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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
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September 25, 2009     The Columbia Star
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September 25, 2009
 

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16 * SEPTEMBER 25. 200"9 " T',.[! THE COLUMBIA STAR * SC 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 bag- gage 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 con- trol 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 rest- room. I eventually found a men's room sub-divided into tiny private rooms slightly larger than the toi- let 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 discov- ered the door handle spun freely. I had almost missed my flight to Africa, I had lost my luggage, and now I was locked in a Moroccan bathroom. Only the crush- ing 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 terri- ble thing next time I need to conduct a little interna- tional 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 First experience with an African restroom. entertain myself until it got close to my flight's depar- ture 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 secflrity. By 8:30 pm I had covered every square inch of the airport I could and memo- rized the exact distances to and from every location. I can honestly say I have experienced what Purgato- ry is like. Dissatisfied with my day spent in nothing- ness I chose to take a leap of faith and pass through check-in security If only I had known that on the other side of all the scanners, metal detec- tors, and men with machine guns there was shopping, internet, televi- sion, and even a food court. There was entertain- ment 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 happi- ness and fun. I boarded my flight convinced that if had experienced so many problems simply trying to arrive in Guinea, I would more than likely not sur- vive my stay. Picture of myself after being freed from the restroom. "Exact" flight path taken No bag -- Casablanca Baggage Claim This photo has absolutely nothing to do with my trip I just really like Christopher Walkent My seat on my final plane to Guinea 102T/TwoNotchld 121HarbisonBoulevarcl ?701Miltwood Avenue 700 Bush River Road 2752 Decker Bourard .992 Knox Abbott