Bayanda Mzoneli

About Bayanda Mzoneli

Bayanda Mzoneli is a public servant. He writes in his personal capacity.

As I type this text, it’s Monday afternoon. The temperature is -10 degrees Celsius (below freezing point). I am beginning to feel the bone marrow on my left leg; this happens every time the temperature drops below 15 degrees Celsius. The battery in my laptop is low so I can’t type for long. In South Africa we don’t have in-flight power outlets for charging laptops.

I am not sure who is responsible for attempting to freeze passengers in this flight between cabin crew and pilots. But I am inclined to suspecting pilots because they are in the driver’s seat and they have that separate demarcation, like in the bus. It is not unusual for SAA flights to have freezing temperatures, it happens about once every 10 flights. Sadly, I can’t get used to it.

Besides the battery keeping this text short, compared to others, is that the person sitting to my right is using the arm rest we are supposed to share. As I type here, my right arm shrank to fit in my seat to allow her to relax freely. I was taught respect. She is old enough to be my mother so I can’t tell her to shift her arms so I can type in a more comfortable position.

One of the most backward things about flying in South Africa is that as late as 3 weeks ago, after many many years, some Einstein suddenly suggested that the maximum mass size of the bag allowed in the flight will now be 7kg. They say this is to avoid delays. This flight was delayed because some bags of passengers exceeding 7kg had to be taken to boot of the plane. That reminds me of how JJ Tabane of Cope reduced the in-flight serving of food from 2 meals to one meal per flight that was when he was still with SAA. I listened to him explaining on radio that passengers don’t usually have meals separated by less than an hour from each other. Nothing could be further from the truth. When I drive from Durban to Pietermaritzburg, I depart from McDonalds in Old Fort Road, get a snack at the Engen One Stop halfway to Pmb and then get another meal at Scottsville. This is all within one hour. The same happens when I drive from Dbn to Empangeni (home). I depart from Max’s Lifestyle (Umlazi V-Section), get a snack at the Ultra City and get another meal at Nandos when I get home. This is all in less than 2 hours.

The battery of this laptop says I’m left with 21 minutes before it dies down. At least I have already saved this document 64 times. That is a tip right there. When you are typing on Microsoft Word you must save your document every time you blink. In this way, you won’t loose in the event something tragic happens like the blue screen. In case you were wondering I always complain about this freezing temperature and the good cabin crew usually listen and increase it by 10 degrees Celsius to around Zero degrees Celsius. I suspect they are used to it and they wonder why am I causing a scene.

The driver now says we must switch off the electronic equipment. I guess I’ll find time some other time to write something more meaningful.


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