This isn’t a thread for Eddy Izzard fans or for people who remember schoolboy French, but the title is now officially my second best excuse for being late for work. I’ve just emerged from the jungles of Gabon, where the commuting hazards are just a little different.
Getting as far as Gabon itself was pretty easy, if a little tortuous. Leaving Austin, I scrambled on the plane for Dallas with five minutes to spare. Tardiness on account of a surfeit of brisket. In Dallas, a connection to London, again with five minutes to spare. It’s a big airport. Thqt brought me to London Gatwick. Then there is the bus ride to Heathrow, another hour, and jump on another plane, again with minutes to spare.
To Edinburgh. I bet that caught you by surprise. Scotland’s capital isn’t known for its proximity to Africa. This is where it all started to go wrong. I had a train to catch which I could see leave Waverly station as I was buying my ticket. Where was I going? Dundee. Famous for its cake and not much else. Except our brand new training facility. I had a wonderful weeks worth of blah, blah, blah etc. You know what training course are like. The “highlight” of the week was on the last day when we all decamped to a local pub. Where one random Scotsman picked up a chair and used it to assault another random Scotsman.
It was time to leave. This time to Paris. After visiting our Head Office, I had the day free, so I wandered around the Louvre for a good number of hours. The Mona Lisa is tiny. And grimy. I’m not sure what all the fuss is about. Not when The Raft of the Medusa is just round the corner. Night flight to Libreville, the capital of Gabon.
The only people on the flight were fellow oil field workers, which was strange but not as strange as landing in Libreville. Some countries have a slightly different view as to the nature of bureaucracy. In Gabon, the guy who issues visas didn’t think it necessary to actually have any with him before the plane landed. Several hours of delqy later, we got through immigration. Luckily, we have a guy who deals with all this, so the three of on that flight just sat in a cafe while the paperwork was done for us. Apparently this sort of thing is quite common, so the connecting flight waited for us. Thqt toook us to Port Gentil, where I stayed for two days before finally heading out to the rig.
The trip to the rig started with a two hour speedboat ride to the base camp. Both the ride and the camp were pretty nice. The camp was right on the beach, which was clean and sandy, but there was no time to waste, I needed to get to rig:- a thirty minute ride in a minibus on a dirt track through the jungle.
The jungle is full of wildlife; elephants, buffalo, crocodiles, pythons, panthers and monkeys. Monkeys in trees. Gabon is a Francophone country. When the bus stopped to we could stqre at them, what else was I supposed to say?
And that ladies and gentlemen is why I haven’t posted in the last five weeks.