November 7, 2008 at 5:58 pm 9 comments


As every weary traveler can attest, there is a safety mechanism that kicks in to protect your mind and body from going numb on these journeys. Sometimes it is ( as one Aussie mentioned) a “sleeping pill and a slug of brandy” for others a book, for Rich it has always been noticing his surroundings, and being trapped in a tin tube at 35,000 feet he found his own safety valve from boredom as he traveled to the African Continent from Cleveland

Part One Notes on a Plane can be found here


Bumpy again, really dark outside. Here I sit, thinking that only 5 ½ hours more and I will in Dakar, Senegal, Africa. The city that I often see on Amazing Race. There, it’s only at night as well while their planes land and off they go. Oh I wish that was going to be my experience with Dakar. However, I knew that would not be the case. The stewardess said we would be stopping in Dakar for refueling and their security will come on board to do a sweep.

What is this I am thinking? Why now after flying over 8 hours over the Atlantic would they do a security check? Come to find out…Dakar considers itself a separate ‘nation’ (so to speak) and they tax the airlines and require security sweeps. The stewardess said we would have to get our carry on bags and get out of our original assigned seats. Security would come on board and check bags if they like and other things.

Darn this would be so much easier to write if I had a laptop! The world of computers has changed my life so much. I hate to write these days. Thank God I am a fast typist. The words just don’t flow through the ink pen as they do the keyboard.

Looking back, sitting in JFK, Terminal 3, and Gate 8 was no picnic. Three hours of just sitting, wondering what my next few weeks would be like. Will I like Cape Town?<em> Will the people greet me with an open mind? Will I accept them? Will I survive the ‘culture shock’? I mean, come on now, the old Tarzan movies were the only experience I had with Africa and I surely could not expect to be boiled in a cauldron…at least I hope not!

There was a “security guard”…if you want to call him that…and just me -sitting there. Me, two carry on bags…him – a cell phone and a backpack on the floor. He had his New York City Transit Security dress blues and white engraved shirt…all of a sudden, he just started talking.

“Where you from?”
“I’m from Alaska. Just transferred here.”
Oh, I said with a nod.
“Do you like baseball?”
Yes, I replied but not to the point where I’ll know everything.
“I like football”.
That’s cool.
“No good teams in Alaska. Not enough people I guess.”
I’m sure, but I can’t afford to help pay those salaries to go to the games.

Me? Making sure my hand is through the handles of both bags. He kept looking at me. Looking at his cell phone. Looking at me again. Kind of unnerving. For some reason, I just did not trust this guy. He was stabbing at a conversation between his grunting and cell phone. No special reason for the distrust. Just uncomfortable feeling. I just away and stare down the long empty corridor with him in sight off to the side.

“It’s cold in here.”

Not bad for me, I replied.

He gets up and starts walking away, staring at me and talking on his cell phone.
Finally, more people! I’m not alone in this cavern!

To be continued………

Entry filed under: Africa, personal opinion, travel.

ODOT LETTERS ( and the beat goes ON- even if the traffic doesn’t) Muley comments on ODOT’s public disgrace

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November 2008

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