Monday, January 24, 2011
I do not want a newspaper
"Excuse me sir, can you let the business class passengers off first"?
This is the first thing a stewardess said to me when we landed in Kilimanjaro airport last week. I was standing at the front of the economy section where the door was, ready to disembark from the airplane. But, I was not allowed to. At least, not until the richer people got off first. This has NEVER happened to me before. KLM, YOU LOSE POINTS. Stupid Dutch. I forgot that the Dutch still have a monarchy. Only idiots think that royal lineage equals good leadership qualities. Of course they would let the business class passengers off. They enjoy the inferiority complex. I'm from America goddammit! We don't treat anybody with respect unless it benefits us financially.
When the stewardness told me to wait, I replied "You mean we can't get off at the same time"? To which she replied, "no". I gave her the dirtiest look I could muster, and shook my head in disgust. I pitied her really. She was Dutch. Had I not been so exhausted I would have raised a bigger stink. But as it stood, my head was so clogged with sinus pressure and phlegm that I could barely hear anything anyways. (I had completely forgotten about this incident until I started writing this blog... thanks blog). Once I got off the plane, I rushed as fast as I could to the visa area, because that line can get very long and move very slow. I mean, I was third in line and it still took 20 minutes to get my visa.
Once I exited passport control, I made and immediate byline to the currency exchange, which was also going to get clogged up fast. Because of my extremely excellent travel sense, I made it there before anyone else. I also hadn't checked any bags, so I didn't have to wait for baggage, which is a HUGE plus. Its such a big plus that you'd have to... it's so big that... that... whatever, I win.
The driver that I had arranged to pick me up walked right up to me and somehow knew that I was his passenger. I asked him how the hell did he know it was me, but he couldn't understand the question in English, so I just chalked it up to me being extremely famous and left it at that.
The drive from the airport to the hotel is about a 45 minute drive through rural Africa. It was late at night so it was pitch black out. The Tanzanian police like to place many, many, many speed bumps on highways between urban areas. The great thing is that these speed bumps are invisible until you are flying over them, since there are no signs, no lights, nor warnings about their presence. And by speed bumps, I really mean huge piles of dirt. What fun it was to barrel down this road at 50mph, screeching to 5mph every few 100 yards to avoid completely destroying the car on a speed bump. And on top of that, Tanzanian drivers have no patience for slower traffic. Swerving into oncoming traffic to pass a slow tractor or truck is common, almost getting creamed by a bus doing the exact same thing at the exact same time coming straight at you... also very common... and exhilarating. Nothing gets the heart going like almost-death™!
I finally arrived at my hotel, only for the hilarious adventure to continue.