Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Flight delayed by 30 minutes

I'm going to start hallucinating in a few if they don't pour me on a plane. Six more hours to San Francisco? Ack no. That's twenty hours of flight time alone.

I went back to plug in my 'puter so a moving screen would keep my eyelids propped. All bets are off once I hit the seat. I also just paid a shameful amount for a turkey sandwich with performance issues.

I don't know what to say.

I'm overwhelmed.

This is JFK, Terminal Seven, Peets Coffee and free wireless. My hands are shaking from the sheer ordinariness. I nearly cried when I saw the coffee of the day for 1.65 (about 250 Fils) instead of 1 KD (3.65).

I'm back stateside, after a 13 hour plane ride complete with some moron who started screaming in the middle of the flight that an attendant had dumped a tray in his lap. In fact, this guy writes for The New York Times, virtually assuring I will never purchase that media outlet again, should I need it for a blanket in a snowstorm. I went back and made friends with all the attendants instead, who were pretty cool bunch.

To cap it off, we were stuck on the Tarmac for 45 minutes while someone (who thought they were slick) called the cops from their cellphone, then refused to fess up when the cops came ON BOARD looking for who did it. It's good they kept quiet so we didn't sicc the 5 eight year olds on them, who sat in back of K--- and I kicking our seats for the entire 13 hours.

On the whole, I would recommend Kuwait airlines. The food was pretty good, the legroom was adequate, the attendants were nice. The little TV's in the back on the seats didn't work so hot, but I read K---'s book on Islam for most of the way while she snoozed. That woman could sleep standing on her head, I kid you not.

The weirdest part so far has been seeing so many Caucasian guys.

The nicest part is that everyone (even the ones who did The Middle East Search On Me at the Security Gate) is smiling and not cranky or surly at all. I laughed through the search. They make it sound like a privledge... 'You have been selected for a special security screening...' . Bullshit. You just came from/are going to the Middle East, and why would you go there anyway? The good part is that you get to go ahead of about 300 people in line to be puffed by air and felt up by bored female guards. The sick part is that it's not 1/1000 of the trouble that K. goes through when he's trying to travel. He kept shaking his head over dinner- "You guys have absolutely no idea how lucky you are..." and he's right. We don't.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The world's longest, weirdest summer camp

That's how this feels...

I picked up my tickets last night. There it is in black and white: dates, times, everything. I will get on in Kuwait, land again in New York, again in San Francisco. I say to people in Sacramento and Pittsburg "See you Wednesday," and "See you on Friday".

For the first time on Saturday I used "Home" to describe Kuwait. I am at home. It feels like a home, my home. Now that I am evaluating what stays and what goes with me ("I need room in California for eight boxes of Stove Top Stuffing...") and I am dragging my feet about packing.

Part of it is purely physical. I dread the jet lag, the physical toll that traveling umpteen bajillion time zones is beginning to take on my body. Looking back on my first two blurry weeks here, knowing I would look back on them and they would be blurry, doesn't make it less painful than it was. One needs to do this either quite frequently (be a Airline Attendant) or once a year.

Let's not kid ourselves- it's ALL physical, because with very few exceptions during the time I'm gone I am going to be GOING. Seeing this person and that person and settling business matters and eating and drinking and tasting and remembering what to bring back and what to leave and did I get my Birkenstocks re-soled and spinach is hella tasty and there is absolutely no one here with a Dishdasha on. Whew.


Need running shoes badly. Woot. Coffee maker with timer too.

"Eaaartth be-low us, drifting FALLLLING whoooaaaa"

(Just kidding)