where, if I had to say I’m going to King Shaka in the morning, there would be at least one white person who would get me on my own and warn me not to make the same mistake Piet Retief made.
The only time you need to use the full name of any airport is when you make your online booking so that when you finally reach the check-in counter, the surly hungover boarding carddispenser doesn’t put you on a plane to some or other godforsaken hellhole like Mogadishu. Or worse, Port Elizabeth.
The other thing about airports is that they are desperately sad places that people only go to so they can get somewhere else.
This conversation, for instance, has never happened:
Man: Get your things, we’re going to the airport.
Woman: *shriek* You’re taking me on holiday?
Man: Even better, baby. I’m taking you to the Soaring Falcon Spur Steak Ranch.
Maybe I’m wrong. Maybe there are people who go to airports to eat and shop, watch people waving and weeping and hugging, then drive back home.
I don’t know anyone who has done this. It seems like a deeply weird thing to do.
But back to the real issue. Airports shouldn’t be named after awesome people for the same reason Point Road should never have been renamed in honour of Mahatma Gandhi. Point Road should’ve been renamed after one of the city’s indestructible degenerates who has outshone all others in his lifelong quest for drink, drugs and whores.
There are many candidates worthier than I.
The overarching emotions in airports are ones of irascibility and sadness, undercut with notes of frustration, bouquets of boredom and a rich aroma of feet.
Cape Town airport should therefore be named after the angriest, most miserable person in the city. Competitions could be held.
My money would be on one of the tellers at my local Spar.
She reacts to greetings as if they were mortal insults and takes my credit card with the antipathy of a mother being handed a court order repossessing her children. And it’s not only me, if you’re wondering.
A few moments ago, I googled restaurants at King Shaka and, instead of being showered with a mouth-watering buffet of options, I was prevented from continuing and redirected to the electronic equivalent of Guantanamo Bay.
“Our systems have detected unusual traffic from your computer network,” it warned.
My sphincter snapped shut like a startled sea anemone.
I was then instructed to verify that it really was me sending the