Africa: My Life as a Sardine
Insert Sardine NYC…Transport 14 hours…Reconstitute South Africa
Up at 4:30 a.m. after a fitfull three hours of sleep.
The Supershuttle Van was a tad late on account of the driver not being able to figure out the one-way streets. Got to Long Beach in good order. The flight to New York on JetBlue was pleasant. Had a great view of the Grand Canyon. No pictures unfortunately, as I was explaining how the canyon formed to a nice Haitian lady next to me. She is moving to Beverly Hills from New Jersey and does hair extensions for a living. She gets $6000 for a single stand weave which takes about 8 hours to complete. I am in the wrong business.
Quick transfer to another terminal in New York. Lots of long lines and pandemonium. Glad I didn’t try and cut it too close. The South African flight was completely full. I thought I would be smart and try to get out of middle seat I was assigned and get an aisle one instead. Was a little disappointed to wind up in the very last seat at the back of the plane. I think if I was 5’2” the seat might have been comfortable. At 6’4” it was anything but. Somehow I managed to get myself contorted around the seat ahead of me to get comfortable enough to get a little sleep. Had a light dinner and a bit more sleep. Then the back of the plane became the lounge for a group of christian teens. At 4:30 a.m. African time, they finally shooed everyone back to their seats and turned off the cabin lights. Managed to sleep off and on until about noon. Light lunch just before we landed.
The Jo’burg airport is pretty swanky. Got right through immigration and customs with no trouble. Was happy to see a man standing at the Arrival gate with a “Tod” sign. It turned out to be Peter Cohen’s friend Lads. He has very graciously agreed to put me up for the night. Drove back to his house while swapping stories about Peter (All good things.) and how the economy is in South Africa. Got back to his house to see the end of a South Africa vs. Australia Rugby match. South Africa pulled off a victory. Walked Lads’ very energetic Cattle Herder/Australian Ridgeback puppy. Waiting to go out to dinner with some friends and maybe some sleep soon.