After the madness that was cleaning, packing, finding out that our luggage (including the donations to ‘our’ orphanage) was too heavy, cleaning out the chicken coop and finally taking Fred the dog to his holiday family (tears in my eyes), we have arrived… at the airport.
It always surprises me how different people are. I mean how many different makes of people! As I am sitting here a young guy sporting skinny jeans and beautifully plucked eyebrows has just walked past, staring intently into his phone… filming himself! Brilliant!
So once we established that our scales at home seem to add a few pounds (good news for the weight loss freak – yours truly), queued at the security stations and scanned and rescanned our boarding passes, we were faced with all the choices. Where to get our late lunch? Italian? Pub grub? Mexican? Or even just a coffee shop?
We opted for a change. Lebanese. We felt very brave and worldly. We ordered a glass of Lebanese red wine with trepidation. And well deserved, it seemed at first. A little bit dry and rough around the edges. Then the very nice waitress (who looked like she was enjoying her job!!!) brought a bowl of humus and some bread while we waited for our wraps. We demolished the starter within seconds, then we both sipped at the mediocre wine. But guess what? Once combined with food, the wine turned out to be pleasant and tasty. My husband smiled happily.
Some time later we surveyed the usual airport shops and found a comfy seat where we are seated now, with the cross section of the world parading by. All shapes, colours, languages, styles, and cultures. They are all here at the airport.
On the plane it was the usual mix of other people’s snoring and sneezing and my own inability to get comfortable. I had naively planned a massive reiki and meditation session but forgot that in order to place hands on my solar plexus I needed some elbow space. Turns out there is none in economy class, even on an Emirates plane. So instead I watched films and tried to stretch my legs without the person in front of me noticing that I was playing footsie with them.
Fast forward a few hours and we landed in Entebbe. The good old Ugandan international airport. The humidity was turned right up for us, as was the heat. Following our discovery of only three bags out of four arriving, we filled in forms concerning the fourth one and got into a taxi. Not long now. Or so we thought. Thanks to our delay with the luggage gate we missed our opportunity to travel in slightly lighter traffic. Instead we got stuck in the Friday crazy. Didn’t get to Kampala until two hours later (37km…). By this time I had brewed up a spectacular headache due to lack of sleep and the cold that appeared on day of travelling.
Never mind though. We soldiered on. We explained to the completely surprised staff at the hotel that we in fact booked our room weeks ago. We even showed them emails that they sent us. Their astonishment would have been comical had we not been travelling for 24 hours by then, including lost luggage and a headache.
But you know what the best thing about today is? That we arrived. We took the boda boda (motorbike taxi) to our favourite cafe (with booming music and a DJ loudly celebrating the Black Friday), had a coffee, then walked to the tennis club and ordered a beer. It was dark then and the music was spilling out of any available speaker in vicinity. You couldn’t see Africa but you could certainly hear it.
And then suddenly the ‘home’ feeling. As I sat in the dark beer garden, looking into the simple bar, I finally breathed a sigh of relief. My husband brought me a chapati, another beer and soon some friends walked in and noticed us. We hadn’t announced our visit so their surprise was genuine.
It took a couple of hours to catch up on everyone’s news. A few more beers and the local gin Waragi later, we ‘melted into the solid oak mattress’ (my man’s words).
Not what I normally imagine as paradise, but tonight, in the dusty, dark and loud tennis club it felt at touching distance.