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Mike Maddock, General Manager
2009-09-25 / Travel

Destination Guinea

Part 3
by Jacob Wilkins JacobW@sc.rr.com

My 15–hour layover in Casablanca left me with a stunning example of how I am, quite frankly, not that intelligent.

Upon arrival I was directed through airport security and passport check station before I was allowed to enter the baggage claim area. It never occurred to me that because I had to run to catch my flight to Casablanca there was a good chance my bag had not been so lucky. I waited for more than an hour at the claim area before reporting my luggage lost/stolen.

I decided to take control and do something I am good at, something that I could take pride in. I was going to successfully locate and use the airport’s restroom. I eventually found a men’s room sub–divided into tiny private rooms slightly larger than the toilet they housed. I was pleased that though I was in Africa I was able to avoid the use of a squat toilet and banana leaves. Yes sir, first class all the way for me. I began to feel relieved about my situation and truly believed that things were looking up when I went to leave and discovered the door handle spun freely.

First experience with an African restroom. First experience with an African restroom. I had almost missed my flight to Africa, I had lost my luggage, and now I was locked in a Moroccan bathroom. Only the crushing feeling of waking to a bathroom accident has left me as upset, confused, and embarassed. I sat down and collected my thoughts. I needed a little heart– to–heart with myself and to think of the day I would laugh about this. I am sure one day I will not be embarrassed that I knocked on that bathroom door for 20 minutes before someone finally let me out. Maybe a hole in the ground with a pile of leaves might not be such a terrible thing next time I need to conduct a little international business.

With my remaining 12 hours I knew it would be best not to take any chances that might lead to further disaster. I found my way to the check–in area of the airport and tried to entertain myself until it got close to my flight’s departure time. Not only was I afraid to leave the airport and travel into the city, but I was also too afraid to pass through check–in security. By 8:30 pm I had covered every square inch of the airport I could and memorized the exact distances to and from every location. I can honestly say I have experienced what Purgatory is like. Dissatisfied with my day spent in nothingness I chose to take a leap of faith and pass through check–in security

Picture of myself after being freed from the restroom. Picture of myself after being freed from the restroom. If only I had known that on the other side of all the scanners, metal detectors, and men with machine guns there was shopping, internet, television, and even a food court. There was entertainment and fun, and people who spoke English. I had suffered for 12 hours in an uncomfortable waiting room when I was less than 100 yards away from happiness and fun. I boarded my flight convinced that if I had experienced so many problems simply trying to arrive in Guinea, I would more than likely not survive my stay.
No bag — Casablanca Baggage Claim No bag — Casablanca Baggage Claim
My seat on my final plane to Guinea My seat on my final plane to Guinea
“Exact” flight path taken “Exact” flight path taken
This photo has absolutely nothing to do with my trip — I just really like Christopher Walken! This photo has absolutely nothing to do with my trip — I just really like Christopher Walken!

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