Jen had an earlier flight than I did, so after we had breakfast together, she had to bring her bags down and get a cab - a slight problem, because naturally the elevator managed to break right when we needed it. After Jen was off, I headed out to a cafe near the Termini train station and sat, drinking some superb coffee and writing postcards. I didn't have the chance before I left to write any addresses, so I only had eight people I could have sent postcards to - the seven people who hadn't moved out of the ten that I had written in my Moleskin notebook before I went to Japan a year ago and my family back in Bolton. Postcards written, I popped into Termini to pre-purchase my train ticket out to the airport. By the time I returned to the hotel to grab my bags, the elevator was working once again. There is something about accomplishing small tasks when you are travelling by yourself that always makes me feel incredibly competent.
At the airport, there was almost no line up - just a couple of guys in front of me. I wandered around the shops, trying to spend my rather sizable number of Euro coins on a book of Toffifee, a Coke and a deck of pin up cards and looking at books. I think that might have been what started the daydreams of being in a proper bookstore that occupied me on buses around Ghana and Togo. The flight was on a small Alitalia plane with no movies or music. I taught myself to Sudoku and read a bit of the Yiddish Policemen's Union. I read an International Herald and chatted with some French children and a guy named James as the plane jetted me over a new continent (new to me anyway.) The plane stopped for a bit in Nigeria and then we finally set down in Accra. Once I cleared immigration and grabbed my bag, I found the driver sent to pick me up from the hostel we stayed at and then Ortencia.
It was incredible to see her again.
It was incredible to find myself in Africa.