So there I was, doing a slow backwards walk away from everything I knew; and faces I had come to know and love during the years I had spent in America. With one last wave, I turned and rushed towards the escalator, afraid I would fall as I could barely see through my tears, and wondering at what point my feet had turned into lead!
By the time I got to the security check, I was calm enough to bemoan the indignity that travelling by plane had become….cattle-prodded, barefooted, and man-handled. Luckily though, the airport wasn’t busy, so I breezed on up the line. As I walked through the scanner, the TSA agent, who looked like Santa Claus’s southern cousin, asked me how my day was going. BIG MISTAKE. “It’s been..sniff…really…sniff.. sad”, I said as I dissolved into tears again. LOL. He stood there for a moment, and said kindly “well dear I’m not going to ask you anything more or we might both be standing here crying, and that won’t do either of us any good, so take care of yourself ok sugar?” I nodded and went on my way, but I could have hugged him.
After making a few last calls, I was finally seated on the plane, where across the aisle from me was an Indian family with a *dramatic pause* baby. Who was having a fit. I was NOT amused.
However, I closed my eyes for what I thought was five minutes, and the next thing I knew we were already in the air, and the fabulously gay attendant, who referred to me as darling for the duration of the flight, was asking me if I wanted something to drink! I guess there is something to be said for combining a lack of sleep with Dramamine and aspirin. I nodded off again, and when I opened my eyes the plane was dark, and everyone seemed to be sleeping, including the baby (thankfully). I asked the baby’s grandmother across from me if they had already served dinner, because I realized that I was starving. She said they had, so I sat there quietly for a while, and then hailed the other fabulously gay attendant down, the one with the large expressive brown eyes, and lovely lashes.
Me: Excuse me. It appears as if I slept through dinner-
Fabulous Attendant: Oh you poor poor thing. *dramatic flourish*
Me: *blank stare* *stifled giggle* Umm yes so would it be possible to still get something to eat?
F.A.: Yes darling, let me see what I can do.
He returned a moment later with my meal, which I can only describe as different coloured mush. There was a white mush, a brown one, and a multicolored one. Later on I was informed that what I had eaten was in fact roast beef with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. If they say so… When did plane food get so terrible?
The rest of the flight was uneventful, to the point that I felt guilty for having misjudged the baby, who turned out to be a delightful little boy. We landed safely in Heathrow where I spend my four hour layover trying unsuccessfully to get a hold of my brother. I also hopped online briefly to update my facebook page. 🙂 I got something to eat, and soon enough it was time to check in again. When I got to security, I was informed that my flight had been changed and I was issued a new boarding pass- 32F. I was a little pissed off, because I had strategically chosen my seat after reading opinions online, and studying the layout of the 777 plane. My 16K seat had been a bulkhead seat by the window i.e. spacious and with a great view- the best you could get in coach. The desk staff told me that the flight was fairly full so there wasn’t anything that they could do about my new seat, obviously way in the dark depths of coach hell. So I went back and stood in line with the Yaw Kuranchies and Amma Boatengs and their million and one duty free shopping bags, Ghana-must-go’s and oversized hand luggage.
We got on the plane, and when I was almost at my seat, a lady two people ahead of me was taking an unreasonably long time to get situated. Since I was cranky and irritable by this point, I decided to listen in to see exactly what the problem was. She was addressing a young British man who was sitting in the middle seat.
Madam (heavily accented english): Oh, eh 28k.. is that by the window?
Dude: Yes it is..
Madam: Oh really? Oh..but I get up a lot to pee, so I don’t like that one.
Madam: Ehh yes, so can you move to the other seat?
Dude: Hmmm.. well where is this other seat?
She points to a middle seat in the middle section. The man looked at it dubiously. I was laughing quietly by this point.
Madam: Ehh.. so go and sit there, so that me and my husband can sit here. Its better.
As the dude very reluctantly vacated his seat, I thought to myself only on a flight to Ghana!
There were no further incidents of note, but I ended up chit chatting quite a bit with the girl that was sitting by me. I passed out for a long while, and when I opened my eyes we had begun our descent into Accra. I could hardly contain myself. Finally home after ten long years!! As we were filing off the plane, I turn and see behind me Sharon O., with whom I’d attended Achimota, thus reinforcing the fact that you cannot make it through Kotoka without bumping into someone you know! Lol
My travel buddy and I were standing in the immigration line, and she was telling me to make sure I filled out the entrance form properly, because they can be funny about it. I start to hear this hissing sound “Ssssssssssss”, “Sssssssssss”. You know the one, used catch the attention of people whose names you don’t know. I turn to look and there is a man in the ‘Other Nationals’ line pointing frantically to someone behind me – my travel buddy. So I tell her that I think someone is trying to call to her. I turn back towards the immigration officer, and then I hear my t.b. (travel buddy) say “what rubbish!” and laugh. So I ask her what the man was trying to tell her.
T.B: He told me I should pull up my top.
Me: What? (Mind you, her tank top was low cut, but it wasn’t showing her bra or anything like that). Do you know this person?
T.B: No, I don’t know him from anywhere.
Me (incredulous): Wait, so some man that you don’t know is calling you from across the room to tell you to pull your top up? WOW. That’s quite forward of him isn’t it?
So we had a good laugh at his expense and made our way to baggage claim, which was, thankfully, a lot more organized that it had been the last time I went through it. I got all my luggage, said goodbye to my buddy, and made my way to customs, hoping that I wouldn’t have any trouble there. I greeted the agent politely, and he asked me how many items I had and where I was coming from. I responded, and he asked me what was in them. “Mostly clothes, and shoes”, I responded. I got the feeling that he was looking for a way to ask me for something, but I didn’t quite give him an angle. Lol. So he asked me to open the top suitcase, which was full of towels, and then he waved me on. I walked down the sloping corridor and then I see my Mom rushing towards me. JOY. I cannot describe it. I asked where my father was, and she said he was waiting outside. When I saw him sitting on the bench, I actually ran over to him, and burst into tears. Yeah I know, I‘ve been quite melodramatic on this trip. But you have to understand that I had not seen my father’s face since 2002. Anyways, we head home, where I saw my Grandma and sister, and had another wonderful reunion.