The long journey started at 2:30am, when Adam drove me to Boston’s Logan airport. Although my flight was booked through Emirates, the first leg of the trip was with Delta. I was checking four big and heavy bags, and after a bit of confusion, was directed to a different check-in desk…with an onimous (and false) warning that there could be an embargo on bringing extra bags. The man at the desk seemed confused as to how to charge me, finally settling on some ridiculous price per bag. The good news was that my bags would be checke through all the way to Lusaka.
Short hop to JFK and then a longish wait. After discovering that my assigned and un-changeable seat was to be Row 82, in the middle, I fortified myself with a full Irish breakfast and two large bloody Mary’s. It almost worked. I managed to sleep or at least attain a state of somnolence for a good part of the flight, despite being a bit squished.
When we landed in Dubai exactly 12 hours later, I had just enough time to do a quick wash-up and change my shirt before boarding the plane to Lusaka. This flight was just as full, but fortunately I was on the aisle this time with a tiny bit more room to stretch my legs. Another 6 hours in the air and we landed in Lusaka. The customs line took more than an hour nd when I was finally through, tourist visa duly stamped into my passport, I was relieved to see all four of my bags waiting for me and even more relieved to see a smiling Zambian holding a sign with my name printed on it.
I was given my welcome present – a colorful cloth bag which contained a very informative guide to Zambia and a working cell phone!
Now it begins…