So, I’ve got to give a shout to the fantastic flight crew of our Johannesburg to Madrid Iberian Airways flight, because my family really tries to be no trouble at all, but we always end up with an issue.
This time it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad combination of things: (1) we’re traveling to countries with strict medicine laws and I had to make a choice to leave my migraine medication at home, (2) we had a day tooling around Johannesburg and it was ridiculously hot and dry, causing my body to do it’s best impression of turning into biltong, (3) our rental car had the guts of an eighty-year-old man with lifelong asthma and a 2-pack-a-day cigarette habit and could not drive AND run air conditioning, and (4) I let myself get fairly severely dehydrated (see aforementioned biltong comment) because the issue of bathrooms on airplanes is fraught with peril when you have to pee NOW along with thirty other people and there is only one bathroom for you all to split – especially if you throw a few potty-training toddlers, Gerard Depardieu, and people with limited mobility into the mix.
Five hours into the 10+ hour flight I had the mother of all migraines and no way to treat it. However, the flight attendants kindly allowed me to drink an entire big bottle of water (the one they usually split between several people in the shotglass-size plastic cups) and looked the other way while I rummaged through baggage, desperately hoping I had missed a blisterpack or two of my meds. I had, we medicated and hydrated just in time, and a crisis was averted. They were a pretty awesome staff, indeed.
All this kept me from reading my usual amount, and I was only able to finish two books on the flight. I feel like I have failed a bit.
Can we just discuss for a moment here the fact that a picture of someone reading from the Kindle app on their iPad is nowhere near as artsy and appealing as a picture of someone reading an actual book?
In 2012 we decided to do our first “giant” trip that involved planes, trains, and automobiles, multiple weeks, and multiple countries in Europe. We started out in Brussels, headed to a fifth floor (EUROPEAN fifth floor, so really sixth floor. Don’t let them try to fool you) walk-up with narrow curlicue stairs in the Gambetta in Paris, then went off to Madrid, Barcelona, and back to Brussels before flying back to Zambia.
There are many things you can’t plan ahead for while traveling, no matter how dedicated, resourceful, and thorough you try to be. Like, for instance, a rotovirus outbreak.
You can’t plan for a rotovirus outbreak, people. YOU CAN’T PLAN FOR THIS.
As promised – because I’m all about fulfilling promises – I’m about to give you the keys to the gates of culinary paradise. A recipe so profound, so life-changing that I had to translate the recipe into English from the very alphabet of the Heavenly Angels. A recipe that is the actual Platonic ideal of macaroni and cheese. A recipe that epitomizes everything that is good about pasta, bourbon, cheese and bacon by mixing them together.
The thing about being an expat living in Africa is that everyone brings you booze for every occasion. Plus there were all those times you passed through the Duty Frees in various transit airports (Pro-Tip: Big 5 Duty Free in Johannesburg’s OR Tambo. You can thank me later). And don’t get me wrong, a lot of it gets properly used in the imbibing process. However, it is inevitable that there will be a move that will come around just when you have reached maximum booze collection density .
We have a Facebook page associated with the From Fresno to Timbuktu site, but you know that, right? You know that, and YOU HAVE LIKED IT, right? Go ahead, you can do that now. I’ll wait for you.
Now that you have pressed the like button and are perusing our offerings of witticisms, pontificating, and moments of sheer ridiculousness (often brought to you by over-tired children, over-packed husbands, and a cat that finds car rides a better elimination help than Senekot tablets), you can start liking some of our stuff as well.
And by “like”, I mean, “pick an appropriate emoticon to tell us how engaged you are with all this hoo-dee-do.”
I’m not sure how many people visit Kuala Lumpur and don’t stop by the Batu Caves, but I’m pretty sure that it’s required by international travel law that you see them when you happen to be in the neighborhood. And they are lovely – just absolutely lovely!