I'm better prepared this time, having learned from my first trip. For example, I packed light(er), opting for my rolling carry-on instead of the larger suitcase. My last time in Lagos, we had to wait 45 minutes for bags to come out.
Whenever I fly for business--even for short trips--I find that somehow I am in no-man's land. It's like all the system of airports are somehow in its own dimension, and the layovers airports do not really exist in real space. Only when you exit the airport or board a leave-the-airport train do I feel that I am entering the real world. There are several visual clues that validate this: all airports have a similar smell, signs are similar, and although I know the airport workers are local real people, their uniforms, practiced scripts and standard operating procedures tell me that they, too, have entered into this airport dimension.
I am in Schiphol now, the airport in Amsterdam. Sitting at the airport lounge, in the same table I sat on my last trip to Lagos. I am tired, but I'm not sure I can sleep if given the chance. Takeoff from Houston, to tochdown in Lagos will take more than 24 hours, stopping by Newark and Amsterdam. I am hungry, but the breakfast offerings don't appeal to me. The lounge has a smoking room in the back and it's imipossible to keep the smoke from entering into the main area. This and the dry heat from the vents add to my discomfort.
Last time, we had rented a "world phone". This time, I have my own GSM phone, and have enabled the international voice and email plans. I can check email. Yipee. It's early Sunday morning in the US, and all I'm getting are Viagra spam ads. At least I'm no longer receiving the Nigeria-money-transfer spam.