I was going to do one of those “this is the person I was before I left and this is who I hope to be when I return” sappy kind of posts…
Here are the TOP TEN* things that have happened to me since I left the USA:
1. I almost died on my way to JFK.
My right hand was driving like a bat out of hell. Granted I appreciated it, but just because the GPS started to die and was going to shut down (10sec warning), that is no reason to JUMP 2 lanes of traffic as your mechanism to inform everyone else of this happening!!! …I almost peed myself…
2. Oh and one more thing…
My Travel Buddy (TB), needed to mail a letter before we boarded. NBD (No Big Deal), even though we were in line to go through TSA (a very empty line, btw). We get out of line and ask one of the security guards where we can find either a mailbox or something like that. She goes to the mail place, I go to the bathroom. We meet by the vending machines, and then a look of dread comes over her face, “I left my phone in the restaurant.” Ok, well, you run back to the restaurant, and I’m gonna stay right here near the TSA checkpoint and check out this little store and get me some gum before we get on this plane…eventually. She goes off to the restaurant, comes back and then, all of a sudden, the TSA line is BANANAS!!!
3. The idea of a “space-buffer” is a very western concept.
So I’m standing in the, now, crowded and extremely slow moving TSA line with my carry-on strapped to my back. For some reason, beyond my comprehension, they were asking people to stand side-by-side in 2 lines, then splitting the lines again, but there were only two places were your passport can be checked! WTF!??! Ass backwards. So as we are moving through this line, I kept feeling someone on my backpack. I turn around and I see this little old Indian couple standing in my buffer!!! So I move up a little bit and then stare them down. Then I noticed TB abruptly turned around and ice grilled the old couple too!!! So she moved up too! For the next 15-20mins this was the strange dance we were engaged in. Finally we get to the conveyer-belt that takes your carry-on through the x-ray machine, and the old dude is practically on my back trying to get one of those plastic containers you have to put all your clothes in.<– LOL, not really, but it does feel like you’re stripping down…for free…in front of strangers.
4. Those damn TSA metal detectors…
It took me 4 times to get though that stupid thing. First my belt set off the machine. Then the quarter that was in my pocket set it off. Next, I forgot that my Stunna Shades were on top of my head. Then my BFF, the old guys from #3, was trying to run through the thing right after me so that meant I had to go back through! OMFG CAN YOU PLEASE BACK THE HELL UP!?!?! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!
5. I got on one of the BIGGEST airplanes I’ve EVER seen in my life!!
I sat in the section immediately behind business class and there were still about 4 or 5 more sections of about 70 people in each section!!! It seemed like it went on forever!! HUGE! The ceiling also had little LED lights in it that mimicked “the night sky.” <– So freaking fly!
6. Children on planes…
SHOULD BE BANNED! O. M. G. There was this little boy, I guess he was 1 or 2, who just would not stop crying!! It was one of those screechy, loud, scream cries, that makes your blood run cold, the hair on the back of your neck stand up and you look at the parents like “Seriously?!?! No, really, SERIOUSLY WTF!!?” Then, in order for him to STFU, they had to let him lead them up and down the aisles!! It was a 13hr flight!! Please drug your kid before you get on the plane. Benadryl, NyQuil, anything is useful! I wanted to clothesline him…but I didn’t want to get shot by the Air Marshal. I mean think about it: I was headed to Dubai + I’m an American + A woman = Not a good look. #Imjustsayin.
And, of course, by the time we were all exiting the plane, HE WAS FAST ASLEEP!
7. I’m Lovin’ It!
McDonald’s fries are STILL just as fantastic in the U.A.E. as they are in the US!! Starbucks is probably better though because the Arabica beans are grown right there!!! Grande Non-fat Caramel Macchiato with extra Caramel, please and thank you! Yummmmm-O!!!
P.S.- They have a Chicken Big Mac!! TRYIN IT!!!
8. I almost missed my flight to India
Ok…well…see what had happened I was really hype that the Dubai airport had free wifi, which meant I could get in contact with the rents and feed my Facebook addiction. I also opened up the Skype and downloaded AIM, because iChat wasn’t trying to be my friend. I was a little distracted. TB went to the bathroom, and ran out about 5mins later like, “Did you just hear that last announcement?”
Me: “Err, um…no.”
TB: “Seriously?!!?! THAT WAS THE FINAL BOARDING CALL FOR OUR FLIGHT!!”
Me: “OH SHIT!!”
::sigh:: I know…I KNOW!!…smh. i. know.
9. EWC or IWC, is the question?
EWC is an acronym for European Water Closet, which is, you know, a toilet in the traditional sense. You know, the china trolley or the porcelain throne. Yea.
