Blog: The Perfect Traveller day 1

2009-02-05 00:00

Lights flash in the slanted glass screens on the fourth floor of the Oliver Thambo Airport. In the News Café restaurant, people of all types are trying to relax and fill their minds or stomachs with something to keep their minds off waiting: Waiting for so many different things. I’m keeping occupied by writing this blog, as well as waiting for my Gin and Tonic, which I crave more and more as the keys type away.

Their surveillance cameras are good, it would seem. They’ve clearly been reading while I’ve been typing. I’ve got my drink. Now let me just pour it, take a sip and I will continue…

Mmmm … mwa! That’s more like it.

I’m off to the Berlin Film Festival. Crazy ha? I Maritzburg hick like myself! Eight young journos from around the world were selected from a pool of about 300 to cover the festival within the framework the Berlin Talent Campus, a project that exposes up-and-coming film makers and film critics to the best cinema, film makers and technology. While the film makers learn new tricks and get tips from screen legends, the Talent Press critics interview film stars and directors, crit new art-house films and get tutored by the industry’s best film critics and editors.

Airport noises draw me out of Berlin thought. Chatting, clinks of coffee cups, air-conditioners buzzing away. I look up to see a banner; it explains that I am in a Wi-Fi hotspot. I just tried to use my infrared technology to hook up to the world’s ever increasing wide web, but to no avail. I need an airport Wi-Fi introductory session, but where does one find such a thing?

Now, I am determined not to name this blog along the lines of “Dusi Klutz”, which I used when I paddled the Dusi a few weeks ago. My boss warned me it was asking for trouble and I crashed my boat on the third day. You can read those on the Witness website if you search “Klutz”, but I am trying to change, you see. So, I think “The perfect traveler” should be my title, don’t you think? Then I won’t slip up. Not that I am a perfect traveler. Eish. Far from it.

A bit like the Dusi, I only thought about going to Berlin today. I don’t like to get butterflies about these things so I prepare up to a point: ie, I went to Pretoria three weeks ago to get my Schengan, but other than that, noit! So at half noon I started panicking. Like drip-sweating panic. I felt unprepared. I panicked for silly things, like a pin code for my Travel Wallet – a card you can draw Euros from. That took half and hour to fret over – it was in a safe place that was destined for Berlin. The silly search cut my time to such an extent that I couldn’t fetch my Dictaphone from another house. I had to leave for the airport! So if I interview Leonardo Di Caprio, his voice will be reflected in ink on a notepad instead of a voice for all to hear. I pray I don’t interview him now. It would be too tragic.

I also forgot my cable that links my iPod to my computer, which in turn charges it. That led me to an electronics shop in the Duty Free zone, where I found this nifty device that charges an iPod using a penlight battery! How cool is that. Earlier today I also got an adapter to hook up my appliances to Germany electric outlets. So, I am starting to feel a little more in control of the situation. I am now thinking Berlin and I must get ready to meet the full force of German professionalism. At least my boss, Robin, is very strict with me – if I get to work 20 seconds late, he death stares me for about five minutes, doesn’t speak for another 45 minutes and then tells me off for being late. Good thing, because I suspect the Germans will expect me to be anywhere at least half an hour before the time it states! Krikey! Wish me luck.

I am typing more than I am drinking, so I better end here. I will be boarding in an hour and hopefully I’ll be aboard one of those cool new Airbus planes, with brilliant screens embedded in the seat in front of me. I’ll have loads of cheesy Hollywood flicks to watch before I get serious and watch Berlin’s array of “wake up and see what a mess we’re all making” kind of dramas.


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