Jumbo, jumbo

Running away to Zanzibar was definitely a wonderful idea that maybe was lacking a bit in the application.

Unfortunately it did require two aeroplane flights, and then a drive from the airport at Zanzibar to our lodge.

Sounds quite idyllic …. lest one is mortally afraid of large metal man-made structures in the sky that can plummet to the ground at any time, and it would seem sometimes without warning.

Landing had us experiencing serious cross winds, it was bumpy and shaky.  (Have I mentioned how terrified I am of flying?)

I had begun to harbour serious doubts that the pilot may have obtained his licence via correspondence. I know I cannot fly a plane, but something about landing when your nose is facing directly into the tarmac, surely spells a problem.

Once we finally rammed our large plane into the tarmac with so much force that it loosened your fillings – and in my case made me bury my nails into Kennith’s leg. 

The brakes were then applied which sent us screeching forward on what can only be described as a very SHORT runway. We finally stopped.  I know I said something quite eloquent like “Thank FEK!” and I meant every word of it.

You know it has been a bit touch and go, when the passengers applaud after the plane comes to a standstill!

I can’t say we embarked as much as we fell out of the aeroplane – and then threw ourselves to the ground to give thanks for the safe ejection from the plane of death.

Unfortunately at this point I realised a few things (1) Zanzibar International Airport was a bit of an over-exaggeration for both the International and the Airport part (2) Luggage off the plane and to you, was really an optional and not guaranteed (3) The terminal is more of a fancied up shed than a terminal.

It was all a bit haphazard and chaotic and you sort of just fell into a line, and watched them pull a cart from the plane with what appeared to be your baggage. There was baggage, whether yours was on the cart was sort of where you started to rethink your wardrobe and how long you could actually wear the same pair of underwear for.

Once I absorbed the status quo, we found ourselves a queue – always the slowest moving one, and managed to spend the next 30 – 45 minutes standing up close and personal with a few dozen other sweaty people.

We finally got to the front, paid our $50.00 per person, which was slid into the custom official’s pocket. We sort of looked quizzically at each other and thought, well we are hardly going to stand there and argue with him, so we smiled and thanked him profusely for letting us into his country.

My bag arrived – hallelujah – trust me, this is not the norm for when I travel, so I am in my full rights to celebrate a little.

We made it out of the airport through the throngs of guides/pick up people who were waving boards.

Found a friendly gentleman waving a board with our name on it – I have not done anything for this trip, so the fact that Kennith had organised that we were collected from the airport made me really sigh with relief (the other option is to arrive and just sort out your own transport.)

Then a very helpful dame came along and handed us a facecloth – clean, wet and soaked in jasmine. Heaven!

I may have stepped over the (imagined) boundary of proprietary when I finished wiping my face and hands, and thought, what the hey, I will just freshen up my armpits a bit! I noticed a little frown cross her polite face, but I was on holiday, it was a facecloth and I was really sweaty!!

We found our taxi driver – I liked the look of him, the taxi was clean … but my joy was short lived.

We then proceeded to take the drive-from-hell from the airport to our resort which was about an hour or so.

He had no qualms about overtaking and driving directly into on-coming traffic – it was not like this was something he did now and then, it was more where his vehicle appeared to stay for the bulk of the journey.

It was a very narrow two way road, without any emergency lanes to move into if there was a problem.

The only option, should something go very wrong, was to just veer directly into the population which appeared to like nothing more than to stand on the shoulder of the road and watch the traffic go by.

Clearly the custom is that if you hit your hooter in rapid succession – and do it with a cheery smile on your mug – this clearly absolved you from responsibility and from impending death. It was totally chaotic and your brain kept telling your body to prepare for a rather gruesome death in East Africa.

Long road with bicycles, vespa scooters (always with more than one person on it), trucks packed, like totally packed with people, and people hanging out the side, goats on the side of the road, large cow type things that seemed to wander about without any limitations or restraint.

And there we are hurtling down the road.

While we are overtaking a large truck, another car will be trying to overtake us – all this into on-coming traffic.

Kennith kept suggesting I not look, and read instead. I can say without a doubt, that during the flight I had already started to prepare my goodbyes and hope that my children knew I loved them and how sad it would be for them to get a call from OneTime Airlines to say that they were very sorry, but pa and ma will not be home.

But the problem with this taxi was that when they scraped me off this dirt road, would anyone actually know where or who I was or be able to do some sort of a CSI analysis on me as they scraped my lady bits off a donkey?

As things do happen, one does not always die in the head on taxi car collision as one imagined and we made it to the resort.

We then proceeded to head with shaky legs to the nearest bar, order a pizza, a large bottle of beer and congratulate ourselves on surviving to see another day.

So here we are in Zanzibar ….

