Today has been the longest day ever!!!!
It started with a farewell visit to Chapel Hill where I did a research study for some last minute cash. At one point I watched a video on choices that was surprisingly intriguing enough to keep my attention the entire time. It wasn’t until I boarded my plane that I realized the speaker’s talking points were quite insightful.
Comparing my international flight with Delta to the one I experienced with American, I felt like I’d boarded a budget plane. Gone were the personal TVs and personal usb charger and in its wake was a charter bus built for the skies with 5 mini TVs in the center aisle and questionable upholstery. I was looking forward to the choices Delta provided, but was stuck with the preasigned itinerary of American. I was convinced (like normal human behavior learned from the video) that I wouldn’t enjoy myself because I didn’t pick my form of entertainment. However, I was pleasantly surprised that I not only enjoyed my pre-selected viewing, I also thoroughly enjoyed my plane mate Georgie (but seriously none of this rambling will make sense unless you at least attempt to watch the video!).
Georgie is a 57 year old from Lebanon who owns an ice cream shop in Wilson, NC. He has four sons (and gave me two of their numbers – haha I couldn’t tell if he was trying to play matchmaker or just being very friendly). He was headed home to his wife and to oversee his other I’ve cream shop in Beirut. Our friendship was instant as we laughed together over the movie (Guilt Trip) while sharing a meal. Even when I nodded off, he tore open his blanket and haphazardly threw it over me when our movie ended. By the time our flight to London ended he promised me free ice cream and hoped I’d visit his sons who run the shop soon – he was the greatest surrogate plane dad ever!
After a layover and mini panic attack when I couldn’t find my travel companion, we were finally on our way to London (haha I know I was just there and American warned me if I ditched my connection to dublin I’d forfeit my return ticket – stupid capitalists).
Two buses, a ferry, and 3 trains later we finally made it to London! In typical Sarah and Moni fashion we made quick friends as we tried to navigate the subway station. Within 20 minutes I got access to a local phone, received a free metro ticket, and random people offered to carry my bags up the stairs (three times) – all due to the accent! Now I see how Sarah lives everyday in America with her British accent. Why she refuses to the milk this cow I’ll never understand, but I shall do my best to get a whole dairy aisle’s worth by the time this trip is over. Thank you Josh, Acer, John, Bertie, Jack and Kyle for making my first few moments in London great!
Haha and I sadly can’t complete this tale without mentioning that I was almost stranded in the subway on my frist day in London. We were getting on our last subway of the night when the blasted thing pulled up crammed with people. I was conviced I could not fit, and Sarah who had already squeezed onto the train thought otherwise. As I was contemplating getting on and trying to figure out how my bags would fit, the doors suddenly closed on my shoulders. Knowing I couldn’t wedge myself onto the thing I had to step back and watched my only friend and resource ride away. As I pitifully sat on my luggage steeling myself not to cry as I am now a big, I was also trying to pray and telepathically tell Sarah to get off on the next stop (seeing as how we just go to the city and neither have proper phones yet). As I waited for the train to approach 5 minutes later Sarah comes striding towards me and wants to shake me, kill me, and yell at me but all she can really manage to do is laugh. She wishes she had a picture of me as the train drove away (pretty sure I looked something like this).
All in all it was an eventful first day. While traveling for 30+ hours is not necessarily ideal, we definitely got some great laughs and I am thoroughly excited to see what this trip has in store.