Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Arriving in Europe

Friday, 24 April 2009 5:30 am

Transit lounges at 5.30 in the morning …
I know why it’s so hard to meet anyone interesting, sexy and cool … and again I am reminded of why I love airports … and train stations in Europe. This is where they all are, getting ready to board a flights to some interesting destination. I have been flying for 25 years and it always feels this good. It doesn’t matter how stressed I am or how insane the deadline, it doesn’t matter the destination, there is something about getting on a flight – be it to Cape Town or P-Town – that always gets my alpha waves centred and my entire being back into equilibrium.

Reading three of the international dailies on board I am brought back to the reality of the financial crunch. Our daily lives in South Africa are virtually untouched when compared with the prominence of the recession international. As painful as our imminent job losses are, and as clear as it is that South Africa will have to tighten the cinch as well, I am constantly amazed at how financial sectors in the West have achieved losses of $4.1 trillion. What is $4.1 trillion? Is it real? Where would you put all that money? How do you lose so much money?

On a much lighter note, long haul flights help me catch up with all the movies I miss when work takes the front seat – as it is doing right now! For all the complaints about SAA, I still think its Business Class cannot be beaten, and if you are as unfortunate to fly in economy as I did on this flight – Lufthansa – I certainly missed my personalised screen and being able to go through as many movies as possible in 8 to 9 hours.

I love the European music sentiment though and it was great listening to the eclectic mix of Nellie Furtado in duet with James Morrison, Mraz, Kevin Rudolph, a great sounding Philipino living in Germany who I have never heard of before named Jennifer Kay. Of course, I can’t get enough of Jennifer Hudson’s album right now, and for all her bubble-gumminess and her private escapades, Rihanna’s Rehab is a pleasant little jingle … and Sugar Plum Fairies … I must get more of them – there seems to be a very retro sound in Europe right now.

I have been through worse airports than Frankfurt Airport, and at least I did not have to walk the requisite marathon that is the norm in many international hubs. The two hour wait at least gives me a chance to focus on the intense work schedule in the few days ahead and be sure that we effectively … BRING KWAZULU-NATAL’s 2010 READINESS CAMPAIGN to the heart of the leading soccer nation in the world. Next stop MADRID, SPAIN!!