Monday, January 4, 2010

On a magic carpet ride...

I have a tradition of writing down exactly what's happening around me as it occurs. While it's only a slice in time, it always rushes back the sounds and smells (usually unpleasant ones) of that moment. I would travelblog about it, so not to overload anyone with a mass message, but I forgot my password (big surprise). I hope you enjoy the next few minutes of last night with me. If you were here, you'd be laughing, too. Especially after 36 hours without sleep.

November 15.2009

If I told you what was going on right now, it would sound like a bad cliche. Forget the 16 hour plane ride sandwiched between two individuals with pungent body odor and forget the child in front of us, screaming and vomiting (poor thing); it is 2:40am and we're in the airport terminals guest hall. It feels like the bus depot in Falmouth where I used to wait for my grandmother to pick me up when I would visit, except this place has an ice cream vendor and a "food village." (That's the name of our little food court.) The theme song from Aladdin plays in flutes over the speakers. The timing is unbelievable. I've heard it play 3 times since we landed 5 hours ago. Kristina is slumped over, bent at the waist stretched out impossibly over her own legs. It's 2:40, which means I got almost 3 hours of sleep. Not bad for a plastic seat with metal armrests. Can't sleep in my own bed, but give me a random depot on a smelly street and I pass out like a kid after midnight. My head keeps bumping into someone's turban because our seats are back-to-back. He doesn't seem to mind, as I keep inadvertently swatting at the thing brushing up against my hair, his clatter of conversation continuing at full pace. Even with earplugs in, I can hear him perfectly, if not for the foreign tongue.
The flute continues, "A whole new world...a dazzling place a never knew..."

We leave for Nepal in 2 hours and I wish lightning would strike twice and I could get another 2 hour nap. I'll probably just paint my toenails instead. Kristina wakes up and we give each other a bleary eyed smile.
"I'm so glad you're here," I say.
"Me, too." She smiles.
"...because I can go to the bathroom and just leave my stuff!" I finish. We start giggling.
"It's 3 o'clock." She laughs. "That means in an hour and a half we can go downstairs and be the first ones in line!" She means for our 3 hour pre-boarding requirement to Nepal.
"You know what else you should write?" She suggests, "When you asked that guy to give you a printout of your flight reservation- and then you hear the dot-matrix printer going off in the back." We're hysterical with tired laughter, at this point. I raise my hand and my eyes get wide, "uh...don't worry about the return flight. It's's cool..." Bringing out my iPod at this point would seem an affront, but, in my head, above the honking of 3 am traffic, I hear Regina Specktor play on, "And the history books forgot about us, and the Bible didn't mention us..."

My friend, Celeste (one of the Australian girls Alyson and I tromped around with in Guatemala) saw my plans on facebook. She is still in Nepal and wants me to swing by Kathmandu so she can say, "hi." Of course. Of course I will have to drop in! The Australians have the most unbelievable lives. I remember writing her months ago, voting yes on her decision to visit India on what now must be a two+ year stint of travel. I can't believe she's still here. I can't believe I have dinner plans with a friend in Kathmandu!


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