Saturday, May 23, 2009

NY to South AFrica!

Wednesday May 20, 2009
Maggie and I did not get to bed til close to 3am! Mom called me at sometime around that time to make sure we got to NY and in our hotel all safe and sound. I don’t know if it was the excitement or what but finally after getting our suitcases situated we got to bed. Maggie went right off to sleep but I tossed and turned all night. The bed was wonderfully comfortable and I did sleep but not that kind of sleep that you want when you know you have a long trip ahead of you. All night long the traffic whizzed by on the highway. I wouldn’t have thought that it would have bothered me but it did. I think too I was afraid that we were going to oversleep and so I never fully went to sleep. So up and early the next morning I was. Two hours before I needed to, at 6:30am. I tried to will my self to go back to sleep but it didn’t work. So I got up and called room service to order breakfast. Maggie and I had already decided we wanted eggs, toast and fruit. I called and an Indian sounding guy answered. I ordered Maggie’s eggs scrambled and mine, over easy. He didn’t seem to understand and so I said, ‘You know, Sunny side up, with the middle all runny.” He chuckled and said ok.” I will bring it to you.” It wasn’t long before a knock on the door, signaled that our breakfast had arrived. Sure enough an older Indian man stood there smiling from ear to ear when I opened the door as he brought our breakfast in. Thanking him, I signed the ticket and wished him a great day. He looked at me and said smiling, ‘You made my day today.” Puzzled at first, it then dawned on me that maybe it was because I ordered my eggs “Sunny side up.” Maybe they don’t say that here in NY or India. Is it just a southern thing? But if you think about it IS a good way to start your day off. Sunny side up just sounds cheery, doesn’t it? Our nice chef left and we enjoyed our breakfast. My eggs by the way were cooked to perfection.
By 8:30 we were headed downstairs, hauling our suitcases in 3 trips to the lobby.
As soon as we stepped off the elevator we had a guy who was the greeter/bellhop cheerfully greet us and beg us not to leave. He had us laughing from the get go and helped get our luggage all together and loaded onto the shuttle. The shuttle guy was even more cheerful. He looked and sounded like he was from one of the islands in the Caribbean. He dropped us off in front of South African Airways and unloaded just our carryons. When I told him the 5 suitcases AND the stroller were ours, He just dropped everything he was doing and with his mouth dropped open, said, “Get out of here?!” in unbelief. “Are you telling me the truth?” he asked. “ Yes, I am”. “Well, I just thought they belonged to all these other people.” “No sir, they belong to us.”
He finished unloading them all, shaking his head the whole time in unbelief that two women had all that stuff. That left 2 suitcases in the back for the 4 people left in the van.
When I travel over to Africa, one thing is for sure. I don’t pack lightly. I maximize every lb they will give me.
Maggie and I got a cart and thankfully everything fit on it. Surprisingly, the airport was not that busy. We went to the counter to check our bags in and all went smoothly. None of the bags were overweight again. Even though we had added a lot from our carryons. We did have to pay again for that extra bag but it was cheaper than I had been told so that was great news.
Going through security was very interesting. They had about 6 lines going on at the same time and people were weaving in lines set up by security as if they were waiting to ride an amusement park ride. Meandering through the lines and throngs of people with the jolly security guard hollering, “Move on through people, keep going. Keep the lines moving, Hurry on up. Don’t stop. Push your stuff through to the x-ray. Anybody with kids?, Move to the front of the line, we don’t won’t those kids waiting”, only made me think of cattle being herded through the town into a corral. It was probably only funny to me, but I enjoyed the thought and chuckled to myself.
Once Maggie and I got put back together, we headed to our gate for the uneventful wait to board our plane to Africa. So the long journey begins.

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