I Feel like Sh*t III

Now, when I got to the check-in the ladies were very helpful, one even asked me how it happened and I explained that I fell asleep – the ability to fall asleep waiting for a plane comes with the mundaneness of the activity. Aeroplanes are the most boring means of transport, believe me – a minibus taxi is more inspirational because you are most likely to receive a call on your cellphone without breaking any Civil Aviation or Road Agency laws or in a minibus taxi you can always find the latest copy of Daily Sun.

Now, the clerks at the check-in said they’ll put me in another plane, probably the one at 1530. Time now is 1136. My shuttle is waiting in Nelspruit. I was still feeling like shit.

And then after the clerk told me to come back at 1250 I went to the next available silver seat and sat down, waiting for the time and reading Mbazima Shilowa’s rant in Sunday Times. At 1245 I went to the counter and requested service. After much hiccups they gave me my new boarding pass and said, ‘you must go and board now, it’s boarding


Yeah, we put you on a one o’clock flight, please rush’. Then the clerk asks me if I have luggage and I say I have checked it in and she says when I got off-loaded even my luggage was off-loaded and it’s somewhere at arrivals but if I go searching for it I’ll miss this plane as well.

When I get to the boarding gate I inform the security guy and he gets on his two-way and quotes the reference number on my luggage slip and they tell him it will be moved. I no longer felt like shit.

Now, when we get into the bus that should take us to our Jetstream I feel a sense of nervousness. I ask myself what was the significance of me missing the first flight, did it crash, was it hijacked and crashed at Union Buildings etc? Pik Botha did miss a Pan AM flight that ended up on some derelict field in Lockerbie (Scotland) in 1986.

But now after much stressful time the bus moves us to the waiting jet. When we get there we are told that we have to wait in the bus as some maintenance is being conducted on the jet. I see engineers checking the landing hatch and other necessities. Catering is being loaded into the jet as well. It takes more than normal and then they come to us to tell us that they are still busy we can wait in the bus. They stop us from disembarking three times after the doors were opened to allow cold air to flow in.

After what feels like forever we are allowed to embark. I take my seat and the regular monotone drill is conducted. Then the plane does not take off and the captain informs us that they are waiting for a supply of water for catering. Water is finally brought in and the doors close and the engine starts.

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