08.11.2011 - 09.11.2011
The title says it all. And despite all my efforts to wangle my way into a business class upgrade, I must report that there is no easy way to travel across the world in a half-upright seat. None, I tell you.
There is a type of African lizard that falls asleep if you turn it onto its back. Put me on my front and I'm also out like a light. This works in airports, floors, carpets, even on piers... But not on planes. We flew from Johannesburg to Dakar (“Where is Dakar?” you may ask. Parked outside, I say.) which popped 8 hours of flying onto the tally. Despite it being some raucous hour of the morning, I can clearly remember seeing the full moon shimmering over the ocean just off the coast of West Africa. The knowledge that I was landing on African soil was comforting – but not as comfortable as the travel pillow that I had wedged backwards around my neck (Note: Get an inflatable one. It doesn't sag or shift around like those silly pellet cushions that are so much fun to play with).
An hour stopover in Senegal for fuel, freshener and French-speaking passengers was on the cards, then it was off above the Senegalese coastline and flashing lighthouse: America bound!
The rest of the flight is blur of good intentions of eye masks, in-flight entertainment, stiff necks and conversations with a doctor from Chicago. And deceptive amounts of sleep.
Another wait in the Washington airport was livened by meeting someone from Rondebosch, Cape Town. Perhaps it was creepy to be reading the luggage tag on his suitcase, but it was too cool to meet someone who lived less than 2km from me – on the other side of the world. Capetonians for the win!
One more take-off, one more runway, one more runaway... Jolly headed to Texas – home of cowboys, huge trucks and Chuck Norris himself. A little town called Grapevine will be my home for the next few months... Y'all will be surpriiiised at the accent that may result!