka said...

wow, and you still have energy to blog! congrats on making it.

Margie said...

Entertaining, as ever, to read. Welkom tuis! Sien jou oppie berg of tussen die wingerde... of whatever.

thong said...

True indeed, the frugal can't be finicky!

Brian said...

grats on getting home safe. Enjoy your month.

Rhum's on me when you get back.

Caz said...

Hallo henno menno!!!
Can't wait to see you!
Drinks soon?

Life Out East said...

That's some flight! I know what you mean about people moaning on flights. I once sat across from some guy bitching at the air stewardess because of turbulence.

henno said...

Thanks guys :)

Yeah, it's been awesome so far, seeing all my friends, fam and gf. I wish I could update more but right now I'm just having a blast!

Will hopefully post some pics soon though, thanks for all the msgs and merry x-mas everyone!

arcadia said...

only just read your comment on my nairobi/nigeria embaressing! and to think my mother is a geography teacher.