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Cazz

My trip to South Africa – November 2006

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With my nose pressed up against the tiny window of the airplane (much like a child looking into a candy store’s window) I search the darkness for the familiar shape. In the distance I see the city lights and my hand touches the ice cold window as if to feel the beat of a lover’s heart. In the darkness I find the lines that form the majestic shape and my heart skips a beat as my finger traces it’s shape on the window as lovers would lovingly trace each other’s lips in a moment of adoration. My breath catches in my throat … I choke back the tears, which threaten to spill over the brim of my tired eyes. A whispered “Hello my old friend” escapes as a sigh from my trembling lips … “I am home.”

 

Home is where the heart is, so the saying goes, but the saying home is where I hang my hat and coat is more fitting to me. However, my adventurous gypsy heart may take me from one foreign shore to another and I may find a ‘home’ on each of these shores, but I don’t think that anything will affect me like the vision of ‘Ou Groote’ (Old Big One).

 

When you, as a traveling Capetonian or Ex-Pat Capetonian, see Table Mountain, be it just the outline of it's shadow in the dark of the night or in broad daylight, you feel this overwhelming warmth…a welcome home hug from this majestic mountain which is the hub of the Western Cape. Like a Mother with open arms and a warm heart, steadfast she stands, sometimes in a hue of blue, to welcome her children and others to her home.

 

It hadn’t quite been 2 years since my last visit (after 10 years) to South Africa and I found myself changing plans to visit Portugal for a family trip to SA due to illness in the family. All four of us were going so the hunt was on for a good deal. Tickets were purchased and teachers were notified that the kids would be taking off a week and 3 days from school. All arrangements made and literally 2 days before our departure we get an email notifying us of a great deal……fly to SA for $660…as long as you fly between the 11th and 30th of November. Eish….that’s exactly our dates!!!!! Grumble…. Could have saved us a bunch of moela….grumble-grumble, but what the hay, nothing we can do about it now.

 

Our trip took us from Atlanta to Washington (with a 5 hour layover) and then Washington to Josie and on to the Mother City. Our return flight was Cape Town - Josie - Dakar - Washington and back to Atlanta. There seemed to be more leg room, food was good and the crew members were great. We had one miserable cow on the United flight between ATL and Dulles and she only smiled when the passengers were disembarking. I’m thinking it must have been her first day of her period or something because every now and then she’d screw up her face to such a degree she’d go from looking like Alice in Wonderland to looking like the wicked witch of the East…or was it the West…whatever, but all I’ll say is that I’ve never seen someone contort their face so well. She should be in the circus…. next to the bearded lady and just in front of the man with three nipples.

 

Now of course while on SAA we took advantage of the SA wines and other drinks made available like Appletizers and Ceres Juices etc. Ag and the staff were just so friendly, happy and wonderful or was that because the wyn was so salig op die tong?. Now that being said…. Cruella Da Ville must have mind reading abilities and ‘read’ my comment on her being a cross between Alice and the wicked witch, because only she could cast a spell on the crew of our return flight between Josie and Dakar. Either that or the cabin crew and flight crew were a bunch of Ecuadorians or a bunch of women going through the change of life!

 

In all my years I have never felt so freaked out. With all the power I could muster I clung to my chair willing myself…no forcing myself to sit still…..even did the breathing exercises I saw on one of those Birthing programs on the TLC channels… Hee-hee-hee whoo ….and so on… It would seem that Hotazhell was no longer a small town in the Karoo, but now was the new name for the airflight between Josie and Dakar. My head pressed so hard against the small window….trying to ‘accidentally’ push the window out with one’s forehead is not a good idea….leaves you with a huge red circle right in the middle of your forehead and one heck of a headache.

 

Anyhow…back to the saga that was at hand. Well there I am about to lose my sanity….thinking that these people are going to have a field day when I totally lose it… I plan it and now envision it and play it back in my mind’s eye…strip down to my nipple-caps and deur-trekker….run up and down the aisles…fat wobbling this way and that….screaming open the freaking windows…open the freaking windows…Aaaah that would bring someone to action. Eish, but no that would only land me in hot waters and with a case of bad carpet burn on my exposed flesh when they tackle me to the floor of the airplane. So a few drinks more and I try to sleep…breathe in hot fart air, breathe out hot fart air…in fart air, out fart air…mouth feels and tastes like I’ve been looking for a promotion by brown-nosing the bosses…in fart air and out…well you get the picture.

 

We land at Dakar and no one is allowed off, and I swear that when that seal of the plane door was cracked just a little the fresh air molecules that were the scouts for the rest of the fresh air troops high tailed it the other way and along went the rest of them too…. They all refused to come in even when the doors were wide opened and the Security did their cabin check of hand-luggage and open seats…and even when the crew left and were replaced by new cabin and flight crew who quickly announced that they were going to spray the cabin…..en daar loop hulle aisles af met ‘n kannetjie in elke hand met goeters wat uit spuit….smells like baby powder…now mix that with hot stuffy fart bad breath air and viola….. Cruella Da Ville’s revenge brew!

 

Slowly but surely some brave fresh air molecules ventured through the open doors and soon fresh cool air was pumping through the vents in the cabin. All doors closed and the Captain comes over the air. What a hoot he was….if only I can remember his name I’d send him a Thank you for flying me - I mean for flying the plane I was on…Ag you know what I mean. Well Captain goes through his introduction of the flight crew and Cabin Captains and what not and then says something to the fact that he hopes we get a good night’s bedrest – click goes the PA system and then click back on to say..”well not for those of you in the back, but we hope you get some rest”…..who made the clown a pilot…let alone a Captain? And ever so often he’d come on with some or other announcement followed by a tongue in cheek remark…..and very detailed as to what airport we were circling (coming in for our landing in Washington) and in which direction we were going and telling us how he can’t see what was out his window when it comes to landmarks that were ‘touristy’ as it was too dark, but we were just circling waiting for where to go….but he knew where to fly….then goes on to say how we flew at a lower height because of turbulence and by flying lower how much more fuel we’d used and how expensive it was to the company….and how that it wasn’t our worry as long as we had a comfortable flight etc etc….quite a funny chap…..Oh and his skills as a pilot were awesome…take off and landings were as smooth as a baby’s bum. Anything in between I wouldn’t know as I was lulled to sleep by the Snores Chorus. It would seem that sleep apnea is a common problem amongst South Africans. Eish!

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Hello and welcome back, Cazz - looking forward to Part II :D

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:lol::lol: You had me flying along with you!

 

Welcome home!

 

Bev

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