It was pure chance that I met Priyanka. I was not supposed to sit next to her on that flight between Barcelona and London. There was somebody else in my assigned spot and he hopped up the second I arrived and made his way to where he should be. But his wife looked so distraught and muttered something in Italian. She was a nervous traveller, couldn’t speak Spanish or English and now her husband couldn’t sit with her. Using all the wrong words in a crazy sentence construction I said, “Vuoi marito sedersi qui?” You want husband sit here?
“Si, per favore, si.” She replied. My daughter who was travelling with me did not mind us being separated. I was bone-tired after weeks of travelling and not in the mood to chat so I settled down to read my Kindle and almost dozed off when the stewardess handed me a landing card and I started filling it in. “Do I need one of those?” asked the young girl beside me – “Only if you don’t belong to the EU.” I replied. She was from Barcelona so no problem there. Of course she wanted to know where I hailed from. “South Africa,” said I.
“Oh – I’m planning a trip there in October. I haven’t booked yet but my friend and I want to visit Cape Town, The Garden Route, Drakensberg and Kruger National Park”
All my favourite places – so of course I took her email address and a week or so later sent her the bones of a suggested itinerary and invited her and her friends to spend a day with us in Struisbaai. And that is exactly what they did – all because of sitting in the wrong seat and filling in a landing card!
We had such fun showing these delightful young people our tiny neck of the woods yesterday afternoon. We visited the Southern Tip, The Agulhas Light House, the harbour and then spent the evening drinking an excellent Cape Wine (Springfield Life from Stone) and enjoying a traditional South African braai! We were delighted to see that they did not hesitate to hold a chop or chicken bone in their fingers!