Richard Doron Johnson

December 10, 2006

The Half Way Point!

Filed under: Uncategorized — rjjazz @ 3:32 pm

Here I am sitting in the Jo burg Airport once again. Today our lay over is 5 hours here after leaving Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was the best crowd response so far. The American Government did a great job of marketing us here. Shout out to Marc W for this.

Listen to what happenened to me yesterday morning. My friend Adrian and I went for a run around the city and he pointed out all kinds of tourist attractions that I would have never seen on my own. I was really thankful for that. During our last stop during the run he was pointing out how one of the national parks we were in is designed. While doing this about 30 feet away a guy yells out,” Hey man are you performing again here tonight.” I just looked at my new friend and he said “you’re a superstar in my country.” I thought to myself how random is that? We stopped and some guy new who I was who had never even been to the previous weeks shows. I responded to him “ I am sorry man but we are leaving tomorrow morning.” He replied, “ Awww man I missed out.”

Spending a week in this country has been an eye opening experience for the whole band. It is totally different from South Africa. Can you believe that there is no gas here unless you are extremely rich. You will find there are no taxi’s and traffic because of this. Most people ride bikes, walk or get on one of these buses that is about the size of a charter bus but they pack the people in there three times as much as we do in the United States.

This morning we left the hotel at 5:30am which was way too late with all the overweight, but it is hard to get some of the higher up officals to understand that we need to be at the aiport 3 hours early when checking in this amount of equipment. Because of this I almost missed the flight. Part of my job is too make sure that I check everything in and make sure that the weight, instrument pieces, and luggage is correct. Because of this and every country having different policies for overweight that changes whenever they see Americans coming, our time ran out this morning. I was literally the last person on the plane. It is really funny because they let us take all the instruments on the flight to Zimbabwe in the cases we had with no problem, but now that we are leaving they made us take out all the drums and repack them in numerous small boxes about the size a grocery bag. They did this because they said the instruments were too heavy to put on the plane. Me and Che just looked at each other and started laughing. We told them we flew the exact same size plane over here with everything packed in our hard cases and it was fine. The lady then said sorry it is our policy that it is handled this way.

Our next step was finding 4 boxes and tape in the next 25 minutes and then repacking everything. This was a close one but we made it or least the band has. As I sit here in the lounge I wonder how much of our equipment will arrive in Mozambique in time for the show? If anyone actually reads the repacked boxes they might think these are the heaviest bananas in the world. If they do and are hungry and open they will be in for a big shock. These are just a few situations we have been in and this is just the half way point of the South African tour!


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