On being back on the road again, eighteen months later, and being reminded of what happens when you’re sleep-deprived.
- You find yourself at the wrong gate with some stranger. They’re trying to be helpful. You are headed to the same destination, but they’re on Lufthansa, you’re on United. Chaos ensues, because now you’re at the wrong gate, wrong concourse, and you have to sprint with a very heavy backpack before they shut the door on your exhausted mug. AND now you have to show all your Covid stuff AND your destination visa AND AND AND before they allow you on board.
- You allow some fast operators to “help you with your luggage” which really means they take something of yours, carry it seventeen feet and expect twenty dollars for their trouble.
- You wander aimlessly and endlessly looking for the Frankfurt Napcabs, which no airport employee seems to know about, so that by the time you find them, they are all occupied, which means your precious sleep recovery is halved.
- You forgot to check whether or not your precious Sound Oasis machine was really working, and end up spending all the time you meant to sleep or relax trying to track down the manual, troubleshoot it and fix it. By the time you get the airport internet to work it’s nearly time to follow the wrong person to the wrong gate like a sleepy dog.
- Send incomprehensible emails to your social media person with at least one f-bomb, to which he politely responds, not without some consternation, and I quote, you should tell me another time what you meant by that. Hope its sorting out.
- Try to pay a fruit vendor something like $100.00 for ten dollars’ worth of fruit because you can’t remember the exchange rate, and you’re so sleep-deprived that you almost argue with your guide, who blessedly steps in and takes the money out of your hand before you give away the farm for a few bananas. Thank god for honest guides.
- Try your best to set the hotel room on fire by using your favorite trick to dry your wet socks: stick a hair dryer in it, set it on high heat, and nearly fall asleep leaning against the bathroom wall until the hotel fire alarm goes off. By that time the nozzle of the hair dryer has melted. No. I did not make that up.
- Hand wash your clothing and then open your window wide to let your stuff dry. Forget you’re in Africa. As you go to sleep with the nice breezes wafting in, so does the battalion of Aedes aegypti , in search of Stupid Guests Who Forget They Are in Africa.
- Spend the next half hour or so throwing your gear around the hotel room looking for your bug shit. Because, natch, the lights don’t work. It’s Africa. And, you also can’t find your tiny black flashlight for this very purpose because a)it’s dark, b) you’re sleep-deprived, and c) it’s Africa.
- Go back to bed. Your yellow fever shot is current. You think.
- Oh. And one more for the road. Open window. Note cute little monkeys on tree next to the roof. Leave bananas on desk. Next to open window.
Note to self: IT’S AFRICA, STUPID.
On the road again, I couldn’t wait to get on the road again, just to find out how stupid I can be, I just couldn’t wait to get on the road again.
With my apologies to Willie.
Oh. And PS. I just got moved to a new room for a better wifi signal, because, well, Africa.
Someone melted the nozzle on that hair dryer too. Because, well, you know.
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