Monday, September 30, 2013

Air Travel Musings

Have you ever traveled through the Dubai airport? Going to one of the global north countries? Its like these guys were paid by the CIA to keep terrorists out of the western world. Your visa will be scanned by all manner of electronic devices and Sherlock Holmes' magnifying glass. There will also be random extra checks at the boarding gate. So imagine my surprise when the border chaps in New York just waved us all through, no questions asked. This despite the UN general assembly being on that week and Obama coming to town. The US had basically moved the first line of defence to Dubai.

Have you flown on the big bird; the A380? First you may be stunned, as I was, when the man mumbling on the PA introduces himself as Captain so and so; and also introduces another Captain so and so. Since this is the A380, you may conclude, as I did, that it was so big that it needs 2 whole Captains to fly it. So do not be surprised when the person who comes on the PA 12 hours later to prepare you for landing introduces himself as 1st officer so and so; and thanks you on behalf of the other 2 Captains as well. Basically the damn thing needs 3 people to fly it.

So we are boarded. Sitting next to this lady with a baby who has just soiled his diaper. But she cannot change it because we are taxiing to runway13-R. Going by my previous experience, we should be in the air in no more than 5 minutes; not such a long time to stand the stink. But this is JFK, and, using Entebbe as a reference again, bloody runway 13-R is in Ndebba and there is that massive jam from Stella too. It took well over 40 minutes to get to the runway and then we stood in a line for a further 10 minutes awaiting our turn to take off. A whole hour smelling the poo of a vegetarian baby. Forgive my pun, but that shit aint cool.

Not surprisingly, when you get to the super clean dubai the only 2 houseflies in the superbly sanitized airport somehow home-in on you. Including the 13 hour flight and the 2 hour cab drive from Manhattan to JFK, you have been in these clothes for just over 20 hours (nanti you checked out of the hotel at 12 noon and lingered in town to await your flight at 11pm). Thankfully there is a hot shower; and using the remaining soap from the Carlton hotel on madison, you smell fresh again. Flies banished to find the chap just in from the 16 hour flight from San Francisco or Australia.

If you were flying to Uganda from Dubai, am sure you noticed how the gate was like in the basement of the old terminal building, with no proper shops but just a few kiosks. Then on top of that they load you into buses, and if we use Entebbe for reference, they drive you all the way to Bwebajja to catch your flight home. That stuff pisses me off. Surely they can devise a system whereby the plane to Uganda parks at the terminal just in time for us to board without having to endure 30 degree Celsius heat. As Ugandans we are just not used to that kind of weather. Especially when we have been waiting in an air-conditioned terminal building for 13 hours.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Have the mighty fallen?

So they had been great in the past. I mean really really great. There was continental titles that few today even know about. Really badasses and serious heroes. But lately those accolades sounded hollow. They looked lost and had to endure taunts from fans of the new hero.

But this weekend, just for a few days, the feeling of being admired and respected by multitudes was one they got to experience again. They did that by defeating the new hero. And it was done in the most clinical of fashions. No slicing of the throat and the mess that can cause. There was no affixiation and the leaving of DNA that can arise. This was more like a single bullet between the eyes; BAM!! Very little blood and no struggle.

She said Titus (what a name) Tugume and the speeding magulu kumi he walked into in the form of a Golola Moses right upper cut.

He said Manchester United and that 1 nil defeat at the hands of their greatest rivals Liverpool FC.

Of course now obituaries are already being written for the heroes downed on the weekend. It is funny how people are always waiting for the gallant to fall. They come up with the very well researched obituaries immediately that indicate the hate is just under the surface waiting to come out. Humanity is such an envious bunch.