Back in Cape Town: Beating Jet Lag

April 1, 2007

After being in Sydney for just over 5 months, it was time to make a trip to Cape Town to say “Hi” to the family.

Tamara (my sister) was flying with me so we were taxi-ed to the airport by her hubby Richard who lit up our faces with the yummy goody bags he packed specially for us – filled with an assortment of Lindt biscuits, choccies and dried fruit.

We were flying Singapore Airlines and let me tell you, checking in online 48 hours before the flight is the only way to go. We missed out the loooong queue and skipped up to the internet check-in counter to give in our luggage.

Unfortunately Tam and I could only get seats on the other ends of the aircraft – she was 30-something and I was in row 60. To make it worse, this humungous man sits next to me, practically sprawls all over me and within 2 minutes of us taking off, has flung his head back and started to snore. This was the makings of a nightmarish flight.

Thank goodness Tam came to the rescue and convinced the girl next to her that she should move to the back of the plane as she could get an aisle seat. So I escaped what would have potentially been a horrific experience and came to sit next to my sister. What a pleasure.

And so began our movie marathon….I watched Notes of a Scandal (good but slightly disturbing), some Aussie movie (I can’t remember what it was called), The Office and Kath and Kim (a typical Aussie sitcome about typical Aussie middle-class – hilarious – I need to get hold of the rest of the series).

We were served a snack and then dinner (cous cous and vege curry – pretty good) and then we landed in Singapore airport.

We had a 4 hour stop over so Tam and I decided to check into the Rainforest Lounge (in terminal one) and had a wonderful shower and used the internet – all for $8. What a pleasure! We then walked through the airport – which is really more of a city than anything else and I got some Haagen Dasz (there was no Ben and Jerry’s) ice-cream.

We then boarded the plane again for the long-haul 12 hour flight to CT. The air stewards were active throughout the night – as opposed to British Airways where they serve dinner and disappear until brekkie. Here, these friendly hostesses were passing out drinks and snacks at all hours. I managed to get a little bit of sleep but it’s never that comfy.

We arrived in Cape Town just after 7am and mom came to collect us. We were pretty exhausted but decided that in order to beat our jet lag we wouldn’t sleep until that night. We knew if we took a nap, that would be it for our sleeping pattern. So we tried to keep busy with a trip to Constantia Village and lunch at Newport Deli.

Mom had friends for dinner so we helped to set up and almost succumbed to sleep in front of the soapies. But we resisted and after dinner, we excused ourselves and passed out.

What a great sleep that was and since then, our bodies have adjusted pretty well and we are well intp SA time. Definitely the way to beat jet lag!!!


Airport Trauma

October 24, 2006

When they say that moving country is up there as one of the most stressful experiences, I can totally understand why. For the last week, I have been one big ball of tension – a stretched elastic band just ready to snap. There was just so much to organise and nothing ever really runs as smoothly as you hope.

Of course, it all generally works out in the end and I left for the airport with my humungous suitcase (which weighed about 30 kg) plus a little suitcase (which pretty much contained pressies) plus a laptop bag, plus a backpack, plus my yoga mat and my squishy pillow (which my dad got from a rep during his conference here). I had enough luggage to fill a small country.

So it was with somewhat trepidation that I approached the Singapore Airlines checking counter. My luck, I got the stickler and when I put the bags onto the scale, she told me I had 46 kg and was only allowed 20. I told her I had spoken to a friendly Singapore airlines consultant a month ago who said I could have 30 kg. She was adamant that there was no record of this in the system but would call a Singapore airlines representative. She then proceeded to tell me that they would charge me R240 a kilo for overweight payment – I almost fainted.

Meanwhile the check-in woman next to me gave another passenger 30 kg allowance without batting an eyelid. Clearly I wanted to know why my stickler was giving me such hassles. She said I didn’t have a name of the person I spoke to so they can’t prove that I got permission to have the extra weight.

The Singapore Airlines man approached and had a printout in his hand. He said I had spoken to Lauren and it was no problem to have the 30 kg. At that point I snapped and yelled at the check-in lady that I didn’t need the extra stress she just put me through. The poor Singapore man got a bit scared that I was going to make a huge hoo-hah and after realising that I was emigrating, told me I could have an extra 10 kg.

(A passenger on the plane later told me that she started crying after I left)

Anyway, now I was left for 2 heavy backpacks and my handbag. My mom, Eric (who very kindly offered to meet us at the airport to help with the bags) and I sat in News Cafe and I re-distributed my stuff. I sadly had to leave a packet of stuff behind. I finally went through security with the two bags. Tears were pouring out my eyes so I think the security people felt sorry for me (the one guy quite weirdly even wiped the tears off my face…hmmm, strange) and let me go through without a prob.