Posted in Uncategorized, tagged China, flowers, hotel, photos, rape flowers, rapeseed, river, scenery, Tour, travel, Wuyuan on April 10, 2011 |
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So we started the second semester at school which was bit of a shock to the system but there was light at the end of the tunnel because in a few weeks time the school was taking all the staff on a trip, something to look forward to. I asked where we were going only to be told some unpronounceable provinces and that we would see some flowers. What flowers I asked and the local teachers said “Rape Flowers.” At first I thought it was just an error in the translation of the Chinese name but I remembered our gardener in Zimbabwe used to grow Rape as a type of spinach and it is also known as Canola. So it has a very unsavoury name but a beautiful bright yellow flower which is what we were planning to see.
I say planning to see because the weather forecast wasn’t great and temperatures were still in the single figures, not conducive for blooming, as we left school on the Friday afternoon. We climbed onto one of the three buses only to discover that children were allowed too. The whole tour group totalled 160 people with lots of young kids hyped up on sugar and a 3.5 hour bus ride ahead, it wasn’t looking good. (more…)
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged airport, connecting flight, delay, Doha, flight delay, hotel, O.R. Tambo, passenger, Qatar, Qatar Airways, Rand, Riyal, SAA, transfer, travel, travel woes on February 18, 2011 |
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As we got into the terminal building at Doha, the airport staff directed us to a queue on the left hand side for “Fast Transfer” passengers which we had become. Instead of 1hr & 20mins we now had 10 mins to clear the security check and board our next flight. The only problem was there were 3 other flights also leaving at the same time as ours and every passenger in the terminal seemed to be on one of them. So the fast transfer queue, which was only allocated one X-ray machine wasn’t moving very fast.
Airport Security (image from the papermag.com)
People were pushing in left and right. I protested but they simply replied that they had a plane to catch. Well so did I. Voicing my concerns to a nearby official I was told that they understood and we would all make our flights and not to worry as our flight status on the board changed to “Final Call” it was hard to relax. As we neared the front of the line I could actually see our Boarding Gate; it was number 6, the first gate as after you got through security so we wouldn’t have to go far. As I checked up on the departure board one last time before putting my bag through the X-ray machine the status had changed to ”Gate Closed.” We ran to the gate to see if we could still get on but the agent was unperturbed and told us we had to go to the transfers desk upstairs for further information. I was irate and as we rode the escalator to the second floor I began formulating my diatribe for the unfortunate member of staff behind the Transfers Desk. (more…)
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