Flying to Dakar

We are almost in Dakar. Almost. We are late in the flight, I have watched the in-flight film, listened to a range of podcasts (I am addicted to them because of my dad who used to be a shortwave radio addict. iTunes podcasts are the natural extension of a man huddled over a radio, scraping the dial about, looking for the familiar sounds of his 'other' life, the radio shows of the country where he used to live... That sounds sad and that was not my dad. Yes, he listened to the BBC as an essential frequency. But he would explore the world on that little radio with  an extendable antenna about one metre long.

But I get ahead of myself.

I am no novice to travel, but I still manage to pack too late and be stressed until I am booked, at the airport, on the flight. Silly, really. But I have learned hard lessons. I go to airports AT LEAST two hours in advance. Now that is the rule now, so I prefer three hours advance. 

The rationale is simple. I am two metres tall, long legs, and I cannot survive a long flight in a standard seat. I need legroom. Must have, else I start walking the plane for six hours - and the cabin crew does not like that.

This flight, with Brussels airlines, left me with legs extended in a bulkhead seat. I actually got some sleep. My travel companion distanced herself from me with a seat far away. She mumbled something about being too embarrassed to sit next to a grown man in shorts for six hours.


But it was a good thing she was there. I was knackered before the flight and would have sat at the coffee shop all day, in a daze, and missed the flight.

The coffee detour meant we did mot have to endure the mindless lemming-like human behaviour at the gate. What is it that, with assigned seating and the next six hours sitting in one seat with little chance to move about, people are eager to get on board? They jump up at the first boarding announcement and queue for 15 minutes before getting a seat that is guaranteed on their boarding pass??? Far better to be one of the last on board.

Ah, we have started our descent. Dakar soon...