Saturday, April 21, 2012

Lost Days

Adventures half way around the world result in lost days due to travel. My internal clock gets jumbled, as I fly through multiple time zones.  Hours in limbo spent in airport lounges wondering if I'm hungry out of boredom or if many hours have passed since my last meal.  The closer I get to LA the more I long for a hot shower, clean clothes and sleeping in my own bed.

Returning to Nairobi post Cape Town was an anticlimactic pit stop. Selecting a hotel equidistant to the city and airport, we had planned on a few hours of exploration followed by dinner before I had to leave at 230 am for my flight.  What should have been a 20 minute ride to the hotel was 90 minutes due to horrific traffic. Armed guards ineffectively tried to aid the flow of cars. The hot, stale air, toxic with diesel fuel and burning garbage, stung my throat and nose. Our driver turned off the paved road, a short cut he claimed, but the cars didn't subside. The landscape changed drastically from poverty to extreme squalor, perhaps the worst I've ever witnessed. Corrugated barriers served as makeshift dwellings and storefronts. The streets, albeit alive with children playing, men gathering, and women cooking, were gray and churned my stomach. When the driver announced we were close I prayed he was wrong, but 15 minutes later we were back on a paved road which lead us to our hotel. Perhaps after a shower we'd be refreshed and able to consider a five mile taxi ride into the city center. When only cold, brown water flowed from the shower head we were resigned to spending the last night of our trip in this odd limbo. Around 10 pm when I hoped to go to sleep, a heavy pounding rain, and intense electrical storm, invaded the silence. The metal overhang outside our window drew the lightning close. The sky glowed, the air smelled from the currents and I feared for those living in the metal village. I wondered if the streets would flood, and if the storm would subside in time for me to take off in the pre dawn light. It did. The first leg of my journey is behind me as I sit in the lounge in Cairo waiting to board my next flight to Munich. I think it's Friday night in LA, Saturday morning here in Egypt. If all goes well and I make my next connection, and I'll be home in 24 hours.

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