The Not-So-Beautiful About Flying

June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

“So where are you going?”

Let me first put this out there: I hate stupidity. I hate willful ignorance… ya know, that “I’m cool because I don’t know something.” I get visibly annoyed when I’m asked a stupid question because I’d feel I’d wasted energy listening to it and I’d have to give a response, which I could care less doing.

This idiot looked at my ticket and decided he still needed to ask me where I was going. I responded “everywhere.” I guess that didn’t please him, so he asks if I have a laptop in my bag. Yes. He then proceeds to open the bag and reach for my thinkpad and was about to toss it into a tray. I’ve flown about 100 times, and maybe half of that since 9-11 and no one ever reached into my bag without my presence. What if I claimed an item from the bag was missing? I could easily accuse him of stealing from me and how would he defend himself?

“I won’t throw your laptop. I have one at home.”

“I don’t care if you have 10 at home, you don’t get to handle my personal stuff anyway you want. They give you a white shirt and a badge and you think you can do anything you want?”

On the other end, it seems Africans have taken to doing whatever foreign governments instruct them to do. The most annoying places I’ve flown out of have been Newark and Logan. The stuff Ghanaian and Nigerian immigration personnel do is far worse. As the guy on the other end starts to grope me- my first, btw- I tell them my piece of mind. Africans hate being told truths they’d rather not mention amongst themselves and I knew just what to say… in Twi.

“White people from America came down to tell you how to do things here, and instead of doing what’s right, you decide you’ve seen god so you do more to impress them. If I’d been white, you’d be kissing my feet and wanting to take pictures with me.”

After I got my ticket, they took my pictures, took all 10 finger prints like I was a criminal, went through my bag like it was a goody bag, and these are all people who make less than 3000ghc a year. An officer in Nigeria felt he had to confiscate my adapter and extension socket. Why, because he can. What pressing security reason does one have for a freaking adapter? Seriously, am I going to blow up our plane during that 40-minute flight for some misguided religious views? I had a late flight and it was either I check-in my bag and miss my flight or give it to him. I had my choice words for him, too.

“You want it that bad? Take it! There are better ways to steal from me than claim I can’t fly with it. Only Nigerians do this!” I always find the right buttons to push, and all six of them behind the counter were up in arms. Too late, I was off to my gate. I love flying. I even enjoy turbulence. I like looking straight down to earth when my plane tilts almost sideways. What I can’t stand is the troubles they make you go through just to board a plane.

Extra: I’ve been suffering from malaria since I returned from Naija on Sunday. If you haven’t experienced this illness, try as much as you can to avoid it. The last time I had malaria, I was 10 and my only memory of it was chloroquin, which made me itch all over like crazy for days. This time around I’ve been bed-ridden with a very weakened body and a headache like you wouldn’t believe. I had a friend who used to suffer migraines and I could never understand how it could incapacitate her from everyday activities. I’ve had a few pulsating migraines before and I think they’re the worst, but having a headache that lasts nearly 72 hours and keeps you glued to your bed and under dark covers takes the crown. I had a 104.4 temp and forced myself into an icy tub this morning. It’s probably the best bath I ever took.

If you suspect you might have malaria, start on a dosage. I’m on a 3-day prescription for Artemether & Lumefantrine and they seem to be working for me. It’s also good to see a doctor, but I think getting treatment early is always best. Do take those anti-malarial drugs. I never took any before coming to Ghana. Try to hydrate yourself as best as you can. At 104 degrees, my kidneys have suffered plenty enough already. Stay safe, use mosquito nets, wear light clothing, and spray your rooms a few hours before bed.

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