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A blessing disguise

I reached Bata’s airport as a passenger this time.
My friends from ASECNA are not there because it is Saturday.
I went to meet the police guy who still has my passeport, he asked me 80000XAF (121€) for entrance and exit of the country.
I had prepared the exact among and he took it immediately... I thought I should ask him a receipt... but his ugly face and his bad tone discourage me.
Finally after few phone calls he told me that I will get my exit stamp at Malabo because he can’t put it here...
I hesitated to ask half of my money back... for the same reasons I didn’t.


I was quiet astonished to see in an international airport, everybody running in and out the boarding gate, no scanner for the luggage and a very superficial check of the luggage of some persons only.


If you imagine a african terminal into the bush, here I have the atmosphere, the only difference is the building but all the rest is really what you can imagine...
Finally the plane arrive and we took off for a half an hour flight to Malabo where the visibility was poor.
At Malabo, all the signs are wrong: entrance is on the top of a door, it is the exit. Departure: it’s the arrival...
I should have taken this as a warning.


I am the first person ready to register my luggage.
Usually I register a small luggage with my clothes and liquids and keep my luggage with my camera, gopros and electrical stuffs with me.
But since South Africa, because the register luggage is 8 kilos and the hand luggage 12 kilos, they ask me to register everything. I did and since then I feel more confidant (what a big mistake !)
Waiting for the Air France agent, I thought: I should take off my memory sticks from camera and gopro and keep them with me.
Then, I said to myself: Pffff stop controlling everything all the time it is boring...
A second big mistake !
I registered my 2 luggages and a guy came to me asking if I want him to wrap my luggages with plastic. I said no thank you.
A third big mistake !


We took off in a triple 7 only 6 passengers on board ! Believe me ! For a 20 minutes flight to Douala.
The captain upset me a bit when he said: “we are lucky ladies and gentlemen the weather in the Guinea Golf is clear and nice” ... for someone who can’t take off because of the bad weather in Guinea Golf...
We landed at Douala where we waited 2 hours for the plane to get full.


I didn’t sleep so much and we landed at Paris on time: 06:20.
Waiting for my luggages I had a bad feeling, I should say a very bad feeling and when I saw my suitcase arriving almost open, I understood that my suitcase has been visited...


I looked at it and yes, damaged and they took my camera ( with the memory stick), one gopro with his memory stick, they opened everything and took all my chargers even those they do not need. They opened my tablets against malaria, and checked in all my plane documents looking for money I guess...


The feeling at that stage is difficult to explain. I hate being a victim, and obviously I am not, this is my fault, my mistake !


I made 3 mistakes, it reminds my the model of human error from James Reason


I went to file a complaint and I missed my train to Brussels.
No coat, tired, sad, ... all the people around me look very aggressive, stressed and some stupid! I don’t feel comfortable at all.
Or maybe I feel like an african migrant homeless in Paris


What I must say about the Flap 5 is that it has been very tiring to control all the time everything: the visa expire date, the flight permit expire date, renew the flight permit, some hotel booking that I must change, the weather of course, fuel, fuel delivery and storage, keep handling agent notice, change the flight plan etc. For the next step it will be the same, almost one country per day, this is a lot !


After this trip, I will be a excellent handling agent specialised in Africans adventurous pilots.






January 2020
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