Hello loved ones! I successfully arrived in Johannesburg after my 11hr layover in Cairo.
Here's a recap of my trip so far...
Flight to Istanbul after NO SLEEP the night before. (very typical of Anna)
Met up with Lydia, the daughter of some friends in Izmir. Lydia lives in Istanbul and we had a day of trying to find each other on opposite sides of the Bosporus bridge, running through freezing cold rain to Lydia's basketball practice, and then singing our hearts out at a karaoke spot in Istanbul. (Also a very ANNA-friendly thing!)
Flight to Cairo in the early morning. I slept almost the entire way, but I spoke to a lovely Bosnian lady who is married to an Egyptian man. She recommended some ideas for how to spend my day, but she warned me about the pushy Egyptian cab drivers and tour guides who are keen to "take me for a ride," literally! I arrived and sure enough I was accosted by a tall, dashing Egyptian man claiming to have my vouchers for a free meal and a free stay at a 5-star hotel. NO THANKS! Not for this girl! I'm no dummy! How do you say "buzz off" in Egyptian???? But he kindly explained that it is a service of the airline to provide such an arrangement for patrons with extremely long layovers. Fine. I took the offer and checked into the Cairo Novotel.
As soon as I accepted, he offered me a tour of the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Great Sphinx for the one-time, all inclusive price of $25USD. Once in a lifetime opportunity! (sort of)
Me and seven Indian guys adventurous enough (as me) to take such an offer.
Would you believe it? The best view of the Great pyramids is from KFC across the road? No kidding! A three-level KFC and Pizza Hut is across the road from the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx, and it offers the best view in town. Who would have known? I tried to explain to our professor, Egyptologist, tour guide that my dear great-grandmother, Nora Byerly is responsible for the Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise, but I don't know if he believed me.
I saw the Great Pyramids of Giza! Amazing!
Arrival in South Africa! My bag was successfully lost somewhere between Johannesburg and Istanbul, but I love any good reason to go shopping. I met a chatty S.African rugby guy who helped me sort out my flight to Durban, he helped me sort out the delivery of my bag when it arrives, and he helped me call Becky's husband Greg so he knew to get me from the Durban airport. I thoroughly enjoyed a cappuccino and my remaining duty-free After Eight mints in my new rugby jersey, as I waited to board my flight. Life is good.
Shortly thereafter I missed my flight due to security searching for the pocket knife that was not in my bag. Life is still good! Just delayed a little bit. And for the first time in my life I had my converse tennis shoes polished. The African shoe-polish guy pleaded me to be his last customer of the day and allow him to polish my dusty tennies. I am indeed a sucker but my tennies indeed sparkle!
LOVE YOU ALL!
Anna in Africa (That's fun to say! ~:)
PS. My camera battery is dead.
My camera charger and cables are in the missing bag, which has not yet made it out of Egypt. Baggage services will send it to Jo'burg tonight (9 hours) and I expect it sometime tomorrow. No photo uploads until further notice. Sorry friends. (check out my Thailand photos from 2006! Those are fun.) Fingers crossed.