Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Late Night At The Airport

I was recently scheduled to pick up a friend at the Ouaga airport. Initially, he was supposed to arrive at a decent time of the day (5:30 p.m.) on an Air France flight from Canada via Paris. However, the plane from Toronto to Paris was delayed due to technical difficulties, so he missed his connecting flight to Ouaga. The airline offered to put him up in a hotel for two days until the next flight, but he wanted to make the most of his time and asked for an alternate flight. So Air France flew him to Casablanca and then put him on a Royal Air Maroc flight to Ouaga. Now he was scheduled to arrive at 3 o’clock in the morning.

I dutifully set my alarm and managed to grab a few hours of sleep before getting up again, climbing into the truck, and driving the virtually deserted streets over to the airport. The airport was virtually deserted too. As I walked across the parking area towards the arrivals area, a white man on a 4-wheeler asked me if I was waiting for the Royal Air Maroc plane. When I said yes, he said that it was delayed. It wouldn’t be in for another hour and a half!

We initially both considered heading back to our respective homes until the appointed hour, but instead ended up talking for a while. He turned out to be a Frenchman who was operating a guesthouse not far from the airport. Not long after, we were joined by another Frenchman and some African ladies associated with these two guys. At this point, we all decided to go to a nearby place to sit down, talk some more, and get something to drink. I was looking forward to a nice, hot coffee because I felt it was rather chilly outside at this time of the night and I was actually starting to shiver! Not thinking the plane would be so long delayed, I was just wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

The two Frenchmen ordered coffee along with me. The ladies, however, ordered beer! Several rounds, in fact! One lady didn’t even bother to wait for the bottle opener. She opened her bottle with her teeth! After a while the ladies began to get rather loud and obnoxious to the point that we guys had trouble hearing and understanding each other. I was glad when the Royal Air Maroc plane finally arrived... at nearly 5:30 a.m. I always enjoy opportunities to meet different people and have different kinds of experiences, but I’d had enough of this one :)


Laura Dun said...

hope u at least managed at least a really good siesta after all that!!

Laura Dun said...

and now delete 1 "at least"! :-(

Mike Steinborn said...

Well, I can tell you that I slept like a log that night! :)