I've been keeping a mental list of everything that is weird and different to me. I'm not going to post them now cause the first thing on my list is how pervasive technology is here and I want to keep my computer time to a minimum, less I get sucked in.
I went for a run this morning at 6 and watched the New Jersey deer come out for their breakfast. The first time I saw one I panicked and that it was a Botswana dog. A large Botswana dog...
The travel home was chaotic, but peppered with lots of friendly people. On the flight to Dubai, a man had a seizure so we had to stop in Dar Es Salaam for a while. Dar Es Salaam is cursed in my opinion. As they were refueling, they found something wrong with the fuel nozzle and we got stuck there for over 3 hours. Just enough to make us 30 minutes late for our connecting flight to JFK. 3 PCV's eager to return home from 2 years abroad landed in Dubai at 3:30 in the morning and were told that they wouldn't be able to go home together. Lucie, Paco, and I had to split up at a moment's notice. I was to leave in 3 hours, Lucie in over 20 or so hours, and Paco had to find the quickest way back to New Mexico so he could catch his sister before she left. I entered the Dubai airport alone, tired, and confused, only to be confronted with an airport crowd of people from all different cultures and nations all with smart phones and ipads taking photos of each other and the airport, speaking language that i could not understand or speak. I was so frightened, I couldn't buy anything or consume anything. I had a panic attack and wandered around looking for a phonecard so I could call home and panic out loud to someone. 3 hours passed in such a fashion.
My layover in Madrid was eventful. I got sent to the ticketing desk for Emirates Airline to check on my luggage, which meant i had to leave the airport and come back in. The lady said that the luggage attached to my ticket had different numbers, but that they would organize some way of making sure it gets on the plane. She confirmed with the folks downstairs and told me, it's all good. So I went back into the airport only to be stopped by security for the 2 bottles of amarula I bought for my brother. They took it. I cried some more. I went to the airport, got to my gate, and was selected for a "special security check." they made it sound like i had won the lottery. For a second there i thought, "Oh god! finally something good has happened!" then i realized what it ACTUALLY was, and i started laughing, then crying onto the shoulder of the lady next to me.
At JFK, "my" baggage arrived. That is to say, 2 bags arrived with my name on them, but they were not my bags. They are coming today, I'm told. I'm really hoping everything is safe and sound and happy.
I miss Botswana. I do.