Losing my sense of location…
I kind of understood why the bemused Ethiopian airport security guard had asked to see my passport again. The answer to his simple enough question had not been forthcoming and my glazed and empty look could only have inspired suspicion. Getting off the bus from the plane to the terminal building he had asked me:
“Where has this plane come from?”
To be honest – I didn’t have a clue. I knew I had gotten on the plane and even though it was late I had a vivid recollection of the flight – but as to where I had gotten on I couldn’t have told you to the best of my intentions.
I had decided to do a quick day trip back to SA from Kenya after I realised on my overland journey that I’d forgotten to bring along my studio lights. In typical fashion I had meticulously packed a softbox, barndoors, cables – even extra filters and pocket wizards for the lights – but had forgotten the actual lights themselves. I was rushing to get to Pretoria from Cape Town for a meeting which I had already postponed twice at SAPS HQ (South Africa Police Service) the next day for a story (and yes – that is me trying to sound important and restore a bit of public dignity!!) but forgetting something as big and blatant as the lights is a bit inexcusable.
I found a very cheap flight back with Ethiopian and decided to take it… I know it was a gruelling 2 day trip with 3 stop over’s each way (which is why it was so cheap… I have never understood why the more stop-over’s you do the cheaper it gets…!) but it got so confusing to the point where I was speaking Swahili to the bemused coloured customer service folk at the airline counter in CT and I didn’t know I had woken up in my own bed again (in Cape Town) for what seemed like an age until my doggie licked my face – as if he could sense the panic and terror creeping through his master and wanted to reassure me.
While it might sound like a positive negative to be moving around so much from interesting place to place – as I get older it is increasingly unnerving. Certainly when I was younger I used to love that feeling of waking up and not knowing where the hell I was – but as the years roll on it is increasingly a source of dread. With trips the next few months that will take me to Berbera, Hergeisa, Mogadishu, Groningen (the Netherlands), Juba, Wajir and beyond this feeling can only get worse.
Still – life is good at the mo – got a week to relax and rejuvenate in Nairobi before travelling to Groningen for the Northern Lights Masterclass so hopefully will have time to adjust. I managed to find a fully-furnished and secure apartment at a very decent rate here and the Landie seems fine on first inspection after a gruelling drive from Cape Town and made worse by the fact I had backed it into a ditch last Friday in Nairobi National Park. At least my impressed stepson who was with me appreciates the car now… no Namby-pamby Pajeros or airy-fairy Hilux’s for him any time soon…!