First, I finally made it to JoBurg, and have a good night’s sleep behind me. But there was a moment when it wasn’t clear that fate would play that way.

After about 7 hours in the São Paulo airport, I headed to the gate for my flight to JoBurg. And I sat there, striking up a few conversations with others waiting as it got closer and closer to, and then beyond the scheduled departure time. Finally one of the agents came over to those of us waiting in the premier section and said that he wasn’t getting a lot of info from the pilots and suggested that we head back to the lounge to wait as it could be 5 minutes or 30. I decided to stay for a while, but after the 30 had passed, opted for the lounge.

And then I tried to get information, and information I got – it just wasn’t consistent nor complete. I was told anything from they were finding a new plane, to it will likely (make that may – lost a bit in translation) cancel, but I wasn’t allowed to change to the other flight that night since it hadn’t cancelled yet. And the worst piece of misinformation was that if it canceled, since I didn’t have a Brazilian visa, I would have to fly back to the States rather than waiting for another flight (yes scenes from Terminal flashed into my mind). Later information changed this to that they can get provisional visas for folks when this kind of thing happens.

Thankfully, the flight left, 5 hours late, but it left and I didn’t have to test the visa question nor did I have to go back.

And even better, the driver I had arranged for a pick up at the airport in JoBurg was able to wait and got me to my hotel just after my check in time (so at least I didn’t have to worry about what to do if I couldn’t get into my room early as would have been the case of the flight had been on time).

After freshening up, I headed a few blocks away to the ThoughtWorks office to say hi. It turns out that it was home office day so tons of folks we’re around and that turned into a party, complete with dancing, while the night was still young.

Eventually hunger won over and I convinced a few folks to head out to grab some food, so we headed to a local establishment (Great Dane) which is known for their hotdogs. It’s interesting how worlds seems to come together. The name of the establishment reminded me of my college days in Madison and the hotdogs were an interesting twist with me living in Chicago. Not that I can say that I have ever had a Mac & Cheese hotdog before (another nod to Wisconsin?), but I can tell you it was quite good and really not the spot after my long journey.

Sadly, around 9 I hit the wall and was able to catch a ride back to my hotel with a coworker where I slept quite well and am now ready to see a few sights around town before heading onward to Zambia tomorrow.

Wendy

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