Thursday, August 25, 2005

Botswana Or Burst

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Getting to Botswana from Nairobi necessitates getting to Botswana by Kenya Airways, flying over it and landing in Johannesburg. Jo'burg airport could learn a lot from JKIA

  • Having natural gas powered trams to ferry passengers to the terminal is not good for passengers' health. They will develop flabby underarms, pot bellies and varicose veins
  • Refusing to announce departures and arrivals is not good for passengers either. They have to keep reading from dozens of impossibly large screens, which is bad for their necks and eyes.
  • Having large plasma screen TVs in the departure lounge again makes vegetables out of travelers. They should be indulging in quality time with their loved ones.

Once at the terminal, you are greeted by a cheerful gentleman behind the Air Botswana desk who issues you with your boarding pass. You then proceed to explore the airport and almost immediately find a colossal eatery. In the list of Things To Do In The Lifetime Of M I can cross out drink fresh strawberry juice. A sandwich made with impossibly fresh bread, with bacon that belonged to a pig that was quite possibly half an hour previously happily eating his swill.

At the boarding gate my old friend who issued the boarding pass greeted me with a cheerful grin. He had exchanged his suit coat for a sleeveless luminous green jacket. He opened the gate and ushered us to the shuttle to take us to the plane.

The first impression once gets of this particular craft is remarkably like that one gets at the concours d'elegance. This is chiefly because the craft possessed two large propellers and had only one entrance. I waited all of one minute for Orville and his brother Wilbur to appear at the top of the stairs, goggles over their eyes and leather caps on their head, waving us aboard.

Climbing up the stairs and hitting my forehead hard on the doorframe was but a couple of seconds' work. As airlines go Air Botswana is a cheerful little airline with cheerful little planes. You either have a window seat or an aisle seat. I would not recommend a window seat just where the propellers are. When that sucker starts spinning you get every impression that should it lose its moorings it will slice you like .. er .. something that has been sliced.

At the front of the plane (there is only one class btw) is the door that opens into the cockpit and you can see the pilot. To my surprise it was not our old friend from Jo’burg.

The stewardesses sit at the very front, and their seats face backwards This allows them to sit, and cross their impossibly long legs. Air Botswana stewardesses do not wear stockings. A quick straw poll I conducted concluded that an in flight movie come a distant second. The flight becomes immediately more interesting when one winks at you and you return the favour.

Sir Seretse Khama airport falls in line with Air Botswana in being a cheerful little airport. You are cleared within minutes and proceed to wait for your baggage.

Half an hour later it hits you with startling suddenness that Air Botswana seem to have lost your luggage and all your worldly possessions are either in your attaché case or you are standing inside them.


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Maroon 5 - She Will Be Loved