Life Without a Mouse

Midrand Travel Blog

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Originally posted Tuesday, October 9, 2006 on MySpace

Here is my first installment from Africa for those who have been waiting for it.  To begin...... I hate workin' on a laptop.  I really hate workin' on a laptop without a mouse.  It drives me freakin' crazy! 

Anyway, the various flights to get here were unremarkable.  The departure from Tucson was delayed thanks to the incoming flight from Chicago..... It's always somethin' about the weather.  The layo
vers each had their unique aspect:

CHICAGO O'HARE -- Three flights to London Heathrow was listed mine wasn't.  I thought that was odd, but figured with 3 hours yet, maybe they weren't ready to reveal the gate. 

I was hungry and wanted to go to Cinnabon.  I decided I should eat somethin'more substantial, so I decided I wanted a sandwich.  Nost sandwiches in the airport were pre-made, and way too fancy for my liking.  I just wanted to have a simple turkey and cheese sandwich.  There seems to be a love affair with various sorts of pesto sandwiches.  The panini was tempting, but I decided to pass.  For my dinner I had a Baja Chipotle Chicken Burrito at Burrito Beach.  I wasn't impressed.

I continue to wonder what gate I was to meet my flight.  It still wasn't posted 20 minutes to boarding time.  I inquired within...... Gate K16.  I show up to said gate, and the prompter says it's whatever number flight goin' to Boston.  Naturally, I had the "what-the-fuck" response in my head.  Basically, there was all sorts of confusion amongst the crowd.  Some were looking for a Boston flight (not the one indicated), others were present for the listed Boston flight, and there were those like me lookin' for some sign that the London flight was departing from this gate.  In the end the outcome was this:  mad people about missing the earlier Boston flight, antsy people for the quite postponed Boston flight, and the rest of us boarding to London.

LONDON HEATHROW --A number of people I know have expressed dislike about this airport.  I'm generally okay with it.  I must say I was a tad upset when security confiscated my stuff.  My mom said they must have a shortage of toothpaste.  In the American news media they reported that with the okay of the United Kingdom, we can now take toilettries as carry-on.  The rules were they had to be those travel size containers, and must fit in a quart sized storage bag.  So, imagine my surprise when I had my stuff taken away.  Unfortunately, I also had a full tube of toothpaste (still in the box, seald) that they snagged.  For whatever reason, I did manage to leave their security with my various lip glosses and chapstick.

DUBAI --  This was my longest layover.  For those of you not in the know, this is essentially the gateway from Asia to Europe; Dubai is in the United Arab Emirates.  The kingdom takes full advantage of being a major travel hub.  It's more like a mall than an aiport terminal.  I was surprised it would be such a lively place at midnight.  However, it is such a hub, and is busy 'round the clock.  As I was yakkin' on the phone with my mom, I came upon a Dairy Queen...... So I had a dipped cone.  The DQ people were tryin' to persaude me into a meal.  Nope, just the cone. 

As I was walkin' around the mall, I noticed the numbers of people passed out everywhere.  That's the other thing about Dubai International..... Long layovers are common.  I think there's a conspiracy involved.  The other thing I notice is the smell..... body odour and smoke.  Randi used to comment about the lack of deodorant use in Bahrain.  This was very evident in the Dubai airport mall.  As for the cigarettes..... They had designated smoking areas, some were rooms, others were open seating areas in the center of the terminal.  I'm not used to smoke in enclosed areas...... Even if it is as big as an airport.

Once I arrived to Johannesburg Int'l Airport, it took forever and a day for me to get through passport control.  I was waiting in a "line" to finally make my way up to the front to see that it was to a station without a person.  I moved into various lines with there various issues..... Two hours after my flight landed I make my way through passport control, grab my luggage, and find Chris, the driver, Ahsan arranged to pick me up.  He asked what happened..... He was about to leave assuming I hadn't come after all.  I must admit the idea of the driver leaving me was in the back of my mind.  After all, I had that problem in Istanbul.  I did have the driver's number...... The problem was I couldn't get any signal in the airport to call Chris.  I would have been so sad if he had left.....

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Midrand