‘Retour au pays natal’ episode 1

Clarisse Chicot Feindouno, 8 July 2020, Travel Writers Online Summer School.

I woke up excited. I had hardly slept because I was thinking about the journey ahead. I had packed everything carefully two days before so I wouldn’t forget a thing. I had travelled to France a week ago to avoid rushing and panicking.

The day arrived quickly, I was impatient and worried. What were things like after 11 years?  Probably different now, with new buildings everywhere. I would soon find out. We made our way to the airport. People’s driving skills left much to be desired. I watched the buildings as we drove by and all of the advertisement panels. ‘Souriez, filmez, partagez’ with SFR, the new Xiaomi 10, 5G phone for just 1 euro, hmmm, interesting.

I suddenly remembered, I forgot to check if my Sky network would work once I got there!  We pulled into the airport and I registered the luggage. I sat in this restaurant for my last coffee. I said goodbye to my husband. The kids said their goodbyes to their dad. I heard the announcement: ‘Good afternoon passengers, this is the pre-boarding announcement for flight TX541 to Pointe-à-Pitre. We are now inviting passengers with young children to begin boarding at this time, gate 10. Please have your boarding pass and identification ready. Thank you’.

I made a move and walked toward gate 10. We boarded the plane. I sat in the middle and I had a boy on each side. They slept throughout the journey. They were used to travelling now. The flight lasted eight hours then  I heard the pilot speaking in the PA: ‘Mesdames et Messieurs, nous allons bientôt atterrir, veuillez remettre vos ceintures jusqu’à ce que l’avion s’arrête’.

Read now, ‘Retour au pays natal’ episode 2