Thursday, December 02, 2010

Life In Transit

On the tarmac. In transit. A man without a country.

Every once in a while, I end up with an itinerary that leaves me stranded and hapless somewhere. Years ago, on the way to Manila, the routing with United used to leave me at Seoul Kimpo Airport for at least four to six hours. Back in the early 1990s, Kimpo was a drab and dreary place. True hell on Earth if you were stuck in the transit lounge. After a couple times of that hell, I started paying the entry fee just to use the airport facilities.

My flight from Kigali to Entebbe arrived at noon and my flight from Entebbe to Brussels doesn't leave until 11:35pm. That's nearly twelve hours hanging out at the airport. Or trying to find something to do.

Unfortunately, emails from Edmund and Clare weren't received until after I was en route and I completely missed Clare at the airport because instead of paying the US$50 fee for a visa and an entry stamp, I was escorted to the transit lounge and then the First Class Lounge (where I paid a fee).

Beef samosas and Diet Coke.

The First Class Lounge is free to business class and first class travelers. As I am neither, I had to pay US$25 for three hours. I've been here since about 2pm.

It's not bad as far as lounges go. It's comfortable. There's free Wi-Fi, along with free food and drink. Televisions play football all day and there's a billiards table, a water fall and free use of a shower. I had promised the receptionist I would use the shower but never got around to it.

Heading to the First Class Lounge at EBB!

The good thing is that I got a lot of work done. Emails, blog updates and did most of the work on the reports for CQI. That way, I won't have to spend a lot of time on those in Italy - where I plan to focus my energies on Ferrari and Lady Gaga.

The nice thing is that I'm also being very nicely taken care of my the ground staff here. My first handler got off at 6pm and she brought up her replacement to introduce me. She's currently handling my check-in and baggage transfers to Florence.

Of course, she just came by to ask if I was going to Florence, Florida or Florence, California. Thank goodness she asked! Florence, Italy please.

Soon, it will be time to board Brussels Airlines 465 for the return flight to Brussels where I hear that Europe has been blanketed in a snowstorm for the past few days. With only my thin jacket, it should be fun! Happily, I'm told that tonight's flight is extremely light and looks I'll have a good chance of commandeering another row to myself!

Writing this blog.

Something other than beef and veg samosas.

The bathroom with shower.

My daylong perch.

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