Watching the baggage carousel at the airport is something I will henceforth be doing with considerable apprehension. After the one at the Sir Seretse Khama airport ceased to revolve without any evidence of my trusty blue case, alarm bells went off in my head.
"Can I," an optimistic voice in my head wanted to know, “Survive without my case?”
The answer from other quarters was unanimously in the negative.
Hair: I like that! And who is going to take care of me?
Feet: Dude! If you think I am going to accept these socks for a second day you have another thing coming!
Torso: This new vest chafes!
Teeth: Survive without your case? Just who is going to brush us?
Chin: Thank God! Can’t think why you insist on bringing sharp blades near me each morning!
"Try the 3 flight," A bored looking staff member said stifling a yawn.
So I tried the 3 flight And the 6. And the 9.
It was well that the Air Botswana staff members rapidly left their offices because the heights of eloquence I rose to left little doubt that I would make an excellent commissioner of oaths.
As I rode back to the airport it struck me completely that all my worldly possessions were either on me literally (what I was wearing) or in my attaché case.
Not having my luggage certainly showed me that I am a creature of habit. I was down to my boxers and reaching for my luggage before I realized that there was no luggage to reach for, ergo no pajamas.
I had stepped into the bathroom and opened the tap to brush my teeth before realizing that not only did I not have a toothbrush, but even if I had one I had no toothpaste to put on it.
As uncomfortable nights go that of the 22nd of august is going to be hard to top.
Hitting the shower with the puny hotel soap was the work of a few minutes and shortly afterwards I was attired exactly as I was the previous day. It was then that I realized an urgent complication.
I had no comb.
This is no big deal to most people but it is a big deal for me because my hair is extremely long. The last time I cut my hair Moi was still president. The last time I cut my hair I used to say the loyalty pledge on Mondays immediately after singing the National Anthem. The last time I cut my hair the new millennium was yet to dawn.
In short, my hair looks vaguely wild at best but after a long shower there is little doubt that it has not been combed. In fact it looks exactly like the hair of someone who has recently been in contact with a live wire.
This will not do for someone who should be at the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology within the half hour.
King Arthur’s knights did not look for the Holy Grail with half the effort I looked for a comb. I looked high and I looked low. The hotel shop stocks statues, hand bags, soap, bath salts, monopoly and scrabble boards, key rings, gold and diamond jewelry, mats and carpets – in short everything but a comb. The man behind the counter looked perturbed at my request.
The supermarket outside the hotel read from the same script. I could get anything including farming implements but no comb. After twenty minutes search decisions had to be made – attend the meeting and look like a victim of a lightning strike or miss the meeting.
I attended the meeting.
En route to the meeting I stopped by 4 assorted shops and supermarkets. The closest I came was one where the combs were no longer in stock.
“Then how the bugger,” I asked the man behind the counter “Do the people of Botswana comb their hair if they can’t get combs?”
People who want to know what audacity is will want to take notes from me. I swaggered into the Ministry building with the air of a man who is convinced that everything is right with the world and every hair was in place.
If you think nothing can be further than the North Pole from the South Pole you have not compared the Botswana Government and the Kenya Government. If both were horses in a derby then Kenya would be so far behind it would come third in the next race.
But that is for another day. Back to the issue at hand.
The thoughts in the minds of the staff I met could only be one of the following
- This must be some new fangled hairdo.
- This man must be out of his doggone mind
- It is just me or has this dude NOT combed his hair?
I prefer to think they thought the first. :)
If Air Botswana were the only carrier offering flights to heaven I must confess I would have to think about booking a seat. “Check the next flight” seems to be a phrase they use very often, and at the end of the second day I was still luggage less. However I had secured some essential commodities to take me into Wednesday.
When you read stuff like this isn’t it in order to conclude that the media can be a tad racist?