Thursday, February 18, 2010

Superjumbo arrives!

The day after the Budget started quietly - anxiously looking for angles that hadn't been covered or an analyst that hadn't been quoted. And of course the first of the new Zuma jokes linking his shenanigans to the Budget - like the one above.
But then it tumbled into one of those fun days that had me wondering how it is that I actually get paid to do what I do.
It was a momentous day - the arrival in Johannesburg of an Airbus A380. Only the largest commercial airliner in the world!
PicturesEditor and I headed out towards OR Tambo International Airport to scout for the perfect spot to witness the touchdown of the monstrous beast. We found scores of plane spotters packing out the Boksburg roads that circle the airport, and they were ready. They had flasks of coffee, cups of tea and their cameras all ready.

There were shouts of excitement everytime a Boeing appeared, and then it would die down to enthusiastic chatter. And then the great white spectacle loomed, distant in the sky. It came in low over the East Rand Mall and appeared to hang for a while before zooming in with engines roaring.
The giant bird that had flown in from Paris landed on the runway, dwarfing all other planes. The spectators clapped and cheered and whooped in delight.
Strangers became friends in a moment of joy.
I am glad we could head back to the office after that. I pity the 538 passengers on board who had to go and negotiate the newly extended baggage carousels to find their luggage and take a place in what was bound to be a congested customs hall!