Goodbye land of oz (and mum)

Trip Start Nov 01, 2005
Trip End Apr 14, 2006

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Flag of South Africa  ,
Monday, January 2, 2006

We woke up quite early this morning but the shuttle was late (apparently they were waiting at the wrong hotel... duh) Mum and I got to the airport and discovered we had to check in at different desks- and mine was the one with the queue that went down half the length of the airport. I waited there for a long time, but finally got checked in and ready to go. I was going to Johannesburg, while mum was flying home via Tokyo. By the time we got away from the queues we didnt really have that much time left until our flights, so we grabbed a quick latte (for old times sake), and then since our gates were at opposite sides of the airport, I said goodbye to mum and waved her off. It was so great to have her come out- I dont know what I would have done for Christmas and New Years if she wasnt there!

After buying some doughnuts for the road (and completely forgetting about the chocolate I was meant to buy) I joined the queues to get through security. I more or less went straight on the plane, so didnt have to wait around too much. I hadnt been given extra legroom, but fortunately it was full, so I moved. I dont think I could have handled being cramped for 14 hours!I watched 4 films, and we had 2 meals. Didnt really manage to sleep much, so when I arrived in Johannesburg, at 4:30pm their time (12:30 Sydney time) I was utterly exhasted.

I think I must have looked a bit lost as I came out of the gate, as I still didnt know how to get to my hotel, so some man who presumably preys on lost looking tourists kindly asked me where I needed to go, and promptly showed me across the road to the shuttle stop, checking he would get a 'big new years tip'. To be honest it was just nice to see someone being so friendly, so having no idea what the exhange rate was, I gave him all the money I'd just taken out of the ATM. I think it was about 4 pounds. I've come to learn that many Africans see us 'mzungus' (as they call us in Uganda- whiteman) as a walking talking bank. Understandable to some extend I guess.

Anyway I waited a while for this shuttle, but thankfully other people who were going to the same place as me, were also waiting, so I knew that this guy hadnt just taken me to some strange place! The shuttle wasnt free, like the man had said, but they added it to my hotel room bill so it was OK- I didnt need any cash. I tried to stay awake as long as possible so I didnt get jet lagged, watching a film on TV, and phoned home briefly before crashing out about 8:30.
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