How constructive a flight can be? A *lot* as it turned out. Good things came from the get-go. A mistake (or capacity mixup) in Emirates got me in Business class so I was able to enjoy a nice and cosy sleep till Dubai
Then the DXB experience came I was afraid that 4 hours were going to be long in Dubai for layover, but I was wrong. 1 hour to get myself shown around, 1 hour trying to spot the guy that broadcasted “FreePublic Wifi” in Ad-hoc just to fish some codes, 1 hour to walk from East to West side of DXB and a final hour to board on EK 770 to Cape Town
Because I had checked in online kinda late I ended up with a middle seat on the right wing section (on a 3-3-3 seat section). Between a lady and a guy that apparently knew each other :S I kindly offered to change seats but they said it was OK and they would change only if I was bothered by their fighting cause they were South Africans. (?) Roughly this is what followed:
– So you are from South Africa?
– Can’t you tell? We are shouting all over!
– Seems natural to me…I am from Greece
– … Greece! nice…. and what brings you to Cape Town?
– I am here for POSSE South Africa (and I went on explaining what POSSE is about)
– Well well, little man! We can use some help here…
– ? (I thought this was a comment on their Windows 7 laptops)
– Me and Sharah are working on the public sector here in the Municipality of Cape Town and we were thinking about sustainable Open Source solutions.
– ! then it must be your lucky day! I am going to be here till Thursday and I would love you to to stop over CPUT and see what foss can do for you
– nice! (booting up her mail client) let me write an email to the head of our IT department and we can arrange a meeting while you and your colleagues are here.
-That would be fantastic!
The rest of the conversation went on about the options that an organization has to gradually move to foss solutions (partial transition, mass deployments etc) and I believe that I certainly got their attention with my Fedora 13 notebook showing them around on OpenOffice (LibreOffice is going to be :P) package management etc…
After long conversations and several chapters out of “Free Culture” we landed in the fancy renovated Cape Town Airport and I rushed to my hotel. I have to say that Table Mountain creates the most fantastic/dramatic landscape for a big city, untouched and filled up with clouds… (Mel & Jan we have to get on top of it!)
2 Euros and a long walk granted me a nice full dinner (prices keep surprise me) and I am sitting right now on my hotel room getting ready for a long much-needed sleep.
Tomorrow Mel and Jan will join me, but before that I am going to have the chance to conquer some waves (or be a delicious meal for sharks :P) Either-way see ya tomorrow from a lovely Cape Town!