Tuesday, May 19, 2009

There is nothing like home?

So I have been traveling again, hence the silence here. This time back to South Africa from Zambia. On returning to this country, where this morning the temperature was 3 degrees celsius (Thanks a lot drunk Ext [one of my personalities] for leaving the windows in the kitchen open), I was able to think up some random thoughts and questions. Also, my first 'my year of reading dangerously' book - Den Afrikanske Farm by Karen Blixen - is just a little bit tedious at times and and has so many archaic Danish words and expressions that I have given up on trying to understand every single one of them. Also, if the said archaisms are part of a nature description I find myself yawning. Always was a city girl, regardless of the small town (country) past.

While I was not reading on the plane these things came up:

1. If you have three fat people on the whole flight why do you make them squeeze into three adjacent seats? The Mma Ramotswe (or that is how I imagine her based on the books) next to me had to have one of those extensions for the seatbelt brought out.

2. Is there in fact a conspiracy against fat people flying? I think so. Someone out there is going "Now, on this plane lets give them enough leg room to stow an elephant under the seat, but lets make it impossible for them to lift up the arms so that there is no way in hell they can ever utilize the leg room for anything, but transporting that elephant. Fat people shouldn't be crossing their legs anyhow - too much prominent thigh. Oh, and Gary, make sure no one is actually allowed to take more than a tiny bag on the plane so that we'll have that elephant space free at all times. Thanks." (my imaginary minions are always called Gary, or Bill).

3. Where did Mma Ramotswe get her happenin' pedicure? And why is she taking her shoes off? Could she have visited the The Most Best Salon in Lusaka?

4. On an airplane when the stewardess asked me "Beef or vegetable?" why did my mouth say, before my brain had had time to process the question, "vegetable", when I very well know that airplane-speak for weird curried or pickled mush is vegetable? Also, why do I torture myself with airplane coffee? Probably because it is still coffee. Kind of.

5. Why did I in my inebriated state ignore the button that said 'next page' while booking my return from Zambia and trying to match hubby's return flight? This is what I learned though: Arrivals at four hours apart give you just enough time to make it back home from the airport (driven by a person who regales you with tales of gruesome traffic accidents, and what route he would take if he was driving a copper truck to South Africa from Zambia ['thru Zim, of course]), start a load of laundry and drink a liter of coffee, before driving to the airport in pitch black through Johannesburg, only to find out that the flight is delayed allowing you to have yet more coffee at 8PM plummeting you into a complete zombie state, and unable to sleep regardless of extreme exhaustion. And then, when you finally do fall asleep you have hectic dreams of drinking coffee.

While I was trying to unlock the front door in order to run to the bathroom these things came up:

1. What am I going to wear to the wedding this weekend? I bought a lovely embroidered traditional costume from Zambia, that has real freak-em-out potential, but I don't know if it is garden-party appropriate, or whether it'll fall apart if I sweat in it.

2. How come it is cold in South Africa when it wasn't cold in Zambia? I mean, we're still in Africa, and the distance between Lusaka and Johannesburg is only the same as from Finland to Germany, or from New York to Atlanta.

3. Why did I leave the freezer open? No sorry, it was just the windows.

4. If you could only take 5 kilos of stuff for a month in Europe, what would it be? The other 15 kilos, I am allowed is comprised of one well packed fertility idol, Zambian junk, Tanzanian junk and South African junk, by which I mean presents for our families and friends.

5. Is it possible to not drink wine or coffee for four days in order to avoid extremely swollen limbs and an inside of nose that feels like it is on fire when breathing through it? Nix on the coffee and wine pending. I hate long-haul flights. Or actually all flights. Why are there scientists still all consumed with trying to cure illnesses when teleportation still isn't a reality? Priorities, people.

Join me tomorrow for 'panicky packing mayhem' with the special edition of 'what is this moldy stuff in my suitcase and how long has it been in there'.


Polly said...

Coffee is definitely overtaking all things alive, let me know how you get on with four days of coffee fast.

Looking forward to musings on packing and mouldy stuff.

Extranjera said...

Polly - I don't think I can go all that time without coffee (I'm a totally whipped by caffeine), but I'm trying with copious amounts of wine and will just try to lower the amount down to something like 'a couple of glasses' or perhaps even 'a glass' (okay. laughed a little bit upon writing that).
The moldy stuff will be interesting, since haven't quite located the proper suitcase yet.

stepforddreams said...

OOOh I want to see what you pack for the wedding! So you think lining up overweight pasengers in one section is bad. How about lining up babies and children into the one section?! That's what Thai Airways did to us. So even if my child was going to sleep there was no way she would surrounded by other screaming children. Ughh hell.

marathoner81 said...

2.) Yes there is a conspiracy against fat people...funny I was just talking about that yesterday.

3.)Almost nothing makes me happier than when you mention the Most Best Salon, I think wine and music and dancing and an assortment of nail polish color as far as the eye can see. Please just let me picture it this way.

5.)What a wild fantasy that driver must have been playing out in his head and sharing with you - driving a copper truck from Zambia to SA. How did you hide your excitement?

Good luck on weaning off the wine. I've managed to go on the every other day plan...it's been rough.

M.J. said...

Maybe I'm a bitch, but I think obese people should have to pay for an extra seat on planes. Space is limited and worth a premium. Gluttony should not be rewarded with extra leg room!

My name is Erin. said...

