You know it’s going to be a good flight when you fall asleep before you even leave the ground. Even if it is a Tylenol PM induced sleep.
It was time to leave Hong Kong and venture to a new continent: Africa. But it was going to take us three flights (10 hours, 8 hours, 2 hours) to get there. With our last flight being such a disaster (see the post “bad flights”) I was taking matters into my own hands to ensure a good flight’s rest. As we boarded the flight, Noel and I scanned the plane for empty seats to stretch out on after take off. There were quite a few, but we saw another guy doing a similar scan. Our eyes met over an empty row of four seats and the look of war covered our faces as we prepared to defend our territory. Big gestures across the plane, warning snarls, and shaking fists at one another did nothing to secure our place in these seats, since during our banter they were taken by a french woman….sneaky sneaky.
In the end it didn’t matter. I barely remember any of that flight because I slept through most of it. I do remember that it was my turn to be grandma and have someone walk into the lavatory on me in all my glory taking care of my businasty.
We landed in Doha, Qatar and headed to the terminal for our transfer to Johannesburg when we met up with the same guy who would have fought us for those coveted seats. It turned out he was from SA and headed back home.
Our flight was, or rather, our flight IS (since I’m still on the plane with 2 hours of flight time left) completely empty. In a plane that seats somewhere in the range of 300 passengers, there’s maybe 30-50 people. I have my own row of three seats to myself and so does Noel behind me and the saffer (South African) who ended up sitting in the row in front of me.
The flight started with more banter with saffers from across the plane who had plenty of advice on how to make best use of the extra pillows and blankets in your empty row – these guys were pros! The guy – whose name I still have yet to learn, was full of helpful information and even gave me my first rand bills and coins. We’ve been sprawled out like we own the place, my three seats becoming my bedroom – mess included! – taking full advantage of the emptiness of the flight. Now we’re about to land in Johannesburg actually the map shoes that we’re over Kruger National Park headed to Nelspruit now! Johan! We’re flying over you! Hello down there!! 🙂
We’re just one short, 2 hour flight, away from Cape Town where our friend Dorian will greet us at the airport. I’m so excited! These flights so far have been awesome with spectacular views. I saw the palm Islands of Dubai for the second time in my life, we traversed the entire east coast of Africa seeing mountains, oceans, deserts. We crossed the equator and are just minutes away from touching down in South Africa. I hope our next flight to Cape Town is as pleasant… complete with friendly strangers and unlocked lavatory doors.