All good things come to an end right? It came to pass that on a certain day, the return leg of my London-Abuja ticket became valid. Therefore, it was time to kiss Nigeria good-bye and head back to cold, loveless London.
That morning, I gave my darling Boo Boo a bath, prepped him for crèche (yes he goes to crèche and he has a book too), and then I got myself ready. I sped to my hairstylist’s to change my nail varnish (only I can tell why I left it till the day I was to travel) and when I’d waited for 20 minutes after the time I’d agreed we’d meet, I put the car in reverse to leave. As an aside, why do people tick you off intentionally, and then beg? Why?
Next stop was at my aunt’s, tailor was supposed to meet me there. I agree with the person who told me that my relationship with the tailor existed because I enjoyed a certain level of sadomasochism, i.e. causing myself pain. Of course he didn’t bring everything he was supposed to bring, but that’s content for a totally different blog post!
Ran off to my sister’s to kiss her good-bye (we were both very brave), remember wiping a tear when I drove past Boo Boo’s crèche; only reason I didn’t go in there was I knew I’d cry myself into changing the date of my flight!
By this time I’d gotten like three calls from my Dad asking if I was checked in at the airport, and errrrr, it was just past 10am. For a 1.30pm flight? And with benefit of hindsight, I don’t think I will ever bust my behind to be early for an Egypt Air flight, they are always at least 20 minutes late.
Anyway, so I got to the airport, checked in (no I wasn’t upgraded, silly people) and then I left the International wing for Aero’s Departure Lounge. It houses Biobak, and I’d been craving their food since the last time I was there.
One plate of rice and catfish later, I was back in our lounge. We boarded by 2pm, and again, Egypt Air didn’t have personal entertainment systems! Are they even allowed to do that?? Arrrgh!! And this was a 737-200! Anyway, brilliant thing about the airline is they let you use ANY electronic device once the plane’s up in the air. So I watched movies on my laptop, did some work, and then I slept.
All of this happened after I had bawled majorly! You know, I say that each time I leave will be different but nooooo.., I have to cry each and every time I leave. I should just come back and never leave again abi? Lol. Sometimes I think of myself as that parent who will form ‘strong face’ as they drop their kid off at boarding school, then cry all the way home. *sigh*
Got to Cairo about 8pm, stop over was about 21 hours; on purpose because I’d sworn I’d spend a day in Cairo. Had to sit and wait a bit while they sorted us into hotels based on our onward journey times the next day. I got Le Meridien, somewhere in town; by the way there are about five Le Meridien’s in Cairo.
Finally got to the hotel about 11pm, and I’d made two friends, Hannah and Miss @Olameday! Settled in to dinner, and it was a hilarious time, swapping tales of adventures in hotels! Smiling at the thought! Learnt from @Olameday that you’re more likely to get better service if you address the waiter by name; that’s how we got our meals changed!
Couple of things to note if you plan to plan a 21 hour stopover in Cairo:
- no need to buy the $15 dollar visa. The airport officials hold on to your passport anyway so technically you don’t need it.
- Everyone will try to fleece you of some money (but I guess that’s a normal issue all tourists face); don’t be afraid to haggle. More on this point in the ‘Cairo’ post.
- Their sockets are different from the ones in Nigeria.
After dinner I stayed in the lobby to chat with Ace via wi-fi, then it was off to my ‘LAN only’ cabled room for a good night’s rest, and dreams filled with flashbacks of the extra special Christmas I had.