May 05, 2008

A commute…

So I’m back…. And I’m blogging, and blogging about sunny and exotic Indonesia rather than about medieval and mind-boggling Europe. I’m so unpredictable, I should get an award. So after a whirlwind passage home in Canada, which followed my gipsy vacation touring Europe, I had to once more traverse the world to go to work. This is my commute. It starts on a Friday night, and ends on a Sunday evening. It lasts over 36 hours, before I can lie down and collapse in Morpheus’ arms. It brings me to the brink of fainting, to seizures in an airplane, before I can rest. It makes me lose patience with annoying officials, and it deprives me of my personal belongings.

Flippin’ air control
Travel time: 0h
Cigarettes: 1 (before boarding)
Annoyed and concerned Beaver: 1
Phone calls to travel service: 1
SMS to mum: 0
Comment: Flight no. 1 was late, because air control didn’t give it the go-ahead. There is no other connecting flight this day – so I’d have to sleep there at my expense and fly the next day if I miss it. I take a gamble and fly anyway.

G*ddam security goon
Travel time: 3h
Cigarettes: 0
Free Bacardi and coke: 1
Phone calls to travel service: ½ (Line is cut and plane takes off)
SMS to mum: 1
Comment: Because of this, I almost missed flight n. 2, and might still have, even though through sheer power of running I made it to the security checkpoint 20 minutes before take-off. Indeed, a security guard at the gate in JFK airport didn’t like the logo on my boarding pass. I had to perform a “stand in”, a standing up version of Martin Luther King’s “sit-in” for them to call the airline and get me on board.

The moron next-door
Travel time: 21h
Cigarettes: 0
Free Bacardi and coke: 1, plus 2 wines, dinner and breakfast.
Phone calls to travel service: 0
SMS to mum: 1
Frustrating stops in Germany: 1
Comment: But I made flight n. 2, and it lasted a painful 21 hours, with a neighbour more inclined for conversation than for sleep, or watching movies. But I survived….

Foot worship
Travel time: 4 h standby, 2 hours flight
Cigarettes: 3
Free Bacardi and coke: 0. I get coffee instead
Phone calls to travel service: 0
SMS to mum: 1
Comment: Flight n. 3 was fine, and waiting for it was lovely. I bought expensive shoes and got a free foot rub while chatting with another passenger.

Travel time: 3.5 h standby, 4 hours flight
Cigarettes: 0
Free Bacardi and coke: 0. I could really use one though.
Phone calls to travel service: 0
SMS to mum: 1 (very late, after I arrived and dug up my charger and spare phone from my carry-on.)
Comment: Upon getting off, I had to collect my luggage and recheck it into Flight n. 4. Lo and behold, my 16 kgs (yes, I travel light) of luggage never made it past JFK. So I file my complaint and walk over to the domestic flight counter to find that I had to stay on standby and maybe not be allowed to fly… due to a mess-up on my travel agent’s side.

Anyway, so here I am, in Banda, working and blogging instead of working. It’s kind of nice to be back, in an odd way. My “sister” has lent me clothes until my luggage reappears… Singapore airlines does not know where it is in the world. Me… in the meantime, I enjoy my nasi goreng and much deserved sleep. I work, effectively do work. I teach French to the Professor, and I bide my time. After lunch at the Chinese place, I bought a pack of kretek.

I had dinner at the Pizza House (an imitation of Pizza Hut, yes yes) and after a walk back home in the putrid and strange smells of Banda Aceh, amidst the loudness of the becaks I sit to write this.

With every whiff of the clove-scented tobacco, I find inspiration. (See below post on Week 1, day 1.)

I am zen.

The Beaver
My guest map is wonderful ! And you'd all be wonderful to post, all of you lurk mode readers!
Thanks and may the winds of Fate blow your way !

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