Saturday, December 13, 2008

Finally in South Africa

Not sure if South Africa is more excited for the World Cup than I am.
This futbol World Cup count down machine is in Jo'burg International airport.

South African Journal: Day Three - A pretty uncomfortable 15 hour flight from Washington DC to Jo'burg. I had a row of four seats all to myself right up until the plane door shut and this middle aged woman jumped into the far seat in my row. Before I knew it she was laying down across three of the seats. Cheeky bi-otch. My seat did not recline correctly and the arm did not fold all the way up. Not as much leg room as JetBlue but more than other airlines I guess. Pretty rough over all. At least I had vegitarian meals and free booze.

Got to Jo'burg, got through customs without a snag. Approached the domestic counter and there was a guy in what seemed a South African Airlines uniform. His ID badge was in this shirt pocket. He asked what flight I was on and when I told him, he signaled for me to cut the line (I think that flight was about to take off in 10 minutes). The woman at the counter said I just missed that connection and that she would check the next flight. She asked for my itinerary. I asked the attendant in Washington for a printout of the itinerary and he said he could not print me one. He wrote it out by hand, very slowly and clearly. I handed her that piece of paper, she checked her computer and then told me that I was not in the system. She said something to the guy helping me in a language I didn't understand and he told me that I was not in the system, that I would have to buy a ticket on another airline, or stay a night in Jo'burg for a South African flight the next day.

I knew there would be more problems. The woman walked away, came back, checked her computer and printed out a boarding pass. The guy told me I was in luck. The woman left again and the guy asked me for something for their troubles. Hesitantly I handed him a $5 bill and he said their banks would not take that small a bill. He asked for a $20 bill. I don't usually give into bribes but I gave it to him. Welcome to South Africa.


At 8:47 AM, Blogger Oliver said...

You left just in time. Cold and starting to rain.


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