Monday, January 03, 2005

My tropical winter!

The last day before I was to fly out, I packed all the things I was to carry home. I tried packing everything in one suitcase but it felt that it would burst open because it had so many things in it. I had so much of shopping to carry back along with my books, clothes and shoes. I went out with Matt and Amanda in the night for dessert from her game. I was quiet most of the time because I was reflecting on things that had been going on in my life. And they were talking about stuff they didn�t like to eat. It was funny actually. They were talking like an old married couple. Well, I guess they have been dating for a long time and they seem so much at ease with each other with no doubts about the other person. Peace of mind.

I woke up early in the morning to finish the last bit of shopping that my mum wanted me to do. Micheal�s got a lot of business from my mum. But things there are pretty expensive. So, I think we will be shopping online for mum�s pmc things now. I also bought an mp3 player and the camera that dad wanted me to buy for the office. I had such a tough decision to make when I was thinking about buying the 40 gb mp3 player or not and finally I just got it. And then I got back and left for the airport at 3 because I had my flight out at 4.45 pm. I had to go through a special security check, which meant a complete, pat down and carry on baggage check. The only people that I saw that had to go through with this check were brown skinned people. I mentioned that to a security agent there after my check was done. It did seem racial but we should be getting used to this soon I guess. I got to Chicago and had a couple of hours to burn. So I decided to call people while I had the chance. I used my bluetooth and there was this one lady who kept pointing to my headset as it was blinking blue. I smiled and told her what it was and there was a questioning look. I guess she had never seen a wireless headset. I talked to Andi for a bit, and then ended up talking to Doll and Mammi for the rest of the time.

The Delta flight to London was very spacious. I don�t think I�ve ever been on a flight that had so much of leg space. It was amazing! And I happened to sit adjacent to the lady who was pointing at my headset. It was a funny coincidence. She was a minister in a small town in Wisconsin and was going home for the winter. She taught classes to the prisoners in a maximum-security prison in that town. She was very defensive about them and told me that she loved working with them. I think she felt that I had a negative view of things in the prison system.. Like Andi said, if there were no good movies on the flight, I would actually sleep. It was true for the most part. I saw Collateral and that was the only movie worth watching. So, I did sleep most of the way there. But I did see the magnetic dartboard system that I was searching for. It was $40 though. So, I don�t know if I should buy it on the way back.

I have never seen so many Indians in one place apart from India. The London airport was teeming with Indians, old and young. I had a 12-hour layover! So, after I got my boarding pass, I decided to look around at the stores. I did look around for an hour or so and then got bored of the stores there. First, there wasn�t a lot there to see really and second, things were soo expensive. Especially since a pound was two bucks! So every thing was twice as much as the US. However, I did see that Bailey�s was cheaper there than in the US. So, I will be buying a couple of bottles on the way back. After that I just sat around and started killing time by reading Contact. I actually tried calling Sujatha aunty but it wouldn�t connect and I tried getting online at one of the kiosks and that didn�t work either. So, I just gave up and returned to sitting around. I managed to catch a wink for a couple of hours sleeping with my arms around the baggage using my bag a pillow. I did eat some there, a slice of pizza and a sandwich for $12. Isn�t that insane? Finally, about an hour before my flight was scheduled to take off, I saw the gate assigned to the plane. So, I took off to the gate and was one of the first people to reach it. I was on the plane 20 minutes later.

The Virgin flight wasn�t as roomy as the last one was. But it was ok, I planned on sleeping this one through because it was night time in Nigeria and I wanted to get on that clock as soon as I got in. I didn�t want any jetlag. There was someone from campus waiting to pick me up. I got through customs and everything in a breeze. I was however hit with the humidity the moment I got back because I was wearing my sweater and sweatshirt. It was 25 C outside with high humidity! And this was winter in tropical Nigeria. After a 2-hour ride back to campus, I was finally home.

