11 September 2013
If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ve probably noticed that our cheerful yellow friend has been missing in action (or MIA) for a while. Nary a peep has been heard from her since she gave a final goodbye hug to Paprika and Oregano on 19 August 2013, and took to the skies above New Jersey, outward bound across the vast Pacific Ocean to the Land of the songlines, spinifex and kangaroo, aka Australia.
As the days turned to weeks, some of us were starting to get a bit worried. It is a very long trip, particularly for a not-yet-seasoned traveller like Flat Kathy. Yes, yes, I realise that she has already visited a fair number of countries (South Africa, Namibia, England, Scotland, and Wales), but still…
Meanwhile, down in Karratha, Western Australia, Gudrun and her husband were busy packing their suitcases for a long visit to the romantic island archipelago of the Seychelles, northeast of the large island of Madagascar, in the Indian Ocean. Gudrun was eagerly looking forward to Flat Kathy’s imminent arrival, and making a mental list of all the places in and around Karratha that she might still be able to show her before the Day of the Big Flight.
However, as the days passed, with the local postie repeatedly driving past her house without delivering the expected package, Gudrun was beginning to wonder what could have happened:
Had the postie accidentally popped the package in the wrong postbox? Had someone in one of the sorting offices somewhere between the US and Australia misread ‘Australia’ as ‘Austria’, and sent her hurtling northeast towards Europe instead of southwest? Or had she accidentally been put on a ship, instead of on a plane? Or had a customs official waylaid our gal because she didn’t have the requisite travel documentation?
As the Day of the Big Flight approached, emails between Gudrun, Paprika and myself began to fly back and forth with increasing frequency – hampered by the substantial time zone differences (Western Australia is GMT +8, South Africa is GMT +2 and New Jersey is GMT -4) between our respective countries. I realised that I would urgently have to come up with a Plan B, in case Flat Kathy missed the flight, and had to be re-routed somewhere else, preferably not too far away.
The tension was mounting to fever pitch, as they say.
This morning, my first thought on opening my eyes, was “Switch on the computer! Check your email!”
The Day of the Big Flight had arrived!
I exclaimed with joy, when I saw Gudrun’s email pinging into my inbox: Flat Kathy had made a dramatic entrance, almost literally at the last minute! She hadn’t come in the normal post, but was delivered, in person, by the parcel postie herself!
I don’t know whether Gudrun will be able to send any updates or photos during their time in the Seychelles, but, for now, I am just so relieved that our intrepid adventurer is safe!
And because a Flat Kathy Post is not complete without a photo, here is one of the final photos we took of her in Cape Town.