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Published: July 24th 2012
So, as you may have guessed, I didn't manage to find that sleep I was looking for. I spent my time watching Big Bang Theory, Two and a Half Men, and just looking into the darkness outside my window.
We landed at Charles de Gaulle International, Paris at about 5.55 AM SA time. The Parisians were definately still asleep as we had to wait about 20 minutes for the disembarkation gates to be attached to the aircraft.
To my surprise, when we I had to go through the gates to the duty free area, through security again, there was only one manned station out of a possible 20. I had the same experience at OR Tambo yesterday, and distinctly remember think that it would not be the same overseas; ironic.
The rest of the terminal and duty free area was actually substandard compared to OR Tambo. The whole airport smelled like stale flatulent, the bathrooms were busy, dirty and too few. I had to walk to 3 seperate bathrooms to find a place to change into some shorts; Apparently well worth the effort expecially with the heat wave we're heading into.
I spent the rest of the morning in the terminal until 10.30. I ate a sandwhich, some wine gums and a bottle of water. I had an interesting conversation with the French sales clerk who quickly identified me as South African by my use of the word "Howzit." He then preceeded to tell me about how he prefers a South African english accent in comparison to the US accent, which he claims is too difficult to understand. When asked about the proper English accent he merely whinced and described the accent with a clear disgust; the old feud ever present.
I'm trying to offset the onset of jetlag by drinking only water and so forth, so hopefully it helps. I met a whole lot of the tour group in the terminal and got to know a few of them. I am probably the youngest in the group. The next closest are probably Louis, from Graaf Reinet, and George, an aircraft apprentice at Skyworx Aviation. Some mentionable names that I have encountered thus far: Athol Franz, editor of African Pilot, and Justin de Reuck, the guy who took the awesome waterskiing photos of the Equus Flying Lions.
We took off again at 11 AM in an Airbus A330, which in comparison to the A380 is tiny. Its very cramped inside, and the engine noise is loud, so the headphones they provided dont really give enough volume to enjoy the music etc. i actually passed out for about half an hour, out like a stone. But now im awake again in anticipation of what the airlines call food; I'll be the judge of that. After my brief, and possibly unsatisfying, lunch, I will attempt to sleep, having discovered that my neck rest is adjustable, as was the one from last night. Noob.
Maybe I'll write again a bit later. I'm planning to sleep as much as I possibly can.
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