I’m back in Newfoundland, after a series of flights and waiting in airport lounges adding up to nearly 40 hours. If that doesn’t demonstrate both Cloof’s commitment to the market, and my commitment to Cloof, then I don’t know what does.
Getting to North America from South Africa is a lot more complicated and expensive than getting to Asia. On this trip I flew via Frankfurt, partly because I’m presenting a wine tasting in Denmark on the way back, but also because the cost was lower. Did I mention that this entire junket is being done in economy class, without the faintest hope of even a courtesy upgrade?
I’ve previously written about my experiences with an immigration officer in Dublin (read about it here). I suppose if one crosses borders often enough the law of averages will occasionally put one across the counter from charming officials. Yesterday afternoon I found myself handing over a business card to wine-loving immigration officer upon arrival in Ottawa (she was very cute, but I can’t see bullet-proof vests hitting the catwalk anytime soon, even in avant garde collections). It was at this point that I remembered what I’d forgotten to pack; there’s always one item, and this time it was additional business cards.
The craziness of the routing is that we flew directly over Newfoundland from Frankfurt to Ottawa. A direct flight (of which there are none) would have saved five hours of flying time, not to mention the time spent in airports. The closest direct link to Europe is Halifax, which has flights to/from London. However, seeing as one now requires a visa even when transiting Heathrow that option is no longer an option (given the size of the UK’s budget deficit, I suppose they need all the sterling they can grab).
This is my fourth trip to St Johns, where Cape Town’s cold spring days are like heat waves and people have levels of warmth and friendliness that are worth travelling to the ends of the earth for. Even if it takes 40 hours in airline wilderness.
(Get some Newfoundland feeling. Click here to watch a live performance of Rhythm of the Goat by The Navigators.)