Thank you for traveling all over the world for me. I really appreciate it. Let's see... what else could I ask you to do so that I might live vicariously through you... hmmm... could you spend an afternoon just reading a book quietly in a well-lit corner, maybe with a blanket and plenty of coffee? That just sounds like heaven, but I'll be designing a website in front of my computer wishing I could read The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao that FINALLY arrived in my mailbox yesterday.

Just Jules said...

so as much as my wings want to fly although my feet (and pocketbook) keep me grounded - I feel a little less like flying away now. Although Mma R's wisdom is something I could use some of from time to time!

Extranjera said...

SD - It might be something moldy... And I hear you. It's better for everyone if all of the babes can nod off for the duration of the flight!

Marathoner - On the Most Best Salon. I will just let you have your fantasy. I'm just that nice. ;o)

M.J. - I will just refer you to the lovely ladies (who also swear a lot) at Shapely Prose. See my sidebar.

Erin - The things I'll do for you... Alright then, if I absolutely must relax for a whole afternoon, I'll do it. But just for you.

Extranjera said...

Jules - With this Mma there was quite a lot more snoring and sneezing than wisdom.

marathoner81 said...

Thank you for not bursting my bubble.

B said...

I knew you couldn't go without coffee (Sorry, not being very supportive here!). But this makes me feel better, as I'm addicted too!
I'd totally wear that dress to the wedding!

Extranjera said...

Marathoner - And I'll keep mentioning it. Just for you.

B - I know. I'm a total weakling when it comes to caffeine... And I'm still looking at the logistics of whether the dress might dissolve if I sweat.

My name is Erin. said...

Thank you for giving in to my every whim. I really appreciate it. Oh, and Shapely Prose is awesome! And rad.

julochka said...

so much i have to say...

1. it's been pretty cold lately, so you are actually pretty unlikely to melt. especially at the klint. it can be chilly at the klint. so please do wear the zambian ceremonial costume. so i can find you more easily. pink would do it.

2. mma. ramotswe is not fat, she is traditionally built.

3. imagine being on a flight in the philippines where not only the bags are weighed, but you must yourself step on the scale. in front of everyone. and in finding this out, you completely freak out and refuse for awhile. until you realize that they're not going to be able to assign seating and board the plane until you do it. it's humiliating because you are much taller and much heavier than all those tiny little sweet filipino girls around you. who are all wondering whether the scale will really go up that high.

4. i imagine that driving a copper truck from lusaka to joburg via zim would be a pretty wild ride. can you book me a ticket? i do promise to wear deodorant.

5. i have some of that moldy stuff in a pan on my stove. unless by some freak chance someone cleaned it up while i was gone. which is unlikely. of course, on the stove is better than in a suitcase.

6. we do have washing machines in europe, so you'll be cool with 5 kilos of stuff.

7. i'm sorry about the fat ankles from flying. thankfully, that never happens to me, so i can drink and caffeinate all i want. and i do.

8. isn't your husband on a fancy ex-pat contract? what are you doing flying monkey?

9. going off the coffee won't be worth the caffeine withdrawal headaches. just get some of those pressure stocking thingies.

looking forward to packing mayhem. i hope that moron who sometimes packs my suitcase doesn't get involved, tho' with fertility dolls and such, it sounds like she's already been by.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

WTF: My comment didn't post....and it was so witty. And now Julochka has been witty, so I can't be witty. Sheesh. My imaginary minion Duppy will be checking into the blogger conspiracy that deletes my comments.

You can think about 5 different things while unlocking door and having to pee? Wow, I am impressed. In the same situation, the only thing running through my mind would be "have to pee, have to pee, HAVE TO PEE!

julochka said...

VEG--shh, do not mention the blogger conspiracy. they're listening.

quick. duck into the corn.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Oh, and while doing the famous pee-pee dance. There is an actual commercial on TV here for huggies or something that teaches kids the "potty" dance. NO joke. There are adults dancing in it. How desperate would they have to be for that paycheque?

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Julochka: Am now doing famous pee-pee dance after reading that comment. And laughing so hard coffee came perilously close to exiting my nose.

julochka said...

better than exiting the other end (speaking of pee-pee), tho' i wouldn't want you to abuse perfectly good coffee either way...

Extranjera said...

julochka & VEG - Now you've really done it. I can FEEL big brother breathing down my virtual neck.
I bet tomorrow I'll open up my blog and find one of those cutest blog on the block things on it. Then you'll be sorry.

julochka said...

that would be a tragedy, but i do think cutest blog on the block is just a blog template, so you'd have to put it there yourself (which bad extranjera might do on a drink & blog jag) so i guess you never know.

however, maybe i'll make up my first blog award (now there's an activity for blog camp) and call it that and make a really lovely icon for it and then give it to you. and since it's from me, your fairyblogmother (who clearly never sleeps and isn't even drinking. at all. for two days. due to the expense of drink in norway), you won't be able to refuse.


p.s. i'm feeling much better after the encounter with jerky dinosaur guy.

Vancouver's Enviro Girl said...

Julochka and Ext: Uh oh am starting to IM all over blogger again. People are going to revolt.

Yes, I think we should make a cutesy-wutsy award and give it to ourselves. And others who participate in crazy blogging IM thing.

Glad we (royal we) could make you feel better. Men are idiots (excepting the three hubbies of us and maybe other IM buddies)

Extranjera said...

Totally feeling the love here...

But glad your day is turning better!