My last day in South Africa was really just a mess of me trying to locate every piece of identification I’ve ever owned and managed to lose, while simultaneously packing my bag, because if I had finished packing earlier than five minutes before I was due at the airport I would have felt way too prepared.
I usually love flying, whether it’s an hour long or an over night long-haul flight, but my flight to England was just not enjoyable in any sense of the word. Unfortunately, I got one of the old planes, with seats designed for a slightly taller person who also happens to be the width of a pencil, so my head, being too short for the head rest was bent slightly forward at all times, no matter how many pillows I tried to wedge in between my and the scratchy blue fabric. Then, just to help with that problem, the lovely person in front of me leant her chair back so far that it was practically attached to my forehead, rendering it impossible to eat or use the food tray. Also, she helpfully kept that position for the entire eleven hours of the flight. Thank you fellow passenger. Also, we only had a selection of about four movies, one of which was in, I think, Hindi, so in-flight entertainment was awesome. Best flight ever!
I did, of course, also manage to embarrass myself about 0.002 seconds after walking onto the plane by sailing straight past my seat and having to awkwardly push back through the queue of people trying to reach their seat while muttering “sorry” under my breath about a hundred times. So that was a good start, good one Francesca, high five.
I did take advantage of the complimentary wine, to go with my “cajun” chicken, which helped to calm down the butterflies spiralling around in my stomach. No, not excitement, turbulance; because my flight could not have gotten any better. The wine, and their amazing 100% Rainforest Alliance Certified coffee was so good, and we did get an entertaining steward with a very strong scottish accent, and I did also get to make a note for my mom about how they managed to take a great “intenerst” in our safety, which they proudly emblazoned accross all of the screens. (I pray that I now don’t have any typos in this, or that will be awkward.)
And then, just to make my journey, at two o’clock in the morning an announcement rang out over the imtercom asking “Is there a Doctor on board this flight? Please make your way to the front of the plane!”. I thought that sort of thing only happened in movies, but apparently not! Due to this emergency we actually ended up landing 45 minutes earlier than planned, we got our luggage within five minutes and walked throguh an empty customs room and duty free. Plane to Arrivals in twenty minutes, which was amazing and something I would have, if asked yesterday, said was impossible.
I was greeted with Costa coffee and an almond croissant, so when you take that into consideration, you can almost forgive all of the hours of back pain and spilling bitter cranberry juice on myself at four AM. Almost.