Monday, July 6, 2009

Travels with Susan

Considering all the flying I do for my job, I thought I was a pretty seasoned traveler…wrong.

When I arrived two hours early for my flight at Kigali, I went to what I thought was the a small ticket counter but it was only for purchasing future tickets (cash only) and was told I needed to go through security before I could check-in. They would not allow me to carry on my bag so it was checked to Joberg and my final destination was Cape town. The flight was only an hour late but with headwinds, it took almost four hours in Regional Jet. I do not know how they stay in business because there were only seven people on the flight; they served a full meal and all the beer and wine you wanted.

I forgot to bring my immunization card and was turned away at the passport control at 12:30 AM. They told me I could go to a 24 hour clinic and for $90.00 I got my second yellow fever vaccination (about double what I paid for it in CA). Once I had the card, I went back through passport control. By this time it is about 1:30 AM and the Domestic Terminal was closed until 4:30AM. I had three hours with no place to go in one of the most dangerous cities in the world. I had a very small taste of what it is like to be alone, afraid and briefly homeless. Finally a policeman let me into the baggage claim area where there were over 100 people waiting for early morning flights. All the benches were taken so I was happy I had my luggage. I was able to get a sweater and jacket because it was freezing on the concrete. I longed for even the worst Red Carpet Club!

It was my own fault for forgetting my immunization card but it was not part of my travel routine but it is now. I also forget to bring an adapter to plug in computer, IPod and Kindle.

I arrived to drizzle and could not see much of the city but it has cleared up a little and this is a picture of the city and Table Mountain outside my window in one direction and the Port in the other.


  1. The same thing happened to us in Fiji except no danger. It is certainly a hopeless feeling as the doors from customs slam shut behind you and you have no idea where to go and no one to ask...
    I'm thankful your story ended happily, albeit uncomfortably...

  2. I made it home safely without a replay of the earlier drama. Hope all is well.