Thursday, July 01, 2004 Flight, Johannesburg to Cape Town

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Service: * * * 1/2
Food: N/A
Ambience: * *
Babe Count: * * *

I'm on the plane. On an impulse, I've bought a return ticket to completely cement my pact with myself that I really ought to learn to relax. I'm going to be staying at Leigh's house. He's my best buddy from school days. We basically grew up together.

I'll be sleeping on the bottom bunk in Oscar's room, and Oscar will see if he can tolerate sleeping in the same room as a snoring, farting adult. Oscar is five-and-a-half, and he's an expert at Sony PlayStation 2 games.

Bianca met me for coffee at the airport. It's her birthday tomorrow, and I can't make it to her party. So I gave her her presents before I left, rather than after.

Brian, an insurance mogul, flying high on, taking a calculated statistical risk that we'll reach Cape Town safely.Right now, I'm noticing that my knees are touching the seat in front of me. Kulula seems to be packing us in more tightly than ever before. I certainly am not the tallest dude in the world, and if my knees are touching, I can't imagine how awful it must be for the taller specimens.

The dude sitting next to me is lanky, and he's forced to sit with his legs spread as wide as they can go without encroaching too viciously on my space and the dude beside him.

I've got the window seat, and a wicked view of the setting sun on my right all the way to Cape Town. Wild.

The dude beside me hasn't noticed that I've been sketching him, even though I'm literally looking up his nose at his nostril hairs, with long, hard stares every twenty or so seconds. When I finish the picture, I study it.

"Amazing machine that," he says. "Can you do everything you need on that?"

"Yeah," I say. "Writing, email, sketching." I turn the drawing to show him.

"Who's that?" he asks.

"It's you," I say.

"Hahahahahha!!! Did you do that now? Right now??"

"Yup. Would you like me to email it to you?"

"I'd love that," he says.

I get his email address, and we start chatting. He's an insurance dude. Does highly specialised stuff for civil engineering firms. Covering things like walls falling on people, or rain preventing the completion of a shopping mall. Stuff like that.

"September eleven really changed the insurance industry overnight," he says.

And then we start talking about God. He's a reborn Christian, and we spend a long time on how he came to realise that only God can help him and the whole of humanity. I'm not a reborn Christian. I'm more a scurrilous half-Jew with wayward Taoist leanings. But I kinda agree with his position on the whole. Same content, different packaging, I s'pose.

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