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Flap 6: Preparation

2nd March 19
Since I return from Africa from Flap 5, I do have a different look at Europe and Belgium.
Arriving at Charles de Gaulle, I discovered that my luggages had been visited and my camera and some other devices were missing.
I wrote a report and the lady promised me that a investigation will be made.
Also, the people at Paris are stressed like crazy, very impolite and rude. I was astonished because I never noticed it before.

 

During the following weeks, I discovered that Brussels is not much better !
I do miss Africa, happy smile, nice people and warm attitude.

 

From the 13th January until today the 2nd March, I prepared my Flap 6.

 

Flap 6 is quite ambitious: from Bata to south of France but I decided not to put myself too much pressure and go as far as I can keeping my trip as enjoyable as possible. If I need one or two weeks more, I will take them, if I want to stop in Morocco, I will stop in Morocco... or anywhere else !

 

Luc Trullemans is helping me regarding the weather forecast and the Guinea Golf weather should be flyable next week, that’s the good news !

 

I am leaving Belgium today, cool and relax, I didn’t receive any stress from toxic people and it is a big relief !

 

I had to renew some visas and all my flight permits of course but now, in most of the brussels embassies, they know me and I do know the procedures! I also have all the good contacts in every countries and I gained a lot of time !

 

As often I do ask myself the question: do you feel at the right place at the right moment with the right people ?

 

During the last weeks until now, the answer has been YES !

 

I had received some unexpected help from Hervé for instance who is doing his very best to get me a landing permit for Tarfaya ! The mythic airfield of the Aéropostale where Saint Exupery was captured by the desert men and where he wrote some books...
That would be an achievement, I am dreaming to land there since long time ago when we overflew the airstrip.
Thanks to Hervé !

 

In few words, I can say I feel ready, relax and confident. I will enjoy as much as possible and I will fly as far as I decide...

 

During my time in Belgium, I practised wheeler landings and security landings with Luc and Steven plane at Kortrijk, that was very intense and enriching.

 

When I wrote the previous words, I was in tgv bringing me to Paris Roissy Charles de Gaulle and I was far away to imagine what will happen to me again in this airport.

 

Arriving at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport by TGV, the nightmare start again, seems that this airport is not made for me.

 

Please do not hesitate to laugh, this story is 100% real.

 

At Brussels railway station, Air France desk checked my suitcases and recorded one of my suitcase direct to Malabo. I carry my cabin luggage, my small backpack and my hand bag with me, they said all is fine !
My suitcase carry all my electronic devices and all other important items like logbooks, headset, gopro...I don’t want them to be out of my view...

 

You must know that my recorded luggage is 8 kilos.

 

Heading for the boarding sign to find my gate, the security checked the size and the weight of all my hand luggages and they refuse me to pass to the boarding gate, sending me to “Zone 2”, on my way in I didn’t see any Zone 2 sign and I ask the boy where shall I go ? Zone 2 ! Yes but where is zone 2 ? On your left ! I turn left and looked for zone 2 sign... no sign, I continue and finally I found the zone 2 sign at the end of the terminal.

 

Why this stupid boy didn’t tell me “on your left and straight ahead till the end ?” I guess it will be much too easy for me !

 

I tell my story to a man who sent me to a lady who sent me to another lady who asked me why I didn’t recorded this luggage as well ? I told her that following my last experience, I have precious goods that I don’t want to put away from me.
Then she asked me to put some clothes on me, but I do not have clothes in my luggage madam, as I just told you I have devices.

 

She said, ok I will make an exception, I sign your boarding card and put the “air france “badges on your bags. Now go back to the security.

 

I crossed the terminal again and I felt the sweat drops running along my back, walking fast, time was running...

 

At the security, all these stupid people don’t want to listen to you, they speak to you as if you were the stupid one with this kind of arrogance feeling very proud to decide about your future .
And once again, they sent me back to the zone 2.
Then I decide, as I have to record this suitcase, to make it safer and use the plastic wrapping that all african use.
I made the line and after 20 minutes waiting, my suitcase wraped I went back to zone 2 to record my safe suitcase.
I thought now it will be fine !

 

At zone 2; they told me to go to zone 13 at the other side of the terminal !😱

 

Walking fast from one zone to the other, I arrived at zone 13 where they told me that the check in time is over, you should pay more attention Madam !

 

Sorry ? I just followed what people told me ! The studpid guy started telling me what I should have done in stead of telling me what to do because he doesn’t know what I should do !


Then a little more clever girl arrived and told me to go to... zone 2 ! And ask for a manager to accompany me to the security. 😨

 

I was just at the edge to lose my temper but found, I don’t know where, the courage to run back to zone 2 !

 

Crossing the terminal again, sweating like an ironman I reached zone 2 for the third time and told my story one more time. The guy took me to his manager, a nice lady who accompany me to the security for the 3rd time !

 

She signed for me and they let me pass .... waiting in the line for the scanner, I started forgetting the bad adventure that just happened but time was still runnning and I was still anxious to miss my flight...

 

I put all my stuffs proprely in the boxes and passed the scanner.
They want to check my shoes, ok... ha no, you must open your wraped suitcase !

 

Why ? Because you have electronics devices inside and the person at the screen can decide what suitcase to check, I decide to check yours ! 😤shall I start feeling paranoid ?

 

I started taking the wrapping off... nobody would help of course, all people waiting behind me sending me bad feelings...

 

I opened and ask what to do, you must put the electronics devices in separate boxes, ok I must take out all the suitcase...? Yes ! I didn’t look at the people in the line behind me...

 

Finally they let me go, runnning again to the gate, the last person to pass the gate was me !

 

I reached the bus full of real africans people who already left their european suits at the terminal and adapted their african way of life, some are telling jokes and laughing loudly, some are sleeping, some are chating smiling... this time I can breath and release the pressure !

 

Suddenly I looked after my phone that I always put at the same place and, I open all my bags and checked everywhere, I must admit that I lost it certainly during my runs... but I can’t travel without phone !
Shall I take my plane or not ?

What a stress, god, it was the nightmare... I checked calmly again all the pockets and found it !

 

The surprising rewards is that they play “Courrier Sud” written by Saint Exupery on board !
They mentioned Dakar, Nouadhibou, Cap Juby and Agadir... this is a good sign for sure !
Of course the movie is old and the female caracters are poor little weak victims and I don’t like it... maybe the way Saint Exupery consider women...?

 

3rd March
This morning, I was very excited to meet N45458. It is Sunday and nobody’s at the airport, I walked until the end at the plane cemetery where my plane is safely hide.

 

N45458 never been so dirty this is for sure, I remember cleaning the plane after each flight during flap 1, we are far away from this period of time !

 

Nobody today at the airport, alone at the end of the runway, no water, I have no choice I started cleaning with wet wipes.

 

A little gecko was hiding between the window and the cover... he was probably a good gardian...

 

I cleaned the fuselage and the tail, the front but the wings will be for tomorrow.
All the rest is almost ready.

 

The estimated date of departure is Tuesday to Port Harcourt in Nigeria.

 

Stay tuned

 

 

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