Saturday, November 01, 2014

Traveling Wilbury

This is a story written for those who think that travelling and working is awesome.

A week ago I woke up at 4.45 to take a quick shower, make some coffee and shake my wife out of bed. Then it was off to the airport for a long day of mainly sitting at airports.

On arrival in Maputo I checked in at the hotel to immediately fall asleep and try to catch up with sleep. Once I woke up I went to a very nice local restaurant to eat something, then repacked my suitcase and went to bed.

To wake up at 4.45 to take a quick shower and catch a taxi to the airport for a long flight to Lichinga via Nampula. There is no hotel on Earth that serve breakfast at that time and very few are hungry at that hour. Once on the plane I am served with the smallest, not even white but albino "bun" with some cheese in it. And some juice.

On arrival to Nampula transit I head straight for the bar and a beer, the most wholesome meal during this flight. I make that Laurentina Premium just to be sure. On the next leg we are served a bag of crisps and juice. Unless you want to pay for Johnnie Walker Black Label, it may not surprise you that quite a few do. The crisps are for some unknown sadistic reason always "cheese and onion". So you have a whole plane full of cheese-and-onion breath. That may explain why the Black Label makes a roaring trade.

On arrival I am invited to a lunch-dinner at the local manager's house that I happily accept. The best restaurant in Lichinga is always at someone's house. But with 2 days of 4.45 in my system  I fall dead asleep and wake up at the time the lunch is on! Good thing we are in Mozambique where few people worry over being an hour or so late.

After a really nice lunch cum dinner I go back to the guesthouse and try to do some work on my computer. No internet, this is Lichinga OK. Power blacks out at 8 pm and is not back when I wake up next morning.

Which is OK but for one thing: no water. The system relies on booster pump and no power means no pump means no water. Well I am used to this so the "Roskilde shower" of rinsing your hair and put on deo it is.

The breakfast at Benilde's guesthouse is by far the strangest I have ever experienced. It is kind of OK that the "juice" is more sugar than fruit and the instant coffee is blended with chickory. I guess. But you are served with strictly 1 "pao" a piece of white bread/bun, 1 minimal hot dog OR 1 fried egg and then chips. Sometimes there are pieces of boiled cassava, think boiled potatoes, as a bonus. End of story. There is no cheese, there is some kind of sugary jam and very bad margarine. And Aromat.

The flight to Maputo was rescheduled 5 hours and on top of that 1 hours late. I was tasked to bring a "mystery box" to Maputo, since I don't really want to face the question "what is this" and not be able to answer I asked what was in the box. Maize, in short. About 6 kg maizemeal that meant a lot of negotiating with the check-in staff.

Arrived in Maputo and checked in around 9 pm and too tired to even go eat something. Then I spent 2 days working and enjoying Maputo until it was time for another day of flights and airports. Arrived home and have basically caught up with sleep the whole day plus trying to calm down a frantic cat.

Yep, the travelling life is really cool...
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