Call it a luxury problem, tell me I’m spoilt, whatever, but I have to admit since 9/11, flying is not much fun. Security and passport checks abound, how many times could I change my identity in an airport, is it necessary to check us all about 10 different times? Yes, it’s for my safety I realise this but why the disparities in application? Some places oblige you to take you shoes off, others let you take a coke through, are there rules or not?
I figured out why an airport building is called a terminal, that’s how I felt after the pilot landed in Addis Ababa, it felt like he was doing a wheelie while jolting to the ground.
So, of course I needed the toilet, which was overcrowded and blocked by a traditionally built woman in a beautiful traditional dress. I negotiated my way past her to the sound a kid screaming and the sight of a woman washing her feet in the basin. People were doing stuff with plastic-looking teapots which might have had something to do with the fact that there was no toilet paper, or maybe not. I’m not sure I want to know. On my way out I got stuck behind the woman with the floral print dress, once again.
An interesting stopover all-round, I was exhausted and fed-up by the time I had to board the next plane, a long haul to Brussels. Not helped by people pushing and shoving and the rather nonchalant service on the oldest aeroplane I’ve been on, except maybe when I was 19. Either they wake you ap at 4 am for a paltry breakfast, or ignore you completely, I’m not sure what’s worse. It’s a good thing there was no screen in front of me as I managed to sleep.
I was contemplating a trip to Lalibela, but it would have to be overland from wherever I am at the given moment.