Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Third world networkers inflight diary - Nairobi --> Dar

So I'm aboard a  Fly540 to Dar for a techies meet. They had the best fly back/return trip time for me. I also discover they are cheap. My trip budget is about 500USD, life will be extremely difficult if i go over that budget.

Its a boring, 1 hr flight, clouds fly by beneath me, that calms me; there's a lady in orange that keeps walking around. She seems to be offering on board maid service. She's friendly, I'm in a sour mood. I decide to not ruin her day. I fake a smile.

Directly opposite me is a couple, i think the guy is nigerian and lady's from Dar. I know because he sounds a bit like a nigerian colleague at work. The lady has that melody like swahili. It just rolls off her tongue. 'ukifika dar jameni usije enda ulevini!'. Boy are they loud. Do nigerians know swahili?

There's a mother holding a baby, a she? a he? who knows, but it's hungry. Mother's probably not comfortable breast feeding at high altitude. He/She cries.

I power up my notebook and listen to a guy called Vast begging a girl not to take her love away. I know abit about lost love, so I feel for the guy. I should learn to play this on the guitar, for when i start dating.

I count about 27 people on this flight. It's a canadair cl-600-2b19 regional jet. They apparently have 3 of these twin engines with a 50 passenger capacity. I hope they are not making a loss on the trip. I make a point to invest in an airline in the future. Farms and clinics are great. short haul cheap airlines might just have a future.

They; fly540 were the cheapest flight I could find. I take a pause, this trip was self sponsored due to some very last minute changes. I am versatile. I hate feeling disorganized. I am organized, i tend to plan things alot. I come from the just fucking do it fast and don't be stupid school of thought. It's my school so agree to disagree and move on. I plan, i collect facts, i put them together. Its my thing. I love it. I'll be happy sharing something with AFNOG. I owe some guys there alot.

Almost everyone on this third world flight has a laptop or Ipad. I have a smallish notebook. It's an Acer got from Indonesia. The perfect companion. I hate Ipads. For no reason. I might love them in the morning. I stare at the baby. He starts crying. I must have sent him a bolt of bits, or an over stuffed IPv6 packet. Maybe at his age he can only digest IPv4. Who knows.

Its a weird flight this one, before I got on, There's a guy called Noah that just asked for my Bio. He must be on the program committee, at afnog, I'll find out soon enough. He felt like a likeable fellow. I saw the request at the airport just before boarding. He wants my title, what I do, where I do it, maybe why I do it? etc.

I have held many titles in the last two years. principal data engineer, technical lead, network architect; last one I saw was 'network architect', I suspect because of all my design work, a functional network and superior intellect, the official letter said manager - network architecture and design. In case you're wondering, I like the network architect title. Depending on where I am, and who I'm talking to , I drop the 'manager'. Both work for me. It doesn't matter. My skills, leadership or otherwise speak for me.

It's a sweet role, the toys are lovely, the fruit of lots of labor very visible. I'm just not comfortable financially to be well focused. That and a CCIE means you get the occasional odd offer. Motivation is something personal to all of us and I clearly have different things that get me all fired up and committed.It would be nice to sit in a panel and discuss 'what drives us'.

Afnog has come a long way. 11years! I'll just explain what I do to the guys, I sent the network architect line for bio info. I hope we fill a hall. Should kill a good 5 minutes on the podium. I think of a joke to accompany it. I smile at my own funniness. Hilarious. Haahaha! I make a point to dilute the joke. Don't kill them before you deliver your message. We need to critically think about IPv6, our collective role in it's success, we need to finally stand up and be counted. I send a hex bolt towards the baby. No tears. hmm.... maybe he's ready for IPv6 after all.

Fly540 have an inflight magazine. Its full of Ads. Maybe they should write stories about their passengers. Heck they should make passengers submit stories while on the flight. Maybe I should write for them. Oh shoot they should write about flight diaries?

Vast is done crooning. Next up, Anjunabeats in Ibiza 2010, right after Keane.  I plan on going to Ibiza later for this years holiday. Anjunabeats sort of wins the musical contest. Everybody's changing by Keane does inspire me a bit. I play it again, I compose a resignation letter and another one re-applying for the same job, then wonder if they would hire me back. I wonder if I would hire me back. Ahh the joys of being idle. I trash the letter. Chicken!

The clouds look beautiful,they fire up my neurons. Spatial temporal reasoning at its best. It's just abstract. Like suspended cotton they look, or floating rice, or coagulated milk. I stare at the patterns, marvel at nature. For some weird reason I think about peeing pouring hot coffee through them, and wonder if it's hot and misty when it lands. If I ever have an alternate me or an avatar he'll be weird, people will kick him vomit on him just for kicks....I slap myself back to reality...

My reality is interesting: IPv6,NGN,evolved packet core, mpls, pseudowire, otv,inter provider QOS, NNI,PPI, cloud ahh cloud, I look down the window again, I hear people store data in the clouds nowadays.

I'm disappointed, it's nothing but white down there, I thought bits were black? I must be looking at the wrong cloud, or all data is stored in the US clouds? maybe it's a cloud quality issue? maybe third-world clouds don't work...maybe its my pee coffee? who knows...I just don't see any data, I look out again and realize it might be there, just encapsulated in cloud...bummer!

I arrest my imagination. Too much. Ding! the fasten seat belts light up, time to stop typing....I blame the altitude for anything you find weird today....I wonder who reads this stuff, if you've read this far, let me know why! something could be wrong with you....unless you're en route to Dar:-)


  1. LOL, this is so you. I follow you on RSS feeds always.

  2. Ahhh sema JG umepotelea sana we see CCIE hapana mbaya..big UP..Maish IU!!

  3. niko...have some issues to wrap up before you start 'seeing' me.