Monday night, January 11
Those last two days were both in the process of travelling.
Yesterday I flew from Amsterdam to Johannesburg, the longest non-stop flight I ever did until now: 10h50, crossing Europe and Africa from north to south.
For my one night stay in Johannesburg I had reserved a room in a transit hotel at the airport, easy (I thought) for me. They said I could collect my luggage, but then I couldn’t because I couldn’t go through customs to go to the hotel, then another one said I could go through customs to collect my suitcase and then go through another entry into the hotel. Welcome to Africa haha.
Anyway, in the end I did not go through customs and went way too late to my hotel, where the receptionist welcomed me as “mister Nico” and continued to call me like that until I left this morning.
Then it appeared that I still had to collect my suitcase since my upcoming flight was a domestic flight and not an international one…
So this time I did go through customs (with VISA stamp in my passport) and again had to walk hundreds of miles through those airport corridors, being directed from here to there, until outside the airport, where I got under the friendly guidance and company of an airport officer, who actually carried my hand-luggage for me, and stayed with me when I could finally take my suitcase out of this little office that no one else than locals ever could have found.
The officer again stayed with me and led me to the check in, where she handed my red suitcase through there, and my hand luggage to me (both of which she had been carrying for me all the way long).
It does have advantages to have a handicap! Giggle. I’ve been warned so much by friends for all the malevolent people who would like to hurt or rob me because of my vulnerability, but as a handicapped person you also attract a lot of people who want to be helpful, and that warms my heart.
In Durban everything went very smoothly; my suitcase safely arrived on the luggage belt and I was welcomed by the owner of the bed & breakfast where I was going to stay for the coming week; he got me some nice honey-nut latte (mnjammie!) before we drove to the b&b in the Berea district of Durban.
Very nice place, with private room and bathroom and a door that opens on a little patio where the wall is painted with “Life is beautiful!”
In the meantime I had decided to stay in my room and have a quiet day all by myself, making the room mine by putting my things all over the place and starting to work on my iPad a bit. AND trying to install this WorldSIM card (that I bought in the plane yesterday) in my phone, which didn’t quite work out so I had to chat and phone with the helpdesk a few times before it actually started to appear as something that could be useful. With as a result that my quiet day hasn’t been as quiet as I had imagined it to be…
But my God do I love travelling!
I feel so strong, so grounded;
all my senses are wide awake,
vigil to every detail, every spot
of beauty or threat around.
of course I sometimes feel lonely,
lost in a strange country I don’t know,
so far away from everything and everyone,
asking myself: why did I do this?
Yet I immensely love travel,
it is as if I’m getting totally alive
as nothing else could make it happen,
I get totally excited and at the same time
I feel so centered and calm within myself.
Travel is going with the flow of life,
because I can’t do anything else,
welcoming and saying good-bye,
being born and die again
into a world that’s ever new and fresh.
Travelling, oh travelling,
may you always be my faithful companion
in good as well as in bad,
and may I more and more consider life
as the biggest travel, most marvellous quest
to the one that wants to be discovered
as the one and only inner Self.
Mmmm, I’ve slept very well for 9 hours!
I can’t believe I’m in South-Africa, so far from home! I don’t get it. Yet I’m still here… It always kind of intrigued me how every place I go to is still here… Wherever I go, I’m here, and what I used to call here is now there etc.
Oh, by the way, I didn’t tell you that it’s mid summer here, around 28 degrees Celsius, humid and sometimes rainy (because of the subtropical climate here), and I’m walking around in shorts and t-shirts. Just to make some of you a bit jealous haha.
This morning it’s still quiet; I don’t feel the urge to go out yet. Maybe also a bit scared to go out on my own in the South-african world…?
This afternoon I’m going to meet a friend of mine who I met at a summer course in Spain last July, and who happens to be living here in Durban. Great to have friends like that! So then I will go out and see a bit of town and whatever.
So with that I leave you for now, with all the love in my heart,
Nico – Traveller of The Earth
Keep following Nico’s adventures… here!