Here i sit in a Quality Inn, formerly a Best Western, in a small town in Virginia.
Since i haven't written in a few days, here is my summary of the last two days commencing on the 2nd of August.
I awoke early Saturday morning for an 8 am flight to LAX. On board was a wonderful flight crew who gave me extra peanuts and pretzels, sang everyone an original mind-crafted song, and even gifted us with a quote from The Wizard of Oz. They were utterly seamless, so smooth, so smooth. In fact, they were nominated just the month before for flight crew of the month.
At LAX, we stayed on the plane and others boarded till it filled up completely. We then flew to Chicago, MDW. The flight crew changed, and only then could i fully recognize how amazing the first flight crew was. Our new flight crew was crabby, dissatisfied with life and work, and chock-full of Chicagoan attitude, or so they told me. They skimped on snacks but did give me a can of Coca Cola after i had finished the small cup which was mainly ice with some drips of coke in it. Mmm, the sweet taste of profit. YUMMY.
At Chicago, my mother and i indulged in a probably over-priced salad. I didn't pay for it so i really don't know. But it was Cobb and quite delicious to my hungry body. After waiting only 40 minutes or so, resting adjacent to a group of very grungy boy scouts (I was so happy America was being represented well) we quickly boarded the plane on our way to Dulles Airport.
We would have arrived early had there not been a thunder storm hovering over IAD, but we arrived on time which had no effect on my mood. Upon landing and disembarking, my mother and i walked through the extending walkway into the airport and immediately felt the sweltering heat but most of all– the humidity. Unbearable is the only word that comes to the mind of a San Francisco resident to describe the weather. Surprisingly though, after a couple of days I'm used to it, and i rather enjoy the heat. It's a welcome change.
Mom and I took a shuttle to a nearby hotel, by this time it was 9:30 pm. We settled into our room and then rushed to the restaurant on the ground floor for a bite to eat. After dinner, our plan was to rearrange my suitcase packing and eliminate some articles from the carryon. (Sidenote: I'm only carrying a carryon and a personal bag. And how sweet it really is after seeing so many kids with two, three, or even FOUR suitcases to check!) We finished the packing revisions at 12:50 am, at which time we smelled something burning.
We searched for the source of the acerbic odor but came up empty handed until Mother sniffed out (pun intended) the culprit... the bathtub which was backing up. And so we changed rooms at 1 am, me attired in a hotel bathrobe, pajama trousers, and a mangled face of fatigue
The next day we awoke late, at 10:30 and finalized the packing of my bags. We took the hotel shuttle back to IAD ( which in my opinion should be abbreviated DWI, as in Dulles Washington International, and if you didn't get that play on words, no time to explain) and after a walk along Baggage Carousel Row met the other CBYX winners. There i stayed ensconced on airport couches, which are quite chic but not made to be comfortable, for 4 hours. When most of the 50 had arrived, we were herded by our Shepherds out and into a bus and shuttled to the hotel, from where i write at this moment.
The days pass slowly, but indeed they pass. Today we went to the State Department, which was very interesting because I felt like i for once was able to interact with my government. Afterwards, we were given free reign to roam the ghetto streets of tourist washington. A small group, including myself, visited the Botanical Gardens, one of the National Gallery buildings (where i got to see one of my favorite artist's works (Warhol), found out the name of the artist of that awesome geometric De Stijl painting (Piet Mondrian), and got to see an absolutely amazing mobile by fellow Lowell Alumnus Alexander Calder!!! what an awesome guy!!), and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum which was heavy, overwhelming, and undeniably emotional. Still, it was good to see, and the whole museum was laid out thoughtfully, with the visitor in mind.
Back at the hotel, my feet hurt, and i will try to get some more rest tonight. I think my Yoga Pilates Mix routine might have weirded out some of my roommates, but this program is all about broadening horizons after all, and they might as well start now.
As stated above, there are only five days left before i fly away to the east coast and then to the Motherland, Germany.
While in Washington D.C., i will be meeting the other CBYX scholarship winners and touring our nation's capital. It should be interesting. I only hope i get to room with someone mildly interesting, attractive, good at conversation, and resilient. In short: someone like myself.
So, i've got all my clothes in order and all my technology goods in line too. As for now, i am only reconsidering using my suitcase.
There are two really awesome suitcases i will be examining later tonight.
1. Tumi T Tech Polycarbonate 22''
2. Samsonite Black Label X-Lite Hardside Upright 22''
The Samsonite costs A LOT!! more than the Tumi, but it has definite bling factor with it's pressed fiber shell construction, leather piping, and aluminum reinforcement.
The Tumi is just as good and even a bit larger. It tops out at the max. linear inches(the sum of length, width, and height) for most domestic airlines, 45. Southwest allows 50 linear inches, and most international flights allow slightly larger suitcases.
It appears Joe the Cat will find himself on a farm in Southern Germany during his year away. I'm very excited to be far away from a big city, although i know that this life will be quite different from the one i have known for so long. In my free time, i expect to be shoveling manure and speaking Swabian Dialect to cows. Cows have lovely brown eyes. Have you ever gazed deeply into a cow's glassy brown eyes? If you haven't, you should sometime.
That's really all for now. I should be going to a school nearby my future home. I'm quite anxious to go, a little unsure, naturally nervous, but definitely ready.
Next time i write, i should have equipped myself with a few good pieces of winter clothing.
Travel Expert, Peter Greenberg, says there are only two types of luggage, carryon and lost.
Hopefully, i won't have to check a bag because I'm a sentimentalist, and everything has some inherent intangible value in it for me. So, I will take most of my necessities with me and any clothing i need later on can be shipped to me from the US.
However, i plan on buying clothes in Germany so i can have an even more Euro look as i wander and stumble down German streets bobbing my head to the insidious disko beats. I plan to at least see what German diskos are like and probably visit a teeny-bopper one. Yes, those Germans start early when it comes to clubbing, but don't think for a minute I'll be leaving my drink unattended. No, Sirree.
We'll have to wait and see whether German Diskos are really horrible, as Conan O'Brien claims, whether they are oasises of the underground art scene and subterranean intelligence, and whether or not I will be able to dance for four hours straight and not hear any–any at all–Kelly Clarkson.
Because Everyone knows superheroine of all little girls with no self esteem, Kelly Clarkson, doesn't sing. She spews words from her gustative orifice.
Joe the Cat will be striding onto a Germany-bound Flugzeug on August 6, departing from Washington DC. While in Washington, fellow CBYX scholars and I will tour this great nation's capital. Joe the Cat will be attending a meeting at the State Department and doing something, I don't know exactly what just yet, at the Education and Culture Bureau. In any case, I have to fill out and mail in a form and presumably be patted down upon entering the building. Wuppee!
This blog was created to chronicle my experiences during a school year spent abroad in Germany as a CBYX Scholarship winner. Life as it has been will never be the same again. Look forward to pictures, stories, humorous miscommunications, cultural exploration, and downright fun recounted in glorious English as well as some German. The portentous question now: Can you handle this?
Fasten your faculty retainment belts, polygrip your dentures, keep your mind inside the blog at all times, and get ready for an awesome ride. I hope you enjoy it as much as I.