Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Day 15 & 16: Going home

The next day I slept in late, then had a lazy, tasty breakfast. The drive up to the airport was a mixture of very scenic bits and very dull bits, crowded shantytowns and stretches devoid of any human habitation. I made one wrong turn and lost around 20 minutes on that, but still made it with plenty of time to spare.

The airport, as previously mentioned, is not a big one. A couple of buildings, a small curio shop and a small café of sorts; little more than a hole in the wall. I had already started to practice the two Swazi words I had learned from Shirley; when you're the one doing the leaving you say salagathje and when you're staying and someone else is leaving you say hambagathje.

Well, salagathje was working miracles with the locals. They brightened up something crazy when I spoke to them in their own language and I got some of the widest and most genuine smiles I've ever encountered as a tourist. This goes well with previous experiences in Eastern Europe, where the odd "dobre", "spasiba" or "djekojem" also works wonders.

Apparently, Hoedspruit has a cheetah center. I see I have to spend more time here in the future.

I am somewhat skeptical of Eastgate airport in Hoedspruit.

The flight to Joburg was uneventful. I had to do some extra walking back and forth at the airport, as the check-in desk was in another fucking terminal than the gate I was leaving from, something that was sheepishly explained to me as part of an ongoing transfer of Air France desks to "a place with more space". "And the passengers be fucked", I thought.

The whole airport seemed to be in the process of being expanded and the lines seemed shorter and the process less painful than during my two previous visits. I can only hope the South Africans are finally, fucking finally getting it together, because that place is a disgrace (though sadly also typical) in all its incompetence and corruption.

Me leave South Africa. Me sad.

On the final flight to Oslo, I was given a seat by an emergency exit, something which had only happened to me once. As with the previous time I was asked whether I could assist someone if there was an emergency, I lied through my teeth and answered in the affirmative. My morals have not improved; I would still see my fellow passengers burned to a crisp for a couple inches more legroom.

After all, they don't have naturally occurring fur, paws, hooves, whiskers, trunks, tusks, fangs or any of the other characteristics of the inhabitants of Kruger...

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