First round-the-world flight

3 October, 2006 - 04:29

The first leg of my round-the-world trip was an SAA flight which turned out to travel via Senegal. I was a bit confused at the stop and still freshly irate at having had my dry underarm dry-stick deodorant confiscated. Dove (symbol of peace!) - they feared that I might bring down this Boeing with it. I suppose the terrorists might charge at the pilots of the plane with just such a dry stick as what I had had confiscated, and rub it in their eyes so that they wouldn't be able to see clearly where they were going for 24 hours (only the best dry stick would do for this cause) causing them to crash the plane and kill us all.

When we landed in Senegal I asked the air hostess whether we would be leaving the plane at all. She laughed and said, "Don't be mad - if we did that we'd surely return find the wheels stolen from the plane.".

I had been told all sorts of terrifying stories about arrivals in New York about power-tripping officials that made my skin crawl. And I was expecting to be cavity-searched. A full cavity search may have been more pleasant than what I actually got: a greasy official at passport control called Ramos (I am unsure whether this was his first, last, or /only/ name) hitting on me. After inspecting all my documentation, scanning my important bits (eyes and fingertips) he yelled across passport control to his friend: "HEY, check this out! From South Africa traveling alone around the world!". The friend came over, they both looked me up and down and paged through my passport, and Ramos offered his sevices to me as a bodyguard. Since i was not officially through passport control yet, I held back on my urge to hiss and cuss at the guy, and forced a smile, snatched back my passport and left.

Finally in New York City. First time in the United States! Such a muddle of thoughts and feelings: excited and overwhelmed, exhausted (and feeling kind of icky due to confiscation of dry stick), a little lonely and a lot confused. The start of the most massive adventure of my whole life.