I don’t really want to die in an airplane crash ….

Very exciting time.

I am very excited about Saturday night.  The SA Blog Awards is being held at the One and Only in Cape Town and I wish I could be there – it is a cash bar, but I still would have liked to be there.

Seriously, how many opportunities like this are going to present themselves to me?  Clearly very few in my life time, but that being said we will need to miss it as we are going to be in ZANZIBAR!

I really do not get tired of saying that!

Can you come over for a lunch on Saturday?  Er, no sorry, we will be in Zanzibar.

Would you like to join us for dinner on Monday night? Sorry, would love to, but we will be in Zanzibar.

This is Dr E, your yearly enema is scheduled for Tuesday, can you make the appointment? As lovely as that sounds, I will need to miss it this year, I will be in Zanzibar!

Yes, one does not tire of saying it.  But I can well imagine one tires of hearing about it rather rapidly, so I won’t say it again.

My friends Alice and David will be going to the evening and taking photos and hopefully drinking too much.  I will be waiting in excitement to hear the outcome.

The reality is Tertia is an established blogger, book writer, and all around incredible woman.  She has not only been around the block, but she knows everyone on the block and well might have created the block as well.

I also acknowledge that I am officially the “great white hope” or the “total outsider” in this categroy, and losing out to her will not be a disgrace.

I will be very sad, desperately sad actually, and probably need an extra few Mojito to get me over the disappointing.  But I think drinks and a two hour back massage on the beach, should assist me in soldiering through this one.

The downside of Zanzibar is that I really do not like airplanes.  It is not the metal structure of the plane that is the problems, as much as the thought of me in them and them not quite making it to the other side.

Me – claustrophobic – in cramped economy seats.  Me with 2000 litres of highly-explosive jet fuel under my lady-bits.  Me with only a badly designed life jacket standing between me and shards of my body being strewn over the landscape.

I not only think the plane is going to crash, I am convinced of it, and then start to panic because I am the only person in the know.

When the drinks trolley shudders down the aisle I think it is going to knock a hole into the base of the plane and we are all going to die.  As happy as I am to see the drinks trolley, it does unfortunately cause me further stress.

If this trip is anything like the jaunt we did to Mozambique, the plane will be small, there will be some questionable repairs on it and the runway will be about the length of my driveway.  The plane will come in at an almighty speed, the pilot (licence gained via correspondence) will pull up the brake so hard that the entire plane will shudder.  We will slam into the runway, and know we have about 12 meters to stop before we run into the herd of cows peacefully grazing at the end of the stretch of tar.

I do drink Rescue, and then attempt to drink copious amounts of alcohol on board – even if it is the breakfast flight.  I live by the idea that in accidents, it is always the drunk person who walks away unharmed.

This morning in the shower I started thinking about what dying would do to the kids.  Not their dying, my dying.

When Kennith and I got married we drafted a new will and sorted out guardianship of the kids, so that did make me feel a bit better.  I must confess it did not make me feel any better about any of the flights, and I think I might have peed a bit at the thought, but I was in the shower, so who will know?

I am decidedly anxious today – I need to pack, and I need to hug and kiss the kids and leave them with a good impression of me in case I do not see them again.  Tricky to work out what you would say if it was the last time …. you can see why I am not the life of the party can’t you?

But if all goes well, I will have a great time, survive the trip, my luggage will arrive this time – however I did learn from my last experience and will pack my swimming costume, a sarong, change of underwear, toothbrush and hair conditioner in my carry on luggage.   Last holiday I ended up having to wear Kennith’s spare underwear!

I plan to buy a book in Johannesburg as I always do – a big fat period (as it Tudor, not menstruation) piece, so that will be my little present to myself – actually it will need to be Kennith’s present to me, as I am too broke to afford a book right now.

No blog updates this coming week I am afraid.

I will ask my mate Alice to post a comment update on this post with the results of Saturday -the Blog Awards, not my death – so if anyone is interested they can go along and take a look see.

Enjoy the long weekend, and travel safely if you are going away.

Good luck to moms and dads, I hope you survive the school holidays in tact!  Take comfort that it is much shorter than the June/July massacre we had to contend with.

Water, water all around, but none to drink ….

Last night Kennith and I went out for an Indian dinner with our friends Dave and Alice.

We really enjoy Indian food, but great restaurants are few and far between, but this is one of Cape Town’s little gems.

We went along to Chandari’s in Roodebloem road.  The venue is exquisite and the service is genuine.  We entrusted our waitron to order for us – the food was really good.

It was a lovely evening of great conversation, superior food and super company – absolutely lovely, and we both thoroughly enjoyed it.

