In which Qatar Airways plays silly buggers, my bag plays hide and seek and I meet the Cape Doctor ..
I don't think. Not often, anyway.
Actually, we had dreadful wind in Cape Town ho ho and torrential rain. Not the wall to wall sunshine we'd expected .. though it wasn't cold. But probably less than half the time was the sky bright blue and the sun hot enough to make you ponder skin cancer ..
Let me go back six months or more.
When an old chum suggests a visit to SA in November - and throws in the lure of tea with elephants - it would have been churlish to refuse, wouldn't it? So I didn't.
Which found me at the check in (Qatar Airways) at Heathrow just over three weeks ago, unable to produce the credit card which I'd used to book online. Oh dear, they can't accept that I've paid - SIX MONTHS PREVIOUSLY - a scam to make their checking-in lives easier, I suspect, in the guise of fraud prevention. I politely ask what makes them think someone else would be so philanthropic as to pay for me to have a holiday, and that I've got rid of this card some months previously to reduce my debts, and that in all my extensive wanderings this year, all booked online with credit cards, no-one NO-ONE at all has asked for my card to check it's really me ... What happens? Why I ferking get out another ferking card and PAY AGAIN, don't I?
Do I sound less than coherent here? That's true. I've still got to claim back £430 from the thieving beasts..
Anyway, we do get to board eventually, have a lo-ong flight via Doha, Qatar (it was cheaper), finally ending up battered and smelly in Cape Town nearly 24 hours later. We (L and I) lurk at the baggage reclaim. And lurk. And start making those joking, brave and increasingly desperate quips as bags came and went, until at last the luggage runway ground to a halt, as empty as our trolley. We peered into the dark hole where the bags had emerged, planning a new holiday wardrobe and wondering whether the insurance would stump up, when I spotted our luggage cowering in a dark corner. Ignoring official shouts to keep away, we grabbed our stuff and ran for the exit. Which is when we made the acquaintance of the Cape Doctor.