So, I’ll admit this post, this series of posts, are EXTREMELY overdue. I returned back from South Africa back on February 28, but it’s been a crazy 4 weeks since and haven’t really had a moment to put my thoughts in order to put them in to words on the blog so it’s taken a bit of time and I sincerely apologize.
Well, where to start, as this was quite the 11 day trip. Well, of course I’ll start at the beginning. My friend Jess and I were off to South Africa on February 15, you know, right at the tail end of yet another snowstorm the US Northeast was buried under. The day before our flight, Friday morning, we each received an email notification that 32 hours before our flight, it was already being delayed for 3 hours! So, we head to the website to see what the details of our flight are now, what time do we land. We had to tell Jess’ sister what time we were actually anticipated to land to get picked up. This one simple little task presents us with all sorts of confusion as our landing time somehow jumped ahead by 12 hours even though we were delayed by 3? Let the panic begin.
We search online, call the airline, speak to customer service and discover that the Friday night flight has been delayed till Saturday morning, thus the online information showing our flight landing at 8:30AM. That’s because it’s not actually our flight we are finding information for but the Friday night flight. So, after some back and forth between the two of us, we decide to jump the gun and get ourselves on that rescheduled flight leaving 12 hours before our originally scheduled flight.
I run around do last minute errands, Jess comes home and does some scrambled packing to actually put the clothes in to a bag. As it’s not Valentines day, we also have plans with friends that night (my only chance to see my MD/DC/VA friends also as the storm delayed me the day before). So in all the fun, Jess and I also decide that since we are going out Friday night and have to be at the airport by 5:30am, we are going to just stay up ALL NIGHT. And, because we have such nice and amazing friends, we get them to stay awake with us also. Our amazing friend Jason offers to drive us to the airport at 5:00AM also! Such great people we know.
So, we get to Dulles airport, check in for the flight, check our bags, head through security, hang out at the gate all 12 hours ahead of schedule. This handed us 12 extra hours in Pretoria to get accustomed to the 7 hour time difference – so all in all, we thought we made a wonderful decision.
The only major damper on the journey over, was the flight attendant to attempted to start an argument with us over the time difference between Washington DC and Johannesburg, SA. Our lovely direct flight on South African Airlines actually made one stop (something the airlines website did not tell us but we found out via Expedia!). During our 1 hour stopover in Dakar, Senegal, a fellow passenger was curious as to the time upon landing. I overheard this and of course, because at heart I am always a New Yorker, had to stick my nose in and become part of this conversation. Our lovely flight attendant is adamant that the time difference is only 6 hours, yet I, a relatively well traveled individual, know full well that it is 7 hours. I am 100% positive the flight attendant is not all there because of this. You see, Jess’ sister has been living there for 3 months, so she knows the time difference. I also checked it Friday morning while trying to sort out our arrival time confusion. You see, DC is +5 GMT and Johannesburg is -2 GMT. Now, I am not very strong in math, but I can do a time difference conversion like it’s second nature, and this math reads a 7 hour time difference. But our flight attendant felt just as strongly that DC was only +4 GMT because we turn out clocks. Needless to say, it was obvious to me that not all flight attendants are as worldly as they seem or should be. And I do not mean to bad mouth flight attendants, but this one should NEVER be made as a good example of flight attendants.
More to come as I find the words to compliment my experiences!