Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Day 53 – Hiccup in Johannesburg

I spent the night in a small hotel, about three hours from Johannesburg, and by 9 am I was back at the car rental place returning my expeditionary vehicle. The owner graciously reimbursed me for the battery I had bought, and not so graciously for the day I had not used. I whittled the time away by ambling through a nearby shopping mall, and at 4 pm headed to the airport for my 7:10 pm flight.

Big mistake trying to cut it so fine! The airport was a zoo, with huge lines, so when I finally got to the counter (about 6:15 pm) the lady informed me that the flight was full and there was no place left for me. For any further inquiries I was sent to the ticket sales counter, where a long line of frustrated and angry people were an indication that no quick solution was at hand. Yes, I was upset at the start, but trying to be philosophical I waited (forever) for my turn, got booked in the same flight on the following day, and spent the night in Jo’burg at the expense of South African Airways.

It turned to be a very pleasant evening at a nearby guesthouse, with a congenial host and five other stranded passengers. We had a nice dinner (again at the expense of SA Airways), discussed African politics to our heart’s content, and enjoyed a good night’s sleep.

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