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Written 01:08, 12 July
Or flight passed eventlessly. I dozed a little after the evening meal, having the beef in red wine sauce. I think I must have had some small amount of sleep in between shifting positions uncomfortably. Thankfully my back didn't ache and actually felt much better, and also my headache and feeling of feverishness faded. I was almost good by the end of the flight, just tired.
They served a breakfast as the final meal, even though it was lunch time in Sydney, and we had our next malaria tablet with this meal, switching back to having them with lunch for the next few days until we can stop. We landed about half an hour late, after leaving Johannesburg half an hour late. As we waited to debark, I asked a flight attendant if I should collect an item marked fragile from the regular baggage carousel or the special baggage collection area, and she said the special area. I'd made the mistake once of waiting forever at the regular carousel for a fragile item, and didn't want to repeat the mistake.
At the claim area, a guy was already unloading large items from our flight. A woman was waiting and grabbed a bag full of surfboards when he carried it out. He asked how many were in there, "three?" She replied, "five". She put them on a trolley, and then waited for more baggage... and the guy brought out another bag that must have contained five surfboards, which she claimed as well. I suspect she may have been a professional surfer. Fortunately, our flight seemed to have arrived at a dead time in the airport arrivals, as the immigration, baggage claim, and customs areas were very empty - more empty than I've seen them in a long time possibly forever. So our talking stick didn't take long to arrive, and then we moved onto the "Declare" line through Customs. The Customs guy asked us what plant material we were carrying and had a look at it all cursorily, asked us if the spices were ground, and asked if we had any soil attached to our shoes. All the right answers given, he waved is through without too much concern.
We decided to take a taxi instead of catching the train after our long flights. The taxi driver chatted to us and asked where we'd been. When we said Africa, he asked what country. When we said Tanzania, he said, "I was born in Tanzania!" He was born in Dar es Salaam, but moved to Somalia as a child. Anyway, it was an amusing way to end our trip.
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