Day 1: Stopping all Stations to Ethiopia

Before I set off to the airport to get my flight I quickly phoned home. A member of the family who shall remain nameless still doesn’t want to talk on the phone, they are really unhappy that I’m going to Ethiopia as unfortunately they appear to have seen a Channel 5 programme which tells everyone that you will die if you go to such a place as the rivers are full of flesh eating parasites and people are murdered for money in their sleep. Good old channel 5, shock tactics to get viewing figures up and to make people to hate foreigners…. But as a result of this they think I shouldn’t go. I’m not sure whether they think I will change my mind, but…..

Getting my ticket to come here to Ethiopia was quite strange. I couldn’t book the flights on the Internet, I had to go to the airport offices about 3 miles away from Heathrow airport to buy the tickets, and I had to pay by cheque or get a bankers draft (as that’s not a pain in the arse at all!) as credit cards were not accepted. This is all a bit weird particularly as most airlines are starting to use the internet more and more for booking flights (2004!). But why not at least use a travel agent that is located more conveniently….. Either way, I had my ticket and I was on the plane on what was going to be quite a long overnight flight to Addis Ababa. The flight was made longer by the fact that it went via Rome even though I didn’t have to get off. I seem to have got stopping service which I didn’t think existed on airlines!

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