Just so that you know that not all are days are spent cavorting with feral elephants or Buddhist chain-smoking transvestite ritual dancers, here’s what we did today. I spent the morning shuttling between the couch and the bathroom with an explosive case of stomach illness. Perhaps CeCe is right. Maybe I’ve high-fived a few too many runny-nosed children lately.
At noon CeCe peeled me off the couch to take me to the Zanzibar airport. We couldn’t stomach the seven days of bus travel it would have taken to reach Addis Ababa, so we’re flying instead. So far we’ve enjoyed the views of the tarmac in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Entebbe, Uganda. Would you believe that both places really resemble the airports of Osh, Kyrgyzstan and Banjarmasin, Indonesia? Or was it Surabaya? We’ve also had to endure the safety video three times in a guttural, vaguely Germanic-sounding Amharic, Ethiopia’s primary language. Yet for three take-offs and two landings, my reclined seatback has gone undetected. I’ve fooled them all!
The flight attendant approaches with dinner. Am I hungry or nauseous? CeCe comments the cheese tastes the way a nail salon smells. I look down and from the salt water stains estimate that I haven’t changed my shorts in over a week. I look up and see that the flight information screen above our seats places the plane a few hundred kilometers due west of Mogadishu. Yet for some reason its spelled Mogadiscio, which reads more like a place John Travolta would have frequented. Either way, I pray that an emergency landing isn’t required.
Awaiting us in Addis is surely a phalanx of cannibalistic airport taxi drivers. Elsewhere I’ve proffered my opinion that such men represent humanity’s lowest form. Then our task amounts to locating a hotel room that falls within our budget yet that doesn’t host a circus of fleas, a notorious pest throughout the country our trusty guidebook warns.
How many days before we go home?