Friday, June 25, 2010

On arabic sugar and croissants. Also Bailey's.

Dear readers, we are back. After saying good-bye to kit and kin in the U.S. of A, adventures in the Middle East and 40 hours of tripping door to door, we are indeed back.

The kit and kin. And nine pieces of luggage.

The geckos, the mosquito nets and the palm trees have not changed a fraction, but there are some minor alterations to life as I once knew it.

Firstly we have a new gate. Now our gate keeps everything from stray trishaws to our knave of a neighbor at bay, so our gate is, well, significant…and the first thing I noticed coming home was that the latticed, wrought-iron gate that I had swung on as a child was gone, sent to a happier place where all good gates go, and replaced by a stately entity with a brand new attachment of a red mail box. The old mailbox was blown to smithereens, you see, when Kristian thought it would be entertaining to stick half a dozen fireworks in it to see what would happen. We never did find the top half.

Secondly, apparently we have an avocado tree. My mother was very excited about this discovery and consequently we will be having avocadoes in some shape or form probably every single day.

Thirdly, and most favorite, joining me this time is a certain Ms. Alisa Rogers-Taylor. Having never stepped foot out the country, she upped and decided flying half way across the globe with me to teach impoverished kids and soak in the delights of the motherland would be just the way to kick off her traveling career. It’s going to be a wonderfully insane couple of months with my roomie, bestie and second mom by my side.

Virgin passports

Needless to say, out journey across the pond was eventful. We began by nearly missing our flight to San Francisco, stopping but briefly on our mad dash to our gate to issue hugs out to the terminal security guards (it was more me not realizing I didn’t beep and consequently standing, arms wide, looking expectantly at the guard, who in turn looked mildly nonplussed. “What, you waitin for a hug or something?” eeeeeh. “Sure?”). We boarded our 16 hour flight with a sturdy outlook. We would make it.

Busting out the crayons, the coloring books, the books, the computers, the Sudoku and the reeses peanut butter cups did present us with some amount of encouragement and things were going well…until of course we were tricked out of our seats by a large Indian man whose primary mode of communication was enthusiastic hand gestures roughly two inches from the face. This was how he communicated that he wanted our seats, that he didn’t like his food and that the movie he was watching was great. Well, the series of short, out-of-the-silence barks of laughter also proved this latter point to be the case. Eight movies later (we highly recommend Valentines Day), a couple of good stiff drinks (nothing like free alcohol to liven up things) and a glance at the North Pole, we arrived in Dubai, alive and well.

Dubai was seven and a half hours of coffee and moseying through duty free and marveling at the indoor rainforests. It was here that we learned from a very excited and helpful Arab man that USA got to the next round of the world cup!

"Sugar" in arabic

Just educating ourselves on the current Middle Eastern trends

It was in high spirits that we shipped ourselves off on the last leg of our passage (we think we left our Indian friend in the Middle East). A couple of croissants and Twilight viewings later, we landed and alighted our flying tub with gusto you wouldn’t believe. We were glad nothing happened to the plane because being seated in front of the exit meant that in case of emergency, it would have been our job to get the doors open for safe evacuation.

“Al, which way does the door handle turn?”

“How should I know, I’ve never opened a freakin plane door…”

“Lets just try…this…way…shoot, it just tightened I think…loosy goosy, righty tighty…no wait that was lefty loosy…”

“Here, just give it to me…”

Yes. Epic fail.

The plane did not crash, thank goodness, and we arrived in due time in the metropolis of Colombo.

And now we are home. There is nothing like sleep, food and a rousing game of Settlers to put one back on one's feet. Let the games begin.

With love,

Alisa and Steph.

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