Coffee on an adventure.
Today I am sat in a restaurant waiting my flight to Nairobi then Dar Es Salaam then finally Mwanza. This post will be written in a confusing way, because I’m far too tired to concentrate right now, but I feel like there is a very real change I’m going to mentally black out the last 32 hours.
So for starters, the coffee was amazing. A restaurant called The Commission at Heathrow airport terminal 4. Where I also experienced the most first world problem ever, I couldn’t finish the food that I ordered, and it was so good that made me genuinely sad.
All is going smoothly as I sit down on the flight. I offer to change seats so a family can sit together. I’m now sat inbetween an old Indian lady, and a very young American boy. Neither of whom btw understood the rule that the middle person gets both arm rests (hmph, no manners like the British) I ended up making friends with the American guy, as we laughed as the mess that is presented as a vegetarian option in front of me.
Luckily I had eaten enough to nourish myself for about a week in the airport. Because seriously the food was abysmal, I’m also slight concerned about what the put in the chocolate cake, if it’s not an option for me, a vegetarian. Breakfast then arrived after what felt like a lot of hours pretending to be asleep. My breakfast was; a cup of water and 2 fruit pots. The normal breakfast was; water, coffee cup, couissant and a yoghurt.
THAT IS ALL VEGETARIAN OH MY GOODNESS WHAT. Just to calrify, there is a vegan option, however I expressly stated that I’m just vegetarian, and reconfirmed that as I was on the plan. Anyway… once that ordeal was over…
I landed in Nairobi and made my transit flight to Dar. This is where the fun really begins. I have to fill out a visa, I need to pay for this visa in cash. I don’t have cash. That’s fine, I can use the ATM outside. The ATM is broken.
I come back in and inform the staff of this, they proceed to stare at me and talk to each other in Swahili, which I do not understand for 20 minutes. 20 MINUTES I STOOD THERE. Now, I’m not a big cryer, I generally keep the waterworks on shut down when in public, but I now haven’t slept for a reaaaaally long time and I just want to get this sorted, the tears are pretty close.
Eventually after all of them discussing this with me separately they decide I can get a taxi to another ATM then come back, if they hold my passport. So I’m now in a taxi, with a lovely driver who was 100% set on taking me to the beach. Third ATM lucky and I manage to withdraw Tanzanian shillings, but honestly I have no clue how much I’m actually withdrawing. Also I have to use the wrong card, because I’ve forgotten my PIN number to the right one (subsequently remembered it, such is life). I then have to turn that money into dollars then finally, 2 hours later I can pay for my visa.
Moral of that story, buy the visa in advance online and don’t expect the staff to be anything more than competent.
Silverlining, thats 2 hours out of my 10 hour layover. I have a long time to wait left, but honestly I just want to sleep. I find the departures desk and a guy helps me to check in, because I’m so early. He later tells me he only helped me out because I’m “really sexy”. We are going to let that one slide, after 30 something hours of travel…
Finally, FINALLY I’m upstairs. The wifi is crappy and so I find 3 empty seats and try my best to sleep. This sleep was rather interrupted by members of staff, coming and waking me up, asking to see my boarding pass and asking if I’m flying anywhere today. Like, no I love to just hang out here in my free time?! WHAT.
It’s now 5pm and I’m waiting to board my next flight, where I will then get in a taxi on my way to the final destination! I’m super excited to arrive, and very glad I’m an experienced traveller!!