We Interrupt This Program…

…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.



Categories: Africa, Namibia, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Getting the Ball Rolling

This is the first post of our new travel blog, just to have something in here.  In case you’ve forgotten what we look like (and haven’t looked at the “About” page via the link up top here), this is us:

Vic Falls

Our fashion statements at Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe

Of course, if you are reading this blog then you probably already know this.  Our subsequent posts will probably be a little more substantive.

If you would like to “follow” this blog, you can have notifications of new posts (and the posts themselves!) emailed directly to you.  Look down in the lower right hand corner of the browser window, and you’ll see a little box that says “+Follow”.  Click it and it will ask for your email address (which will not be published anywhere!); you’ll then get everything via email, even including the pictures.  You can always come back to this site to see the old posts via the “Recent Posts” and “Archive” listings over on the right.

Here on this site itself you can leave publicly-visible comments on this or any subsequent post by clicking on the Comment link at the bottom of the post.  You can do so anonymously or leave your name (or, if you are feeling perverse, someone else’s name).  You can also set up “Following” when you leave a comment by supplying an email address and clicking the appropriate box. Again, your email address will not appear anywhere.

A word about privacy.  Although this blog is publicly visible — and you are welcome to share its link and content with anyone — many people are properly concerned about what kind of information is harvested by third parties (advertisers and other unsavory organizations).  In order to minimize this concern I have configured this blog to “opt out” of the various analytics and tracking entities.  So in principle, should you subscribe to the emails, your email address should not be harvested by anyone and will in any case not be visible on the site.

Of course, none of the above applies to the NSA, who are already watching me type this as well as listening to you through your microwave oven.  But of course they’ve already got your email address anyway….

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

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