The Journey Begins

Find myself on a plane from Johannesburg, or Jo-burg, to Windhoek, Namibia. Also find myself upgrading from the lowly seat 17A to a much more prestigious 10C…take that world.

The trip so far has been comprised of a few cat naps, some obscurely small beverages and airplanes full of people.

1. Leave Cincinnati on Saturday. Say goodbye to parents and Shannon before shooing away Shannon before having a wet face…success; however, not satisfying. Proceed to wait 30 minutes before plane arrives. Here we go again.

2. Chicago is awesome because I get to leave the airport, take a 10 min ride from one terminal to the next and arrive at another security line. Fortunately, the line does not exist this time around and I do not wait. Unfortunately, I get to wait inside the worst airport terminal, period. I ‘treat’ myself to day old yogurt and granola and receive a reply of silence when asking the clerk how her day is going…. did i mention i love Chicago?

3. 747 plane ride to London is quick. ‘I Am Legend’ and latest installment of Nicolas Cage’s overacting feature, ‘National Treasure’, help pass the time. Cheesecake is good. Mini Cokes are better. I’d like to see the mini factory some day.

4. London is awesome…especially from inside the airport for 14 hours. Savior…Yotel. Don’t let the name fool you…this no Foakley hotel…it’s pretty sweet. Little cabin, little shower, great bed…I smelled and looked like roses after a full ‘nights’ sleep and a shower. On to the brand new Terminal 5…just a couple of free train rides…they have nice trains…and I was basking in the glory that is Terminal 5.It’s wawesome! Coolest feature: automatic trays for security lines. They feed through a bottom track, you put all your stuff in one bin, and the bins are sent through automatically by a feed mechanism that moves things quickly but never allows the separate bins to touch….gotta see it to appreciate it. The Terminal is one large open area under a dome and is essentially an upscale shopping center with top tier restaurants. Thai green curry for me. I buy a tshirt. I buy some cds. So far so good. I go to my plane happy.

5. I get on plane and become unhappy. 1. Flight to JB is 10.5 hours. 2. No on demand video means if I miss the beginning I have to wait for it to start again. 3. Bulk head seating: no leg room and bags have to be up top. 4. Flight is delayed 2 hours, 1 hour 55 min 59 secs spent inside the airplane. Good news isn’t far behind though. I manage to squeak in some sleep. Don’t let this fool you because the best is yet to come. I spend the next 2 or so hours watching and enjoying ‘There Will Be Blood.’ Lucky me, we have to land. The flight attendant physically pushes my screen down as the last 5 minutes of the movie are playing…clearly didn’t trust me to turn it off…for good reason I’ll admit. Now I need someone to tell me what happened at the end so I can appreciate the deep and no doubt, meaningful message.

6. Johannesburg. Well…we wait for buses to take us to the terminal. I wait for the one clerk to hand out boarding passes to the mob at the desk. When you’re dealing with a mess of foreigners in a foreign country there will be no line…I offer $5 guarantees on this one (not really *legal note). I’m uninspired by the building and get to wait for another bus to take me to a more uninspiring 737 straight out of the 80s…yippee.

7. Fly to Windhoek and type what’s going on. Have another delicious meal of lamb cheesiness. Feel blood flow slowing after 4 airplane meals within 48 hours. As Jerry Seinfeld once so eloquently put it, why the used razor blade slot in the lavatory? Ooh, fun turbulence on the way down. More to come later…

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