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Strange how we are okay with being packed like sardines, confined in a sitting position trapped in a flying tin can for 17 plus hours! We simply have relabeled it “travelling economy class”.
Hope you enjoy this Podcast.
PODCAST #2 The Flight: Delays, Fatigue, and Constipation
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Delays, Fatigue and Constipation
Flying from Washing DC to Johannesburg South Africa is similar to child birth. The end result is what you want… the process of getting there is laborious.
I started writing this script while sitting in the plane in Accra Ghana awaiting the arrival of new passengers and watching cleaners buzzing down the aisles picking up missed trash and wiping down the lavatories.
It was 4:30pm when we boarded our AirBus flight in Washington DC only to be delayed for two hours. There was a discrepancy between the plane’s full gauge and what the fuel tanker registered it had loaded. Although frustrating to add to 17 hours of being scrunched in economy class, it sure seems important to know we have enough fuel to make it all the way across the Atlantic.
Soon after a smooth take off dinner is served. A tip, even if you’re not vegan, if you like to get your meal first that’s a way to do it.
What you’re served and how it’s served varies quite a bit from airline to airline. Although I’m really peeved with South African Airways for recanting their ban on transporting hunting trophies… we’d bought non-refundable tickets… they have a few extra perks other airlines have pulled back on. Like silver- instead of plasticware. Providing a travel toothbrush, eye covers and lightweight socks. What you get in First Class… well, I wouldn’t know as it costs about three as much.
Over the years as we’ve traveled back and forth from the USA and South Africa we’ve paid around the same amount for airfare… about $1,000.
Besides a few rough spots of the plane rising and falling it’s a smooth flight. The time is spent watching a movie, reading a novel, getting some fitful sleep positioned this way, then shifting that in a confined sitting up position. A most welcome gift is an empty seat next to me. I lay my head on Russ’ lap and pull my legs up in fetal position, careful not to bump the next passenger.
Getting up periodically to stretch and get the blood flowing is not only good to keep from getting too stiff, but for those getting a tad bit older it may help stave off constipation. However, I still recommend slipping a few prunes in your carry-on. Also, bring along the lotion as skin dries out terribly on the plane. That’s probably why they keep serving water
For me another essential is my pillow. I have one that stuffs into my backpack along with my laptop, iPad and camera bag. It’s rather fun going through security when I remove my electronic devices it pops out like a jack-in-the-box. Folks behind me are less entertained as I plug up the exit line as it takes a bit to stuff it back in.
Finally we arrive in Johannesburg. We fill out the Ebola health check. Wait for our bags, this is always a bit nerve racking until they are all accounted for. Then there’s passport control to get that visa stamp. Sim cards in Africa expire after not being used for 90 days so it’s off to find a new one before we can call our friend regarding pick up. Like with most everything it takes at least walking in to two stores to get it done.
When we finally make it to our friend’s house there’s been a water break and the entire complex is without. Ah, guess camping starts earlier than we expected! Welcome to the good life in Africa… where the ordinary is anything but ordinary.