As the drone of the small aircraft stopped at Sir Seretse Khama International Airport everything went silent. Strangely, I was not excited about being back home. My solo month-long backpacking adventure through Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda was over. I was numb.
Before the quick nap at Bole International Airport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Did I just do that? I waited for my big backpack at the SSKIA baggage carousel but I was not really expecting it. I last saw it sliding behind the ticket lady at Entebbe Airport in Uganda at 1am that morning. The airport ticketing network was down and everything was done manually. But I did not print out my ticket. Who still print out e-tickets? I don’t.
I had bought my ticket via Expedia app on my phone. I was flying Ethiopian Airways from Entebbe via Kigali to Addis Ababa, then another flight to Johannesburg where I connected with Air Botswana to Gaborone. Three airplanes through five airports.
For the airport lady to check-in my backpack all the way to Gabs she needed the number plates for all the airplanes and these numbers were in the ticket. Luckily I still had battery power on my phone and was able to show her the summary of my ticket. She actually wrote my backpack tag with a pen. That’s why I was not really expecting to see my backpack. But it did appear.
The border official looked at my passport, then looked at me, looked at the bags, looked at me again, my backpack and asked if I have anything to declare. I said nothing, so she searched my bags. She found nothing. Told you there was nothing!
My friend picked me from the airport. Hugs and laughter. How was it? Was great! Then silence. I posed for a photo. Touchdown.
We drove from the airport. It felt odd. Like a dream. There were few cars on the roads. No hooters. No pikipikis. No bodabodas. No tuktuks. No bicycles. Matatus, and Dalladallas were not as colourful. They were not cutting in front of us. No Bongo flava tunes blazing. It was too quiet.
An easy day in Kampala
No hooters. Silence. No bodaboda revs! No whistles! No hooters! It felt like few seconds after the gunshot, seconds after the vehicle hit a bridge before falling into a river. You see I was used to hooters, more hooters, hooters as normal as the sound of traffic. I wanted hooters.
There was no colour. It was dull. Everything blended with the environment, no contrasts, nothing stood out to be seen, to be heard, to be smelt, felt or tasted. No assaults on the senses.
I live here. Is that it? So I am not travelling anymore? I felt like a junkie arriving at Rehab. Travel junkie. Travelholic. Back to cravings. I was back to worries about haircuts, bills, notifications and aging. I tried to keep myself busy in the real world. I avoided my trip pictures. I have been avoiding this blog. I tried to avoid the Internet. I am dealing with travel withdrawal symptoms.
The best feeling in the world.