Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kind strangers and frappucinos

Last Saturday, I set off with my family to Durban to have a farewell lunch with my aunts and uncles.  I ate a healthy amount of biltong to make up for the upcoming deprivation and to my great pride checked in online.  Every day of last week I woke up feeling very anxious about leaving and wondered if I was doing the right thing.  On Saturday morning however, all anxiety was gone and there was only peace.

My good friend Claire joined us at the airport which was such a treat.  After a sad farewell I was through the security check and waiting to board.  to my great relief I sat next to a very kind Grandpa who helped me stow my very heavy hand luggage (yes I really did have to take all those books with me:).  In between his viewing of Happy Feet 2 and mine of Susan Boyle's documentary (very inspiring) he asked me questions about myself and gave me handy tips for travelling.

As a chronic avoider of asking strangers for help I had decided that it was a good time to start asking for help.  Dubai airport gave me plenty of opportunites!  5 minutes after arrival I had asked 2 airport staff who had neither understood me nor I them.  Changing tack I approached the first fellow traveller I saw and he became my first ever airport buddy.  He turned out to be a South African and was also a bit confused so we set off to find our way together (literally haha).  Seeing as we both had long layovers and no friends we had coffee together and then spent a fair portion of the morning escaping the heat in a lovely, quiet air conditioned lounge.  After lunch, during which I met some more South Africans, my airport buddy left.  So began quest stay awake. Over the next few hours I emailed, ordered a Starbucks frappucino with caramel and to my great consternation discovered it was a cold drink, stubbed my toe, thought I saw a man taking my photo out the corner of my eye (although it was in a crowded restaurant so can't be sure), showered (did wonders for my self esteem), had dinner at an Irish pub and revelled in the countless accents all around me.

Eventually I boarded the plane at 1130ish for Bangkok, relieved to still be on track and with all my luggage and person intact.


  1. Congrats Mighty traveller. First leg over. I remember my first overseas trip - arrived in Miami (English speaking country) and could not find anyone who understood me!

    1. Hahaha glad I'm not the only one who's not understood:)