This week: Changed flights, missed flights, surprise Istanbul visit and Cape town
The electrician fixes my electricity problem on Monday morning. While he works I work. I got a third trip in Africa offered and I am checking how much it would cost me to change my flights (yes, I pay for my own flights). I work all day and only go out for some shopping as I am hosting a surprise party this evening.
M is turning a certain age (that I am not allowed to write down but if you are a good investigator you will find out) when I am in Africa so together with another friend we are going to surprise her. And surprised she is!
Tuesday morning MLM shows up with his laser. My leg is getting sore again. Everything for the ticket change for Africa falls in to place so I am not leaving for 7 weeks but for 10 weeks. I will be back mid-November!!
In the afternoon I go to Jeroen for tons of printing that needs to be done for the tours, I end up having dinner there as it took longer than I thought.
Wednesday: MLM comes over for a last coffee and in the process gives me some psychoanalyses that I really did not need at this time. I am always nervous for a trip and there is one aspect about my work that I hate with a passion. And that is surveys and reviews. In what other job can people follow you 24 hours a day for 3 weeks and get to tell what they discovered they did not like about your personality?!?!
And it doesn’t matter that in general I score great. 45 people love me and 2 are not so sure. And those two will nibble at my mood for days. Honestly, If any person has to spent 3 weeks with 30 strangers, there are always a few people that are not your favourite. The question should be, did she do her work correctly? Not, was she tired at day number 13 and maybe because of that did not get your joke?
Anyway, Although MLM tried to fix his analyses with a pep talk, It did not work at all. I spend the rest of the breaking down in tears. And not that he said something horrible. It was just the trigger of something smouldering for a long time. But today I really could have done without a minor breakdown!
I have to close down the caravan and store things in a way that they will still be ok in 10 weeks from now. Moisture is a huge problem in trailers. Then I go to J’s place to drop the car and collect my bags. I take the train to Schiphol and check in. Something that I was not able to do online for some weird reason. At 18.35 I need to be at the gate for boarding. We are supposed to fly at 19.35 Well, it is 20. 10 when we start boarding. As I only have 1 hour and 40 minutes transfer time in Istanbul this worries me a little. But I also have been on so many flights where they made up for the lost time that I don’t worry too long.
I fly Turkish Airlines and I enjoy my Turkish meal (yeah! Köfte!) And the entertainment system. I even sleep a bit. The plane hits the runway at 0.54. and with a connecting flight at 1.30 that is not good!. It is 1.10 by the time we enter the building. I run and run. Run and Run. I also wander why I slacked my running routine in the last few weeks. This sprint is killing me! And why is my gate really the furthest away from where I landed???
Ok, you saw this one coming wright? I missed my flight to Cape Town. I was not to upset. Shit happens. I just go and see what the solution is. When I see all the other people yelling and screaming I decide not to lose my calm and stay polite to the poor employees of Turkish Airlines. And I managed but it did take way longer then needed and my alternative flight is not ideal.
So at 4.30 I am in a hotel in Istanbul. Meals will be inclusided and tomorrow night I will fly.
The next morning I have a hard time waking up. This is the view from my room. The blue mosque in the distance.Breakfast….. I love Turkey… and their food is part of that love. I have a nice salad with some feta cheese and crisp white bread with honey. The famous cherry juice is of course also on my table. I spend the morning letting my boss, my hostel, my transfer company etcetera know that I am not arriving in a few hours. This delay will actually make me arrive “to late” in Cape Town for a work meeting.
After lunch (börek, yumm)I take the metro and tram to the city centre. I love the vibe of Istanbul. I am not going to do a lot of sightseeing as I have work to do. Work I had planned to do while in Africa but now I have to be creative here. Making a shopping list and visioning cooking on an African campsite while sipping a Turkish tea with some Baklava. Weird life I live.
In the middle of the night I am on my way to the airport to catch the flight to South Africa.
I arrive in Cape town on Friday at 14.00 and my transfer is waiting for me. I have to go straight to the office to collect paperwork and tour funds. I have a few short meetings with different people and some time to play with the office cat.
I get a ride to my hostel where I finally check in at 19.00. I start working straight away. When checking the room list there is a mistake and it takes a while to fix it.
After my last trip I left a bag in Cape Town and it was supposed to be delivered to my hostel. But it was not. That really sucks as my phone is in there and I need that today.
I get to bed at 22.30 and am pretty tired
At 10.00 I catch a shuttle to the airport to collect group. There I also meet Walt who will be travelling parallel with me. The group looks good and fun. Once in the hostel I give a briefing, arrange tours and brief again. I finnish work at 21.00 and have a drink with a fellow tour leader.
Sunday I get up at 7.00 as my group goes on tour at 8.00. I work on my finances and my shopping list and at 11.00 my colleague picks me up. 51 year old Jeremy looks like a decent guy and he keeps stretching that he will help we anywhere. That sounds good. We go to the supermarket for some mayor shopping and at 15.30 we are done. Time for me to have lunch.and go back to the hostel to make border crossing lists, do more finance and try to claim back money for the delay with Turkish
In the evening I take a big part of the group out for dinner. Ostrich steak it is!
Next week: Probably no update. Internet in Africa (or more specific, the places where I go) is not really exhisting. I have no idea how long you have to wait for an update but please come back to check. And maybe follow me on facebook. Maybe I can be a bit more active there.