I’m here! I arrived a little over 24 hours ago (after 44 hours of traveling) and it has been a whirlwind and really very little of what I expected. I’ll give you a little taste.
I arrived in the [a bigger city’s] airport about 10:50 am Friday morning, but my flight for my new hometown didn’t leave until 5:30 ish. So, I had quite a bit of time on my hands. I went through customs, waited in line to scan my bags, waited in line to scan my bags a second time, waited in line to check in with an airline I wasn’t flying with, asked if I should be in this line, proceeded past the line, was directed to sit and wait 30 minutes to take a bus to another terminal, opted out of waiting 30 minutes and asked if the bus sitting outside was the right bus, attempted to pass security to board the bus, was refused entry because I didn’t have a boarding pass, was directed back past the airline service desk, past the two scanners, past customs to the airport’s entrance. Right about the time I was walking past customs for the second time I found myself getting a little frustrated. Now, I hadn’t really slept very well in two days, but the root of the frustration was my expectation about how airports work. I haven’t been out of the US in 3 years, and I think I just forgot that things work differently in other parts of the world. Although, I will admit I got a little frustrated again when the airline service clerk refused to check my bags in three times because #1 my bags hadn’t been checked (remember, they had been checked twice) and #2 I was too early for my flight (first they said 2:30, then when I went up at 2:30 they said 3). But really, if those are my only frustrations in 44 hours of transatlantic and transcontinental travel, I’m good.
My apartment is great as are my roommates. (both of which were expected) I just wanted to make sure you all knew.
One more quick but funny-bad story…so, my friend Kenzi brought febreeze to Tanzania when we were there, and I remembered thinking it was possibly the best idea in the world. (air drying your clothes in humid weather leaves them smelling sort of strange) So, I packed a fresh bottle of febreeze in my checked backpack (not my best idea). If any of you have traveled or checked a bag, you probably know why that was a bad idea. By the end of my packing, I was thinking purely in terms of weight distribution, not leakage. So, I open my backpack and pull out my bottle of febreeze (which was also so brilliantly packed on the very top), and it felt strangely light. The neck had broken off and the entire bottle had emptied into my backpack. So, my bag smelled great, as did all of my clothes and all of the suckers I had poured in to fill the spaces. Now, sucker wrappers aren’t impenetrable, but they are very colorful. So, some of my shirts came out looking rather tye-died. Smelling great, but a little sticky and more colorful than I’d bought them. It will all wash out, so no worries. But a good reminder for future travels. Keep the suckers in the bag and the Febreeze in the hard luggage.
Back to unexpected moments:
I wake up this morning and find out it’s almost noon. (not a surprise to my father)
When I wake up, my roommates tell me that we’re going out for pizza. I know, right? I am where you think I am…but when we get there it’s a really nice air conditioned pizza place with caprese salad and fantastic pineapple pizza. Loved it.
After lunch I went shopping with Mitzi (the current aftercare intern) and bought 9 really cute Indian tops. The first place we stopped is a mall. I honestly could have been at Polaris (a large mall near where I live) except for all the saris. It was almost laughably the last place in the world I could have expected to be today. So, I didn’t buy my Indian clothes at a market, but a huge department store. Very similar to Macy’s only with tunics and scarves rather than shorts and t-shirts (althought they had those too).
After my shopping spree, we had a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant. There is honestly a China town in the middle of the city here, although there weren’t any Chinese people that we saw. There must be almost a dozen Chinese restaurants in this one part of town, and the one we went to had really wonderful food. I’m not a huge Chinese food person, but I loved it.
So, you can all stop feeling like I’m roughing it here. I laughed a few times to myself thinking about what I had pictured it would be like. Granted, I haven’t actually worked a single day yet and have spent hardly any time outside of airconditioned buildings, but I’m very comfortable, I can get great pizza without too much stress and I have a lifetime supply of chilled chocolate in the refrigerator. I’m set.
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