Zombie-selfie with mask

All the non AF flights to Europe are full. There was not one inch left in the KLM flight from Nairobi. It was one of those mega super jumbos where you can’t see the end when you stand near the cockpit; ten people per row, endless rows.  I had had some illusion that I could maybe use a few of my nearly 700000 frequent flyer miles, which I can never use for upgrades because of the class we are booked in, but B-class was of course also full on all three legs.

I had taken two sleeping pills that I found in my luggage, leftovers from some other trip long ago. A French brand that I didn’t recognize but I took them anyways. I  took them too early. They kicked in nearly immediately when I still needed to be alert and go through the boarding process. They reserve three hours for this process in Nairobi. I completed the required steps like a zombie. By the time the doors of the plane closed, hours later, the zombyness had worn off. I think I had taken ‘falling asleep’ pills rather than sleeping pills.

IMG_0964At Nairobi airport I put on my high-tech 3M mask. I was the only one. People looked at me with a mixture of compassion and fright – Ebola does hang in the air even though technically speaking it doesn’t. But when I coughed I could tell people were relieved I did it inside the mask. And when others coughed or sneezed I was glad I was inside my mask. This time I didn’t take it off, even though it is very uncomfortable to wear if for 10 hours on end. It left funny marks over my face and fogged up my glasses. But I know the alternative and so I persisted.

And now I am in Amsterdam and feel like a zombie again. And once again I have to be an alert zombie so as not to miss my flight. For the first time I have agreed to a window seat. I don’t want to get up for anyone, nestle into my window and complete the sleeping cycle that has been so disturbed.

But first there is a cheese and licorice commission I have to fulfill.

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September 2014
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