Just like Christmas

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Africa » Egypt
October 11th 2017
Published: October 11th 2017
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This is just like Christmas.

Last night there was that excited feeling.

That same expectation that something wonderful is just around the corner. It's going to happen. Gifts will be opened.

The exhaustion. So much energy needed and spent in preparation, so many last minute things to do before the day! Ah tyad.

The cost. How much more money am I spending just because I feel excited. Withdrawing more and more like it's never going to be enough. This will use all there is. So spend spend spend. Getting the Forex was a whole other story, and thank heavens for the VTM card which I could load driddip driddip every day. Until I had sufficient.

... FINALLY THE DAY IS HERE.. With great weather. Slept then woke really early because things still needed doing on the tablet... update what's app contacts... update email addresses for travel blog... final load up on the VTM card...

Kayto proved to be a real trooper, a great sister in law... meeting me at City Gate in the thick of after work traffic yesterday, then taking me to the airport this morning at the crack of dawn she inevitably faced the monster Highway traffic getting back to POS. THANK YOU KAYTO!

On line check in with CAL went perfectly and bag drop was a cinch. Then a sudden snag, unexpectedly a flight delay due to technical problems. That could have gone horribly wrong but thankfully we left at 10am instead of 8.40 and only arrived one hour late. Yaaaaaayyyy. Enough time to do all I needed as CAL and EGYPT AIR are both in Terminal 4.

Encountered a new (since I last came through JFK) customs and immigration automated computerized entry system. I stumbled my way through it but God, I thought, help any one facing this complex entry system for the first time. Or needing to wear glasses to see! Instruction & remove glasses to take the computer photo& . Stress! Pressha!

Our flight crossed over part of Puerto Rico. I looked down on large swathes of brown barren landscape knowing I was looking at the devastation after hurricanes. I thought of Tai and her family. I touched the desperation.

Later - reflecting- how stationary the view out the aircraft window appears, nothing moving at 36,000 ft blue sea blue sky little cloud specks the wing tip of an aircraft. Motionless. A silent ship upon a silent ocean.

Oh, by the way, BIG KUDOS to CAL for the leg room on this aircraft!! Chairs reclined without being an in your face nuisance to the seat behind, legs could move and be crossed without kicking the seat ahead. Window seat people could step out of their row to go to the the loo without making everybody else get up. Plus the seats were wide and sufficient. Yes CAL good job. But hear this... do something about the meal. I couldn't believe what came... Peeling back the pretty fancy purple foil packaging... face off with dark brown Chicken stewed ( no choice offered) with brown rice and peas. End of story! Look at what CAL has been reduced to. Pity. I know it's all about the almighty dollar. But ohgord!

Now here I sit having taken out 800 dullus in cash to make cash payment as required by the hotels in Egypt. Just imagine THE JFK Terminal 4 Cambio does NOT deal in Egypt Pounds or Jordanian Dinar though the terminal is used by several Middle Eastern airlines. Go figure. The Forex people said they don't sell it at this terminal . Period.

My onward Egypt Air flight begins boarding in 4 minutes.

SO I'M OFF TO SEE THE WIZARD.... or at least find Mohammed my Deluxe Travel guide. Like Mr Smith of Gizeh.

Later people. Can't post this blog as I'm not on line at the airport but at least it is WRITTEN and ready to go at the first opportunity.

Tomorrow when it comes will be &Christmas day& October 6th 2017

In flight report Egypt Air. B 777-300.

What can I say. The TT dollar is valued 2.5 times higher than the Egyptian Pound. But boy Egypt Air put us to shame. Hanging my head privately for my once proud BWee national airline. The poor middle eastern airline offered me in economy class.... an English language newspaper, a night time comfort kit, personal in seat entertainment monitors, a pillow and blanket (CAL did have blankets) and a fabulous meal spread. Choice of chicken or fish. The fish was a hearty portion of salmon, tasty white rice, green peas, cold corn and pimento salad, cake with coconut topping, roll with butter and cheese, plus a beverage, water and coffee or tea. It was delicious.

That's what I'm talking about CAL! Egypt didn't spend money on fancy foil wrapping or cute printed game adverts. No BS. They spent it on good food and services. And they were impressive. Unlike you.

Just sayin'!

