As you know, I’m on my way home from three weeks of visual journalism consulting and instruction in Nairobi, Kenya; Johannesburg and Pietermaritzburg, South Africa.
Saturday afternoon, I flew from Joburg back to Nairobi. Overnight, I flew from Nairobi to Amsterdam, from which I blogged earlier today (or late last night U.S. time).
At this very moment, I’m kicked back in a wonderful white rocking chair, soaking up a few rays and overlooking the tarmac of Boston’s Logan International Airport.
The real reason I selected such a scenic spot to park myself for my layover here: It’s the only place where I can find a place to plug in my laptop. Seriously.
Once I had gone through passport control and customs and had rechecked my bag — Hey, my bag made it to Boston! WooHoo! — I did the security thing and then ordered up the largest order of orange chicken I could get from Panda Express, here in Logan’s Terminal A. I had run down the power in my MacBook Pro in Amsterdam, however, which put me on the hunt for a receptacle.
While I was roaming around, I bought a huge Diet Coke and a newspaper. Where the conversation went something like this:
Girl: Sunday Boston Globe… $3.50. Would you like a bag for that?
Me: No, I’ll just eat it here.
Girl: [Dumbfounded expression]
I also spotted this really cool book, which appears to be about the lost art of greyscale illustration. Perhaps I should take a chance and buy a copy.
One of the downsides of my trip has been my ongoing cough. After a couple of prolonged coughing fits today, my head began pounding. A little aspirin fixed my aching brain. But I still can’t seem to shake the cough. Nor can I find any of my usual U.S. brands of sugar-free lozenges here in the airport. I hope my one remaining box of Dutch lozenges and my one remaining bag of super-powered South African cough tablets will get me by for another four hours.
I already told you about my overnight Friday KLM flight from Nairobi to Amsterdam, which was very uncomfortable, to say the least. The Delta flight today from Amsterdam to Boston went much more smoothly.
The only negative note came moments after I posted that last blog entry, I shut my computer and I got in the boarding line. The woman at the security checkpoint asked me if I could tell her about my flight plans to return to Kenya.
Huh? Return to Kenya? No, I was in Kenya for two weeks and then South Africa for a week. I’m returning to the U.S.
The woman pulled me out of line, had me sit in a holding area and informed me that my passport and my reply didn’t match what the airline had in its database. It took her about ten minutes to straighten everything out, after which she turned me loose and let me rejoin the line. But man, what a jolt that was.
The Delta Airbus was quite a bit older than the KLM 747-400 on which I had flown the night before. But I was much more comfortable, despite the fact that I still didn’t have a window seat. I did, however, have an aisle seat. I also had a little legroom, a dinner tray that folded down properly and a working personal video device.
In case you’re interested, I watched the Three Stooges and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. I figure those two pretty much cancel each other out, karma-wise.
I also put on Hugo, but that movie really did the trick. It plodded along so slowly that I found myself asleep in minutes.
My next flight departs from here in a little less than two hours. Delta still hasn’t seen fit to give me a seat assignment, however. In the meantime, I’m hearing repeated pleas over the P.A. system here in Terminal A begging for volunteers to step out of various other Delta flights that are overbooked.
I’ll feel a lot better when I have that seat assignment. The fact that Delta representatives have declined, a number of times, to give me one makes me wonder just how secure my seat is tonight. Delta sure isn’t making this trip easy for me.
In the meantime, of course, I’ve tried to get caught up on the huge mound of correspondence that’s been piling up. And I chatted with Sharon for the first time in several days. Why call on a silly ol’ iPhone when you can do Facetime?
Assuming no other travel “mishaps” today, I should be home by late this evening. I’m looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight and — hopefully — having my cat sleep on my feet.
My blog entries for this trip, so far…
- Friday, July 20: Leaving today for my next consulting assignment: Kenya
- Saturday, July 21: Hello from Paris
- Sunday, July 22: The last leg of my trip to Nairobi
- Monday, July 23: A Sunday stroll around downtown Nairobi
- Thursday, July 26: Why manufacturers of customized hotel towels need a copy editor
- Sunday, July 29: A Saturday spent at the famous Thorn Tree Cafe
- Sunday, July 29: The Exchange Bar here in the Stanley Hotel has a new fan
- Monday, July 30: Life as a traveling infographics instructor and evangelist in Kenya
- Wednesday, Aug. 1: Good day, Sunshine
- Thursday, Aug. 2: Here, ‘KFC’ stands for Kenyan Fried Chicken. I think.
- Sunday, Aug. 5: My final few days in Kenya went by very quickly.
- Monday, Aug. 6: My weekend in Johannesburg
- Monday, Aug. 6: One of the two sports teams staying here in the hotel this week
- Tuesday, Aug. 7: My week — so far — consulting in Johannesburg
- Thursday, Aug. 9: Front pages show a very rare snow here in Joburg
- Saturday, Aug 11: A whirlwind news design teaching expedition to Pietermaritzburg
- Sunday, Aug. 12: The return trip: I’ve made it as far as Amsterdam