Thursday, December 11, 2008

South Africa - Not Yet!

South Africa Journal: Day One - They wouldn't let me on the South African Airline flight in Washington DC's Dulles International Airport. Actually, the white guy with a scar where his forehead meets the top of his head, almost from one ear to the next, told me he would let me on the flight but that I would be turned away in Johannesburg. The reason: I don't have a full blank page in my passport. Actually, I do, but they are in the Amendment Pages. The Visa Pages are broken up into four sections for visa stamps and though I have many stamps, I also have a few empty quarter-page sections. But the scar head dude said I needed a full empty page. He wrote on a scrap piece of paper where I needed to go in the city to get extra pages in my passport... at 7:00am the next day!

DC is not a cheap city. My friend Van helped me get a room at the Beacon Hotel, just blocks from the Passport Office in Dupont Square for $100 a night. Carajo! Left my backpack with South African Airlines and walked, underdressed for the East Coast winter, in the 35 degree rain from the underground, after a $10 bus ride and a $3.85 subway fare from Dulles, to my hotel. Went to the Brickskeller for beer and a vegiburger and fell asleep watching the car bailout fail on CSPAN.

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