Once again, with more feeling. - 04 September 2006

A week around Gauteng, South Africa, with Lindsey: how I risked my life on a canopy tour in the middle of the Magaliesberg Mountains.

Few reasons to hate Iberia, and one reason to love South Africa: Lindsey



I hate Iberia. Almost like Ryanair (which, by the way, has started charging people for taking luggage with them! 5 a piece. Bastards).
The difference? With Ryanair you fly uncomfortable for maybe 2 hours. With Iberia, you fly uncomfortable for 10 hours.

On my way to Jo'burgOThe only good trait of the travel was London - Madrid, where fortunately Iberia used a BA flight (they share the code), so snacks and drinks were up to proper standards.

As soon as I landed in Madrid - very late - from Gatwick (due to the latest terrorist attempted attack in London few days earlier) I was struck by a sense of deja-vu.
Only few months ago I was here, spending the whole day, with Lindsey.
I was already dreading the idea of spending 2 hours waiting for a plane in an airport that reminds me of a long night and a long goodbye, but "thanks" to the delays I actually had to run to catch my connection to Jo'burg (which is Johannesburg, or Johannesburgo, as they call it in Spain. Jo'burg is a nice way to call it without thinking about the spelling).

Waiting in GatwickI'm trying to forget about the 10 hours spent on an airplane with a weird chatting woman sitting next to me.
At least, thanks to my great social skills she soon left me alone.

The short dialogue that closed the conversation:

WCW (Weird Chatting Woman): "My brother had an accident, he's in coma, don't know if he's alive, I am so worried"
Me: "I know the felling, once my cat died"

Unfortunately my seat was broken (no way to pull it down), the plane was full, the food was crap, the TV programming on the common monitor was insulting and someone (not me) farted multiple times in his/her deep sleep.

Next time I should remember what 100 more pounds in the ticket will give me: a no-connection flight with proper sitting, monitor and food. Damn you Iberia!

10kg of presentsAnyway, I landed on a winter Sunday morning in JHB, the internal airport.
Funny how "Winter Sunday Morning" makes me think about strong winds, grey skies and rain or snow.
South Africa is on the other side of the word, sharing his square kilometers with many poor third world countries (and Australia). This means the seasons are weirdly reversed. Winter is in our summer, and vice versa.
The only difference is, as temperature goes, their winter is like our late may: Sunny, dry and very enjoyable. 

Meeting Lindsey after so many weeks (the last time the gap was 15 months, this time just 4... getting better!) was a great relieve: she was as beautiful as I remember and she still remembered my face and my name.

Ok, she was late, struck in traffic, so when we first met I was picking pieces of biltong from my teeth (and nose).
Not a great way to start, but maybe she just didn't see it.

Lindsey and Kirsten (her younger sister) collected me and we drove home, in Weltevreden Park.


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