travelling in the strange times of A/H1N1 flue

I have just spent about week in New Delhi participating in the official launch of the CSISA project (Cereal Systems Initiative for South Asia) and related planning meetings. In the time when A/H1N1 flue outbreak started in Mexico. Indian officials got a tough task – manhunt for about 2000 people who according to statistics arrived to India from Mexico within last about 10 days to check their health … at the end it shouldn’t be so complicated as each foreigner arriving to India must fill the form with identification of address where he/she will stay while in India. But who knows where all these papers end up after being stamped by immigration officials. Well, to make it short, from Indian officials visited me ;o).

The flight back to US was surprisingly totally full – including at least 10 families with small babies. I like babies, but not when they are crying in continuous cacophony nearly whole 14 hours. About 10 passengers with face masks, the rest didn’t care. When passing through immigration in Newark and stating that I am just in transit to Mexico the lady officer wished me good luck with raised eyebrows. When re-checking in my luggage another officer asked whether I am really sure to continue to Mexico. Well yes, I am. Checking the statistics of confirmed death is just around 20 and confirmed sick people are about 80 … in 25 million people town!
I feel sorry for Mexican economy and 250,000 pigs that are being slaughtered in Egypt and going back to Mexico.


ohh … this international travelling 2

I am sitting in Starbucks in the transit of Dubai international airport and watching the mixture of people around – arguing young couple from Europe, two arab guys in traditional dresses listening to music from their mobile phones, one elegant african lady reading book and group of young possibly japanesse students taking group pictures – all sipping Starbucks coffee.

Just couple of minutes ago muezzin finished the noon prayer song. Outside is bit cloudy, here inside bit cold due to aircon. My head is tired – travel from Maputo was hectic. South African Airways flight 145 from Maputo to Johannesburg was delayed more than 90 minutes and Maputo airport didn’t have aircondition (over 30C and 90% humidity in the room with about 100 another people is not desirable experience!) After landing in Johannesburg we have been waiting 10 minutes for the stairs to get out of the aircraft. SAA staff on the ground  was rude and absolutely unhelpful. Although it was still about 40 minutes before the departure of my connection flight to Dubai, the check in was already closed … next Emirates flight to Dubai is at 10.30 pm, but fully booked. I am on the waiting list and will have to pay the fee of EUR 100 for “missed” previous flight. Still trying to talk to SAA staff in the transfer desk and also by phone with SAA client center, but with absolutely no success. This is a second VERY bad experience with South African Airways within a week – I will try to eliminate this airline from my travel itineraries in the future. Anyway, the two Emirates attendants (Patricia and Brigitta?) were trying their best and finaly I am on board. I wonder where is my checked in luggage … In Dubai I have to wait 6 hours for new connection to Paris and hope that will be able to catch last Air France flight to Prague.

BTW: I have just discovered that FLICKR is blocked – site falls under prohibited content categories of the UAE’s internet access management policy … But Youtube works …how strange is this world!

FLICKR - blocked in Dubai
FLICKR - blocked in Dubai

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