mombassa

The day I fell in love with Passenger

It so happened that I was on Rwand Air flight from Dubai to Nairobi via Mombassa and Kigali three years ago. Seems like a roundabout way to getting there, it would seem, but I love stopovers, especially in Africa and I cannot explain why it was so.

There was a slight delay when we left Dubai – for a bunch of university students arrived late. Soon enough we reached Mombassa. A few passengers got off to let few others come in.

Suddenly, twenty minutes later the airline staff came rushing in, firmly requested everyone to return to their original seats and stay there. Something was wrong.

Then they left. A song came on. “Let Her Go” by Passenger (His real name is Michael David Rosenberg and he is British).

The staff returned sometime later – half hour perhaps, along with armed security guards and ordered everyone off the plane. It was overcast and drizzling, but we were asked to stand in a line alongside the plane as it were. Personnel dived into the cargo hold, manually pulled out every piece of checked in baggage and asked all of us to identify our baggage (and stand by it). This exercise took over an hour, then we returned to our seats.

“Let Her Go” – the song continued.

Half hour later an announcement came on. That we were going to leave shortly. In the time between the announcement and departure, the song played in a loop.

Mombassa airport

Mombassa airport

Mombassa airport

Outside the window of the aircraft, clouds had darkened, rains had washed the runway and it felt as though the entire world us cuts us off – the only comfort being in the song and the lukewarm coffee served to us by smiling and apologetic staff.

Then we took off. As it were – the connecting flight from Kigali has left and there was a 6 hours delay till the next one. At the airport, the same song played again. And again.

And for some unexplained reason, that helped! Till date, I look forward to hearing that song when ever I am stuck anywhere – and often hope to get stuck somewhere that song is playing!

This is the song below! And oh, the reason for that delay was that a group of people had walked off the plane at Mombassa when they were meant to land at Nairobi. The same group that had arrived late in Dubai!! Things like this happens too!

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