Yea, no, not so much.
IWC stands for Indian Water Closet which is, pretty much, a porcelain hole in the floor(similar to what the bottom of a urinal looks like, but in the floor) with foot cutouts on either side for proper foot placement (any ladies who have ever gone camping or been on a reeeaaaaalllllyyyyy long car ride know that proper foot placement is the key to success).<–Real talk.
I can’t make stuff like this up. I just can’t.
10. The Real Grand Tourismo: India
Ok I take back anything bad I’ve ever said about New York, PA, and RI drivers. Nothing, and I do mean NOTHING, compares to drivers in India!!! THEY DON’T STOP AT STOP SIGNS!!!! They regularly do 60mph no matter where they are or what’s in the road. They have these crazy barricades in the middle of the road to that you would have to zig-zag through! CRAZY!!!
Speaking of things in the road:
There ARE actually COWS in the middle of the road!!!
Like, like “Moooooooooooooooooo” cows.
Like, milk and cereal, milk and cookies, milk and PB&J COWS!!!
Just maxin’ and relaxin’ like they own the joint!!! In the median STONE COLD CHILLIN
*11. An Incident in India
So my first full day in India, Travel Buddy almost got into a fight with a cabbie.
Really nice girl, but she goes hard! Don’t test.
But rightfully so. Dude was trying to play us for suckas!! We asked a couple people and found out that the fare should be about 50-60Rs [Rupees] (about a $1.50-2.00 USD). Initially we thought it would be better to just take the bus for about 5Rs (about 6¢. Yes friends that’s six cents!!) <–Mind blowing, I know.
So he pulled up and says he’ll take us up the road, about a mile or so, for 90Rs. Uhh, no! So TB said how about 60 and he kept saying 90. So then she was like 70 and he’s still insisting on 90, meanwhile the bus is riding past. Dammit. Then another bus, less than 10secs behind, passes. Double dammit! So now we’re kinda stressed, because we didn’t get haggling classes at Temple and the language barrier is really a challenge for every party involved and the buses have gone. So we hop in, and inform the driver that when we get to our destination that we are only going to pay him 70Rs.
So we’re riding along, getting more than our fair share of exhaust fumes from the other vehicles (especially the bus that we are directly behind. I do mean directly behind taking in all of that lovely bus smell) because we are, after all, riding in a 3-wheeled auto rickshaw with no doors or windshield and is on that MCI reach out and touch someone plan!! <– SO serious.
We, or should I say I, got an up close and, uh, personal view of the, uh, business end of a cow as we were stuck in an ebb part of the traffic flow.
Yea….wasn’t particularly prepared for THAT experience.
::ahem:: Moving on.
So we get to our destination, which is actually the partner school we’ll be attending while away. We get out and remind him that he’s only getting 70Rs and no more than that, because we were prepared to be swindled a bit, but only a bit! We give him 60Rs and accidentally 10DHS (which is U.A.E. Dirhams [$1 USD = ≈3.50 DHS, not including the exchange fee] and is worth more that 10Rs). So the driver realized that the money we handed him was not Rs and he gave it back, and that’s where TB realized that she’d handed him the wrong currency. So we then tried to give him the additional 10Rs, but he refused to take it and asked for the 10DHS! C’mon dude! Then he tried to get over on us and show us a toll receipt from around 4:40pm…Umm 1st of all, it’s 5:30 and secondly the toll has nothing to do with us. That’s supposed to already be factored in to the final cost! So now we’re looking at him like he’s Boo-Boo the Fool, because we know better. That’s when TB began to lose it and got real American on him and started speaking reeaaal sloooow and reeeaaaal LOUD. <– Not helping, but then again neither was I.
After explaining to him again in the “American,” she threw up her hands and said, “Forget it. Let’s go.”
Wait, what?!? We’re leaving?!?
Mind you dude only has 60Rs in his hand. #kanyeshrug, oh well guess he shoulda got with the program.
I ask, “So we just gon’ walk away??” <–As we’re walking away.
TB says, “Yea,” as she keeps on moving along the extremely uneven roadside.
“Umm, ok, but now dude is following us.”
Yea homeboy finally got the message that he was getting ready to be left with the 60Rs anyone else who wasn’t a naive American tourist would have been charged. So he got with the program and accepted the extra 10Rs, and went ahead on with his life.
Yea it’s has only been a full day since I’ve been here and so much has happened! I don’t even know if I’m ready for the next adventure that is sure to be around the corner. I’m currently in the school library waiting for our orientation to begin, then we’re off to the wood or, more accurately, the jungle!
Dude…I picked India…
Speak your mind….