For my first international flight in months I had quite the journey. I took 3 flights, and spent 25 plus hours until I reached Abidjan. Boston to New York to Paris to Abidjan. The Boston airport was quiet and there were only two places to eat Dunkin Donuts and Wahlberg but they only had beef burgers so I had an egg sandwich from Dunkin. Social distancing regulations were in place to remind people not to sit next to each other. My first flight on JetBlue was easy with no one sitting next to me and my snack in a bag. Once I got to JFK in New York I had to get my luggage and take the AirTran to the Air France terminal which was a hike with 3 bags and a carryon on a cart. I got my steps in y’all. The boarding process was a bit testy as people didn’t seem to understand social distancing but the flight crew was reminding everyone to step back and give each other space. Air France required the medical masks not cloth ones so they handed these out. I decided at this point to wear my face shield as extra protection despite the discomfort of that band around my forehead.
BTW I have never flown Air France, they get kudos for its security video, it was colorful and catchy and included all women. The flight to Paris was decent, the middle seats were free, the food was good and it was quiet so I should have been able to sleep. But Nope and by the time I finally dozed off it was only 2 hours left until we landed and it was 9 am in Paris, so 2 am in Boston. Once in France the airport was packed, most people were wearing masks but a lot of them did not cover their noses 🤦🏾♀️ so I kept on my face shield. The seats much like in Boston all had signs about social distancing and there wasn’t anyone sitting next to me. So I was able to get in a couple of naps after I ate because I was exhausted and the layover was 6 hours. This time the boarding process for Abidjan was bananas with very little social distancing just the usual crowding around the gate.
Unlike the previous flight, the one to Abidjan was packed, even the middle seats which was surprising and concerning🤔. However the food was good and I enjoyed the movie selection and caught another quick nap. 25 hours later I arrived in Abidjan a bit late and the lack of social distancing continued at the airport but at least everyone kept on their masks.
In Abidjan there is little respect for lines, men or women will just step in front of you like you’re invisible. Ugh just rude. It took over an hour to get my temperature taken, my yellow fever card checked, to show my visa, take a picture and get fingerprinted. In Abidjan there is no required quarantine, but the new regulation is that they take your passport in order to process the visa instead of giving it to you at the airport so you have to come back the next day to get your passport 😐. Covid 19 cases continue to rise there’s almost 15K right now with over 5K active cases, I guess that’s considered manageable. I’m kicking myself for listening to people and rushing to get back here, I could have gone to Mexico but I digress🤷🏾♀️.
Even after over an hour I still had to wait almost 45 minutes for my luggage to come out. Abidjan airport is small with only two luggage racks and I assume not many baggage handlers. Once I got outside there was another line to navigate, the health tent where I had to show my copy of my passport and fill out another health form. It took me over 2 hours to get through this process and about 40 minutes to reach my apartment so by the time i got there it was almost 11pm despite the fact that flight landed at 8pm. All I wanted to do was call Mummy, take a shower and go to sleep but I encountered the unexpected. I mean nothing could have prepared me for what I found when I walked into my apartment.😳 😩
To be continued
#BlackExpat #Myexpatjourney #thejourneyback #pandemictravel #anewnormal #masksandfaceshields