…to report that my Namibia journal will resume after Air France sends my laptop from Johannesburg (where it is now) to London (where I am now).
How did this happen, you may ask? Well.
We left Etosha Friday morning on a small plane to Windhoek, and thence to Johannesburg to catch our flight to London. (We are spending 8 days in England, mostly visiting old friends.) The connection in Johannesburg was a little tight, then got a lot tighter when it turned out there was some mysterious problem with our ticket. (Delta and Air France’s computers are apparently not on speaking terms.)
The glitch got straightened out, but by then the clock was ticking very loudly indeed, and the very helpful young lady at the Air France counter offered to walk us though security, an offer I accepted with alacrity. In the rush through security, however, I forgot to put my laptop back in my backpack after they passed through the x-ray machine.
I realized the oversight in what in a James Bond movie would have been the nick of time, i.e. while our plane was at the start of its takeoff run. Plenty of time to bail out through an emergency exit, steal a fuel truck, drive back to the gate, run to security, snag the laptop, find a mysteriously waiting Ferrari, speed back down the runway, and take a flying leap onto the landing gear just as it started to retract. I considered this approach. As a practical matter, however, my epiphany was about ten minutes too late.
In decidedly non-007 fashion, I notified the flight purser, who radioed back to the airport. There. the Air France gate staff actually retrieved the laptop from security and telexed the plane that they had done so. (I even have a hardcopy of the message.) Interestingly, they required that I tell them the password, presumably to prove that it was mine and no doubt to search it for nefarious stuff, of which there is boringly none.
So where I stand now is trying to get someone from Air France to tell me how and when my laptop will be sent to London, or to the US, or indeed anywhere that I can retrieve it. So far my email and web query remain unanswered. I’ll give it till Monday before resorting to a phone call that will no doubt require navigating a fractal phone menu and remaining on hold until the glaciers finish melting.
I expect to succeed eventually. And when I do, my final Namibia blog entry — already written and waiting on my laptop — will be loosed upon the world. Stay tuned.
And yes, for the record, I am a bonehead.