September 14, 2005

Netherlands FlagWe had landed early, so we had over two hours to wait for the flight to Cape Town. There was nothing much to do, and we were very tired, so we walked down to the gate for the flight. The chairs were very uncomfortable, despite what the airport brochure said, so it was impossible to sleep. So we sat and listened to a steady stream of announcements begging passengers to report to their gates and stop holding up their flights.

Our plane took off a little bit late because it too had a no-show passenger. It was raining as we took off but soon we were above the clouds. We slept on and off again, and once again we were given a snack, then dinner (Uncle Ben’s sweet-and-sour chicken), and finally a large snack. Near the end of the flight we also had a little cup of ice cream. On this aircraft we had the personal entertainment system where you can choose your own movies or whatever, so Rosemary watched Ice Princess and Some Like It Hot and Paul tried to read his book.

We landed at 10 pm and optimistically hoped to be out of the airport by 10:30, but the immigration line for non-residents was long and slow-moving. Finally we collected our bags and went out to look for a taxi. We didn’t have to go out in the rain and negotiate with surly taxi drivers because there were city shuttle services inside the terminal building. Shuttle desk man: “That will be 170 rand for the two of you.” Rosemary: “These people say they will do it for 140.” Desk man: “No! We don’t cut our prices! 130 rand!”

When we got into the shuttle bus, we met another couple (from Edinburgh) who were staying in Green Point, not far from Sea Point where we were staying. The driver was very friendly and told us about what we were passing. He dropped off the other couple and the single girl who had also joined us, so by the time we got to our hotel it was after 11:30 pm. Fortunately we had told them we would be arriving late, so there was somebody waiting to let us in. After signing the register we went up to our room, #11, on the second floor. A small room but nicely decorated. We fell asleep right away.

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