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Cape Town V - Part 15

Cape Town International has been radically revamped for the 2010 World Cup and now looks very impressive. Sadly we found ourselves in departures checking in at the 1time desk ready for our long journey home. MC, GC, LAB and Little c met us at Mug & Bean for a farewell coffee... and then it was time for N and me to leave...

The journey home was largely uneventful and consisted of three flights. The first leg was Cape Town to Johannesburg courtesy of the budget airline 1time and it was a mere two hours later that we found ourselves at Oliver Tambo Airport in Joburg. I was rather disappointed that the huge spaceship that used to hover above the city had now departed and that I was not going to see it! The airport had a bit of a pungent smell to it and after mercifully retrieving our luggage we set off for something to eat. The first restaurant we tried looked okay, however their chip and pin system was broken and they would only accept cash... the second was running out of food so we ended up dining on beef stew.

I've noticed that whatever airport I am at and at whatever time - there is always a flight to Addis Ababa that is running about 17 hours late. Everytime. Next time you're at an international airport look at the departures board and you'll see what I mean!

Anyway after 2 or 3 hours at Oliver Tambo we boarded the Emirates Airbus A340 bound for Dubai. When you board an airliner and you walk through first class and business class etc. have you noticed the wave of contempt that the b*st*rds sitting there give you as you squeeze past? Even though in most cases their tickets have been paid for by the companies they happen to work for. Usually consists of an arrogant scowl. Of course it is highly probable that none of them needed to be on these business flights in the first place as no doubt things could be done via video link etc... but hey lets perpetuate the unnecessary perks... eh? Tossers.

The flight to Dubai took 8 hours. 8 hours in a constricted position with an annoying metal box bolted to the floor beneath the seat in front strategically positioned to impede the comfort of my left foot. I didn't bother watching any films on the way back, instead I spent most of the time with my head lolling from one side to the other... N's legs draped across my lap. When it came to grub time the meal N wanted had run out. However after a 15 minute wait or so the original meal N wanted turned up. Maybe the chef rustled one up especially.

At last we made it to Dubai and horror of horrors we had resigned ourselves to an 8 hour wait. After eventually finding the transfers desk N asked whether there was any space on an earlier flight (a request she had made at least twice earlier which resulted in an emphatic "afraid not"). Miraculously though this time it was a case of "yeah no problem can get you on the next flight in 2 hours time"... What was all that about?

Of course I was concerned at how our luggage would be bumped forward to the earlier flight (although I needn't of worried). After a quick roam around the shops and a bite to eat we headed for the gate.

Have you noticed the amount of people that "work" at airports who just seem to aimlessly roam around doing sod all?... or who sit behind a computer screen doing nothing?... or who are standing there leaning against something chatting. What do people do who "work" at airports? Of course most of them are so bloody big you must spend half your day walking from A to B and you bet there are plenty of distractions en route.

Dubai to Gatwick (yes we had to change to Gatwick instead of Heathrow) was pretty much like the 2nd leg. This time on a Boeing 777. N was stuck with the mysterious metal floor box this time and I took it upon myself to get up to speed with Whitney by listening to her latest album on the interactive thingie.

Gatwick North Terminal and our plane touched down... a long wait in the cramped baggage reclaim for our cases and much to my intense irritation I discovered the plastic rigid bit at the back of my suitcase had been shattered and more disturbingly the leather name address label had gone missing. Like bin men it clearly seems they employ lobotomised chimps in the baggage handling area.

As we emerged in arrivals we were greeted by the obligatory crowd of people many of whom were displaying name cards. Our driver was proudly wearing a superman top which stood out by a mile. Well done MO. We were home.

Coming soon... Cape Town VI