Crossing the continents

February 4, 2013 in Africa, Bulgaria, Europe, Qatar, Tanzania

Our flight out of Bulgaria left late on the Friday afternoon so we had some time to recover from all the beers at the karaoke the night before. We packed our bags and took the taxi to the airport that Aleksander´s brother had fixed for us.

The taxi driver didn’t speak much English but managed to communicate to us that he was like Schumacher and Fittipaldi, he drove like Formula 1. When we asked him what the police think about him driving like Formula 1 he had only one answer – Fuck the police!

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Qatar Airways – Best airline in the world

To walk up to a check-in desk with a red carpet having flight attendants welcoming you is kind of a special feeling comparing with flying with any low-cost carrier. That is how it is when you fly with Qatar Airways, an airline that has been awarded 5 stars from SkyTrax and dubbed the best airline in the world. Interesting enough Jake had discovered the evening before that his flight back is 3 days before mine. Now he started project “Try to get my flight changed” and was sweet talking the staff at the check-in desk. Unfortunately it didn’t succeed.

We entered the plane and found out that the plane would take us to Bucharest first for a “short maintenance stop” meaning refueling and load up with more passengers. The “short maintainance stop” took one hour but it was ok as I was deeply into the latest Ben Affleck movie “Argo” on the entertainment center that I had in front of me. Great movie by the way.

With a 4 hour flight Doha, the capital of Qatar, ahead of me before switching planes to Tanzania I managed to watch a few more movies on the way. I love having movies on a flight as it makes time pass so much faster. When we exited the cabin door of the airplane the heat and humidity of a Middle East country hit me and I suddenly questioned why I had a hoodie and a wind jacket on me coming from a +5 degree (warm) Bulgaria. Impressed by the efficiency and the organization of the airport we got off the airport shuttle and entered the terminal where we also would be switching our flights that was departing 3 hours later.

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Doha airport

Jake went hunting for the Qatar Airways desk to once again try to change his flights and disappeared for a good hour while I was watching people and realizing that half of Sweden’s population for some reason were at Doha´s airport. Everywhere I heard Swedish being spoken even though the diversity of people, from muslims to Asians to Europeans to Indians and so on that was blending around at the airport. But so many Swedish people. Why? Easy to spot as well as they all were beautifully pink sunburnt most likely coming back from Thailand.

Jake came back and as he had been unsuccessful in charming the people at Qatar and couldn´t get his ticket rebooked as he had wished for I taught him how to spot Swedish people. The pink race.

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Some food on the way

We boarded the new flight that would take us to Dar 5 hours later and we climbed the sky once again in the middle of the night. I ended up watching movies again and found it hilarious that their video library also included a Norwegian movie I hadn’t seen. However the movie was edited to fit in with the “muslim” community and some things were blurred out, some words on the English texting was blurred out or at some points they had made cuts in the whole movie making the whole story full of holes and you wondered what just happened.
Another fun feature is the map function that update in real-time and show you where you are passing over and I found that we were passing over some interesting places that I wanna visit on ground level as well as Yemen.

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Passing over arab lands

I must have dosed off as I don’t remember the end of the movie I was watching and suddenly I saw the sun rise outside painting the sky blood red. This is a moment when I hated myself for not having a window seat to photograph the whole scene. Jake was in his now famous “sleeping superman” pose.

Some 2 hours later the plane took ground in Dar es Salaam and we exited the cabin door once again to be walking into the wall of humidity. I was back again in Africa.