I figured if I had sex with Kennith there was a chance he would let me sleep late, and he would attend to the kids this morning.  Granted he even agree to the idea – the letting me sleep late.  I figured it was a good negotiation no matter which way I looked at it.  I really do enjoy sleeping late, even if for just a little bit.

This morning Kennith got up, as quietly as he could to attend to the kids.  Georgia however came into the room twice.  Once to tell me she needed to go to the toilet and, I really can’t recall right now what the second conversation was about.

I had also gone to sleep with my contact lenses in my eyes.  So that only added to my rather bleary eyed look about me this morning – eyes looked like they were bleeding to death.

Connor came in to the room. I heard Kennith yell to leave his mom alone, so Connor quickly exited the room with only a “Mommmmm ………….” hanging in the air.

He did return about eight minutes later with a pile of books from his school bag for me to sign – he started telling me what they were in a hurried speech as he left them to balance on my knees.  The books fell to the floor as I gave my knee a quick jerk … why the fek can they not just leave me alone goddammit!

I figured I really was not going to be getting any sleeping late, no matter how hard I was trying.

I asked Connor to please go and fetch me a cup with some tap water – I said it with a rather begging tone in my voice.  It appears that two bottles of wine makes you exceedingly thirsty the next morning.

Connor soon re-appeared with the plastic cup I use to scoop Isabelle’s poop out of the bath.  He admitted that he had rinsed it twice.  The water was suspiciously luke warm.  I personally had scooped shit with that cup on several occasions – too recent to name with any digntity. (Isabelle is a chronic shit in the bath as soon as you leave her there for more than 5 minutes kind of girl.)

You know when you are really thirsty and you will pretty much drink anything ….. overall not a great start to the morning.

Armpits, tits and wine ….

I went along to book club last night.  I used to adore book club.  But in the last year or so, I have got a bit less enamored with it.  I still enjoy it, but I keep thinking do I really?

One of the reasons is that the group is just too big.  At the moment there are nine girls – there were eleven  not so long ago.  Nine girls is not really a group it is  more of a gaggle.

Every single girl in the group is unique and great, and of course you do not actually want to cull anyone.  But at the same time nine girls is just a bit chaotic when one puts them in a room, gives them wine and tells them to catch up.

What usually happens is that the group splits into two or three smaller conversations and the evening feels bitty and disjointed.   Even when we try to speak together about one thing, it really is all a bit loud and frantic.  Not in a too-much-wine-sort-of-fun way, more in everyone-is-trying-to-say-their-piece-and-you-actually-can-not-hear-everyone sort of way.

It is frantic, and actually makes me feel a bit stressed.  Which is probably not the ideal outcome when one thinks about drinks, great dinner, books and your friends – but that is how I have been feeling.

Last night there were only five of us at book club – I could not have been more excited!!

We sat down for dinner and it was brilliant.  We could listen to one person speaking and all get involved in one conversation.  The result is that everyone got to say something and we all got to have a laugh at the same thing.  It was one of the funniest most fun evenings I have had at bookclub in ages.

Laura had made the most divine dinner – something about chicken, lemon and capers and it was lick-the-plate-frek’n-good.  When the dinner conversation started to wind down, someone flashed their arm pit to show how free of hair it was.  I had not planned on dinner and a floor show, but one learns to adapt.

Unfortunately my under arms look reminiscent of what would find at a zoo, hanging off a branch. I went a bit quiet at the hope that the conversation would embark on a different direction.

What proceeded was arm pit showing, and discussions regarding body hair and methods to get rid of hair.  As usual Alice insisted that I go for a Brazilian – I am not sure what that girl’s obsession is with my arse being hair-free, but I have a name of someone who can do it for me ….

Once that was over and we had gorged on dessert, we moved to the lounge area to “do books.”

At some point someone commented that Claire’s breasts are looking really good.  Girls talk like this, it is very strange, but girls do.

Claire wasted no time in lifting up her shirt to show us her fabulous bra – Claire is a specialist underwear designer/buyer/finder person or something of the sort, so tits and bootie are her thing.

It was a lovely bra, and it really did make her appear to be exceedingly well-stacked.  We all had Claire’s-bra-envy.

Claire being a kind hearted soul, then took off her bra – as you do at bookclub.  Sue tried on Claire’s bra and came to show what it did for her girls.

Listen, I am not sure how your bookclub goes, but this is how we roll.  Sue showed us how the bra improved her profile and there was much pointing and rubbing.

Then Laura decided she would also try on Claire’s bra. At no point did this seem like a bizarre set of events, it just all seemed to be quite the norm.

We eventually “did books” – almost as an after  thought.  We ate our body weight in tumbles and winegums and then everyone did the two kiss cheek thing and we went home.

You know, I may not remember the books, but I do remember the funniest evening.  Laughing until tears rolled down my cheeks, and the power of a well fitted bra.

Great evening …