Beginnings / Study Abroad / Travel

“Little” White Bunkers

I scrambled to assemble everything Wednesday (and on through the night) from clothing to electronics (heaven FORBID I forget a charger or battery to this or that) to a nice new bottle of sunscreen to protect my pale daywalker skin. (Yeah, I just said that.)

I scrambled to do all of that whilst simultaneously spending quality time with good friends and uploading about 239402 old cds to my iTunes I happened to stumble upon during the long night.

I managed to do it more or less successfully…minus the fact that I completely could not find one of the textbooks I probably will need, or the Omani currency I had left over from my last trip. Essentially, I lost the key components, but if anyone needs an extra pair or three of socks, I’ve got them covered.

I needed to leave my house at about 11 AM, and finished packing precisely then, and set off to the airport shortly after with my parents. First flight, Indianapolis to Detroit, left at 1:30 PM. We had a bit of a runway delay and thus I arrived in Detroit and almost immediately boarded my next flight. I have very low expectations for my bags making it over on time…great. From Detroit it was on to Amsterdam, where I am currently putzing around and typing this out until my next flight leaves at the local time of 10:30 (it’s somewhere around 6 AM here, I believe.) From here, I will travel another 6 hours or so to Doha, have a 45 minute layover on the same plane, and then go on to Oman, arriving at the equivalent of about 1:30 PM, EST…exactly 24 hours after departure. Long day kids, long day.

The flight over my dear friend, Mr. Atlantic, was quite smooth. I watched several movies I’d never seen but always meant to, had a nice quiet seat buddy, and discovered at some point or another that…I am completely at home on airplanes now. Or at least the large ones–I will never stop feeling cramped and uncomfortable on those dinky little regional jets. But even though large planes are full of children, coughing or overly-friendly strangers, and a severe lack of leg room for the distance…they’re also a bit cozy to me. Rounded, smooth white domes where you can simply settle down and nest for a few hours with movies, books, or music, get fed (although I make no claims as to the food quality, depending upon the airline), and take naps. I almost never nervous during takeoffs, landings, or turbulence, and can practically deliver a welcome-aboard-passenger-safety speech. The very first time I went overseas I found the flight tolerable, but notably long, and couldn’t sleep at all. Now I can choose to doze off the entire time or stay awake watching films, and by george if I have a glorious window seat I can comfortably stare out of that without complaint for ages. (Take that as you will as a statement of my space-case state of mind.) I just sort of contently pass the time in those little white bunkers, pondering the hours away…if not watching pixar films on my tiny little tv screen.

Perhaps I should have been a flight attendant.

For now, though, I will continue to watch the drizzle come down through the windows (the fog was so thick when we landed I didn’t even realize we weren’t in the clouds until we touched down) and perhaps explore this airport a bit–it’s quite fascinating, with probably a hundred shops, restaurants, kid zones and even a museum.

The next time I post, I will be back in the Middle East.

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