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Zebra Crossing?

November 27, 2011

At first I chickened out and decided to pre post the blog on Saturday before we actually left, but when we got to the Hotel in Nairobi, hey presto, fast broadband internet!. What I had written was is in two parts; the first is how I had hoped it to pan out today and the second is more likely.

Part one. As we checked in, a lovely young beautiful BA stewardess said “Ahh Mr and Mrs France, we have been waiting for you, you have been upgraded to First Class, care for some champagne?”. We then enjoyed the best First Class service that British Airways has to offer all the way to Nairobi.

Something of this nature did occur, but when we were already comfortably seated in economy, had given up all hope of an upgrade and I had started to plan my revenge on all the BA pilots who had failed in their clear duty, suddenly a steward arrived and said that on the captains orders we were to collect our things and follow him. The people in the row behind gave knowing looks, thinking that we had been responsible for some misdemeanour and were being escorted off the plane, but we knew what it would presage, an upgrade! But delight turned to incredulity when we were taken through Club World section into the First Class cabin. I was given seat number  1F, and that nice lady decorator 2F. Any nearer the front and we would have been in the cockpit

So I enjoyed the following; an excellent Grand Cru Classe Bordeaux from Lafitte, several glasses, followed by an Australian Mudpie desert wine that I had always wanted to try, and followed that with a XO Cognac whilst eating some divine food. That nice lady decorator found an excellent 2008 Chablis which she proceeded to drink at such a speed that the captain had to keep retrimming the aircraft as the nose kept going up as the Chablis stock was depleted. The Fairview Hotel in Nairobi was a good choice and I managed to get my first pictures of African wildlife, albeit on the walls of the hotel restaurant as it was dark by the time we arrived.

The first wildlife I have seen in Africa

Part two: the scenario I had dreamed of and Cathie The Culture wanted visited upon me; The three screaming kids, all snotty and full of cold were being given another can of full fat coca cola with added sugar and e numbers, just to ensure they were able to sustain for the whole nine-hour flight the cacophony that was already at full throttle in the waiting room. Throttle, now there is a word that I could have happily put into practical use. The first plastic toy hit me on the head as I was drinking a cup of tea. Hot tea. Tea that went all over by nice white chinos I had worn in the vague hope that one of my pilot friends had stood up and been counted and had secured us an upgrade.

Thereafter, snot laden food, mostly crisps and chocolate stuffed with all the e numbers that coca cola had missed was consumed noisily and constantly, and the youngest of the three horrors managed to drop some chocolate on to the by now almost ruined trousers. I fervently hope that all three, and their shell suited perma-tanned parents die horrible slow lingering deaths in a lion’s den in Africa.

Apart from a couple of short trips to Marrakech, a nightmare 3 days in Lagos, this is my first trip to Africa and I am looking forward to it as much as one can look forward to work, and work it was. as I said thank you to the pilot and gave them crew signed copies of my book, I managed to mention Currencies Direct, and all took my card and expressed interest. My missionary work in Africa has begun.

Chris France

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