Saturday, 24 March 2012


For the last week or so I have been checking my email frequently as I have been expecting news that my flight has been booked by the University of Addis Ababa.

Not only is it less than ten days before I fly, but also there have been a flurry of emails confirming where I was leaving from, when I wanted to leave, and when I wanted to fly back, and the correct spelling of my name. This was information I had supplied about two months ago. In one email I was referred to as Petre,a miss-spelling of my middle name, but eventually my full name was written out by the Toronto organisers, with the notation that "Oyston" is my last name,

 Finally got the details on Friday.There are two interesting things about my flight. For one,it will arrive late Monday night, when I am supposed to start work on Monday morning. The other is that my name is written as Dr OYSTONS\LOA.

There are a few good things: For one, I get to go to curling next Saturday, which I thought I was going to miss. I was expecting to be over the Atlantic by Saturday night. They have the correct date for me to fly back to Canada. Also, I prefer the flight they have given me, via Frankfurt, to the one I was expecting, as it divides the flight up into roughly equal parts, instead of a short hop to Washington and a 13 hour flight to Addis.

But the name thing seems to be an issue, Customs are a bit picky about the passport and the ticket matching up these days. I was pleased to wake up this morning to an email, I think from the airline, saying that they are fixing the issue. Then I got a worrying email from Addis, saying I had to contact the "Ticket Office" to confirm my details, without telling me how to do that. On the Ethiopian Airlines web site I eventually found an American 1-800 number, which worked from Canada. They said the issue had not been fixed, but that they were hoping my name would be right by in their system by Monday or Tuesday.

I still cannot buy internal flights at the reduced rate for international Ethiopian customers until the glitch is sorted out.

I know I can be a bit obsessive compulsive, and that I don't have a great tolerance for people who mess up doing simple tasks, but honestly, these are character traits you really want in an anesthesiologist. If I was like the guy in the local car dealership who only installed three of the four floor mats we ordered for our new car, I would leave a trail of dead bodies behind me at work......

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