Morning. October 6th. In two hours we will arrive in Cairo. For now I'm delighting in the glow of the morning sun blazing through my window. I always enjoy the dawn sunlight on an aircraft. It fills the horizon but can't be captured in a photo. I keep trying though 😀

In flight I spend contented hours absorbing the interactive Flight maps showing its progress as the aircraft across cities and landscapes. Last night the skies were clear as we flew over Dublin. It sparkled. Then we crossed the Alps, covered by clouds. We are now flying over the Adriatic Sea off former Yugoslavia. Completely covered by clouds looking like a roll of cotton wool. It seems the flight path will take us over Athens and the Aegean Sea later.

Cairo soon come. 2 hours and 2000 km to go, 7 hours and 7000km gone.

Altitude 11277 m outside
Mr Smith of Cairo Mr Smith of Cairo Mr Smith of Cairo

Me and Mohammed
temperature - 56F ground speed 938kmh Mach 0.832. Soon me and my man Mo will be all over the place. Today's game plan is to assist me through the arrival process and especially money exchange then I'll be taken to my hotel. In the afternoon we will return to Cairo proper to visit the Khan Al Khalili bazaar.

I'm finding the Egyptian people really open and friendly. Had conversations with two yesterday as we boarded the aircraft. One woman was chatty, fluent in English - we almost sat near each other but alas she's in 32H and I'm in 33A.. I would have learned a lot from chatting with her. My seat row companion is an older gentleman. He had heard of Trinidad and Tobago I'll have you know! He visited the DR last year and asked if the hurricanes had affected me. So he's quite up to date. His accent is a bit strong and we weren't hearing each other easily over the aircraft noise. So the talk lapsed, he fell asleep so did I.

Now the skies are clearing over the Dolomites as we near Athens. The mountains are green looking rugged and very crumpled. I see lakes! Greece is one of my most loved places I've ever visited.

Breakfast arrived... And even the Breakfast beat CAL's dinner by miles. Croissant and a roll with cream cheese and jam, eggs with sausages and a potato cake, delicious fruit yogurt, orange juice, tea or coffee. And soon we will land.

(October 9th in Aswan, It looks like I have internet access here on the banks of the Nile. So I'll try sending this and see what happens..... Fingers crossed.)


11th October 2017

Great writing. You should be writing a travelogue for the local papers (TT goes to Egypt) and getting paid while you're at it! Egypt Air sounds great. The food spread sounds sumptuous. Have been hearing of CAL being delayed or canceled due to lots of tech difficulties in various countries . . . not sounding encouraging.
11th October 2017

Thanks for taking us along vicariously, Margaret. As I read all the places you flew over, it struck me again how small the world is. You are intrepid. Have a safe and wonderful trip.
11th October 2017

You're absolutely right Dan. It's shrinking so much that I've met 4 Egyptians who had actually heard of Trinidad... And could correct me by adding "and Tobago" when I'm answering their question Where are you from. Today as I drove through the countryside near the Aswan High Dam I couldn't help but see similarities in the landscape. They have date palms we have coconut palms but so much else is identical.
11th October 2017

You’re sending these Margs! Can’t wait to read. Love and wonderful travels. D.
11th October 2017

Was remembering the sufficiency of plenty. The monuments are that. And the desert.
11th October 2017

Keep on blogging
This I am getting them all....if you need any emails addresses I might have..just ask. Will send on who I can..
11th October 2017

Hey thanks
Appreciate the offer. I just can't remember now who I got and who's missing. Do you have Amaragita's email?
11th October 2017

Your attention to detail is fantastic and very appreciated! Write on sister and enjoy yourself!
11th October 2017

Happy to hear you're not feeling over whelmed. I can be anal!
11th October 2017

Congrats you made it
Enjoy your Christmas I can feel your excitement
11th October 2017

Ooh! Felt that anticipation of something good coming. Great writing. Great advertising for Egypt Air. Can't wait to read more
12th October 2017

blogs are Claro que Si
I hope that Air Canada's red eye is gonna be serving something delicious for dinner other than pretty foil, ent!!!! Comprehensive reporting, it's like I'm there!!! keep it coming!!!
12th October 2017

Just like christmas
Very detailed and interesting. I still say you brave... but obviously you are enjoying the excitement so keep tracking.....

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