- Breaking news: A severe drought countrywide has prompted President Pohamba to declare a state of emergency.
Dear cousin Bob, Recently I had the opportunity to visit the far north of our fair country, but more about that later.
Coming back to our capital I had the privilege to fl y with our national airline. While approaching the aircraft I was happy to see that the pilots themselves checked out the airplane. One was inflating the wheels with a bicycle pump and the other was fastening the wings to the fuselage with duct tape.
It was heartwarming to see that the pilots were so worried about the passengers that they took the time to look after their wellbeing in person. Before take-off the air hostess took us through the emergency safety procedures. Once again I was happy to see the airline’s concern when I noticed the emergency exits were welded closed, obviously to make sure that no-one fell out during the flight.
The hostess mimed the safety actions to be taken, as the verbal instructions are on a pre-recorded disc. When she got to the part about the use of oxygen masks, the CD got stuck. So did she and when we disembarked she was still mouthing “oxygen” over and over.
The CD getting stuck – and being one of the least complex instruments in an aircraft - did give me pause for thought about how safe all the other instruments might be.
A quick peek into the cockpit showed me that at least the autopilot was fine, as it was engaged. Just after take-off I looked out the window and saw the two pilots on the ground looking sad as they waved us goodbye.
Being on autopilot before take-off now made sense to me. Once airborne, the hostess started handing out breakfast packs but the flight was so short that she handed out the packs with one hand and at the same time collected it with the other hand. I did notice though that the food was made by a company called ‘Expired’.
Funny name for a company, don’t you think? Another thing that I found troubling was the fact that there are tins fastened to the seats for donations to help the national airline keep head above water financially. It seems that money is a concern for the airline as the hostess’ uniform was made of assorted hotel towels and a shower cap, obviously taken from hotels world-wide, and slippers.
There were also posters saying that should the plane run out of fuel while en route, the passengers should break the windows, stick their arms out and start flapping. We also had to buy our own luggage back when it arrived by donkey cart, two weeks later.
Anyway, we did arrive safely but again I was made aware of the airlines precarious financial position as I saw that the airport reception area was rented out to about a hundred Chinese traders.
I’m not sure, but it might have been some of the airline personnel selling kapana outside the terminal.
Till next time,
Your cousin Kapana.