Wednesday, December 23, 2009

December 23rd Getting to Cairo

Things never go quite as planned I expect anyone whose ever traveled to a foreign country will agree. But all's well that ends well, we've got a comfortable bed in a clean hotel and Bill is snoring up a storm as I write this.
The crate was too heavy, we were flying AirFrance through Delta, the Delta on line information said that a package could not weigh more than 90 lbs, the mural crate weighed 84 lbs. Air France won't take any single package weighing more than 32 Kilograms no matter how much y0u are willing to pay them. So we took the crate out of it's suite case and that reduced the weight to 34.4 Kilograms. Still too much, the agent went to get his manager. The very polite manager spent a great deal of time explaining about unions and labor rules. She wanted us to open it and take out some of the weight. At this point I pulled out a photo of the mural and she literally gasped! IN then end she marked the crate at 32 kilograms, told me it was an honor to meet me and personally lifted it onto the conveyor belt. Art wins! I wish I had thought to write down her name...
The two flights were long and uneventful, AirFrance serves very good meals and the stewards were all super friendly.
The pushing, calling out, shouting, aggressive hustlers at the Cairo airport took a bit getting used to. But I followed the crowds, we bought out visas, changed some currency, found our bags, and got through customs so quickly we missed our driver. So we hired a cab and got to the hotel. The ride to the hotel was the scariest part of our 24 hour long adventure, the drivers don't care to keep their cars in the marked lanes, they tailgate, and they love their horns. Afte 45 minutes of white knuckle hand holding we were dropped off in the middle of a downtown shopping district and pointed in the direction of a small lighted sign. We must have looked concerned becuasse he pointed us down a dark alley, smiled friendly and took off! (If I am unable to post pictures here please see them on my face book page) The alley, the sign, the stairwell, the elevator, none of it inspired confidence, but once we got to the 7th floor the management assured us that several CODEPINK organizers were already there and got us a room. We found Col. Anne Wright and Medea Benjamin who were worried about us and we had missed our driver at the airport, but we went out for beer and french fries to top off the day.
We'll brave traffic again tomorrow and head out to the pyramids for a little sight seeing before the Gaza actions get started. Bill's snores are calling me!

1 comment:

  1. Kathleen and Bill! So happy you made it safe and sound. It's the little quirks in travel that make it a true adventure! Art Speaks is now the name of my new Art Blog! I am sure that after the cardio workout with the stairs (OMG!) you will always sleep well there! Enjoy the pyramids...I wish I were there with you to enjoy and share the burdens.
    We are all so proud of you both! xoxoxo