Saturday, May 09, 2009
Who Needs Adventure Anyway?
Transport problems so far:
- The rear wheel on the left side of our jeep fell of while we were riding (very slowly). The whole thing started to jiggle like a belly dancer on steroids. Not surprisingly, because there was only one bolt holding the wheel. We had to return on foot, but luckily this happened right when we entered the city. We'd just returned from a trip 20 miles out in the rain forest.
- The plane from Mbandaka to Kinshasa was five (5) hours late.
- We almost missed the plane to Kananga because the lady at the check in made an error while entering us in the computer. We then had to wait for the ICT specialist of the airport to rectify that error. We had to make a mad dash over the tarmac. The plane's ladder had already retracted and the engines were running. Luckily, the lowered the ladder and we could enter.
- It's the end of the rainy season, so there's more turbulence than calm air around.
- If you thought European/American airline food was bad, try the sandwiches here. One of my colleagues had the runnings after eating two of those sandwiches.
- I almost missed my plane back to Europe because of a giant traffic jam right during the evening rush (although Kinshasa seems to have an all-day-long rush these days). A couple of cars collided near Patrice Lumumba's memorial, and of course nobody moved one before they'd made a detailed study of what happened. We arrived at the airport less than 30 minutes before take-off. I only made it because basically I rushed through customs and security checks without showing papers or opening my bags. Try that in a European airport!
So all things considered, quite a normal and uneventful trip really.