Later in the day, I showed mum all the things I got and she was very happy with all the pmc she could now work with. It felt nice to be home after so long. It was good to see mum because I hadn�t seen her since winter. I slept for a long time after that. Mum told me that she saw my pictures while I was sleeping. They were actually very good pictures. They came out really well. I was pleasantly surprised.

And then began my every day schedule of sleeping at 3 am and waking up at 12 when mum woke me up telling me that I shouldn�t miss breakfast and it�s not good to wake up right before lunch. And then I would eat toast and drink tea. And then I would sit on the net. Around 1.30, dad would come home and we would eat lunch. After that, I would watch TV if there was something good, or sit on the net some more. On Thursdays and Sundays, my brother and I would play basketball with other people. Fridays, we had pizza night at the International House. And then, drink tea in the evening and watch some more TV. And then dinner around 10, and some more internet. Around 12, I would read till I fell asleep or answered emails. I actually answered all my emails the same day, usually straight away because I had nothing else to do really. I haven�t emailed so much and so frequently in a long time. Inga and I emailed back and forth almost everyday. Andi and I would email every other day because there wasn�t much to say really since neither of us were doing a lot.

I called some of my friends on Christmas. I talked to Andi for a little while but couldn�t talk to her much because I got her in the middle of gifts. I tried calling Kristin and Mary, failing on both accounts. I then talked to Britta for a long time. She is at ease on the phone when she talks to me even though she doesn�t like talking on the phone a whole lot. It was nice to talk to her and catch up. It did feel odd because we didn�t have the late night chats since I got home. I guess it was something we did pretty often and I got used to it. I did get to talk to Jessi and I could say that she was surprised to get my call. But I remember that I called her the last time I was home too. I couldn�t talk to Komal because she is MIA. I got to chat with most of my friends and got atleast one email if not more from all of them. I talked to Andi on Jan 1 for about 50 minutes with my mum breathing down my neck asking me why I was on the phone for so long and what could I possibly talking about! And that�s why I couldn�t call anyone else because I had the feeling that I ate up my call time allowance in one shot. Hehe.. It felt good talking to Inga after I got home because I hadn�t talked to her for a bit. I was also concerned after the email I got from her about her breakup with her long-term boyfriend.

Apart from that, nothing much has really happened. We had the acting Indian High Commissioner come to our house for lunch along with some other Indians on campus. And I finally got to see I Robot which I�ve always wanted to see.

And of course, New Years was a blast. I haven�t had so much of fun in Nigeria ever. We got to the International House around 8.30. I had this one drink called Champagne Screw which tasted like soap. Yuck! I chucked three quarters of the drink in a bush. We then waited around till 9.30 for the dinner. The dinner was a pretty good buffet with free red and white French wine. After dinner, my brother and I sat with the other kids and socialized for a bit. There was a raffle drawing in which my mum won a dinner for two at the restaurant in I-House. And then the party began, at first we just watched other people go on the dance floor. After a bit, the youth decided to and join in. There were only two Canadian girls in our group and so we were asking them to dance all the time. I don�t think they have been asked to dance so much in their life! I danced more with the 21 year old girl more than her younger sister because the other boys never left her by herself for anyone to ask. I finally got talking with the group and it was smooth sailing after that. I danced a lot and did a few of the basic swing turns and stuff that the girls could handle. I actually found an R&B song that has perfect rhythm for six count swing. After my parents left, we went nuts I guess. My brother and I tried to teach Bhangra to a couple of European women. After that, my brother switched among us to dance with the Slavic ladies. They were pretty hot and every other guy in the group thought so too. They were all looking at them and drooling.. hehe.. Plus, they were drunk so that made for a better dance experience ;). It was funny to watch them dance with us with their young children and husbands around. I don�t think their husbands enjoyed dancing as much as they did anyway. Towards the end, I talked to Michelle (the older Canadian) about what she did at home and all. It was actually a two way conversation. I remember when I got back to my house that I could have told her about Kit�s research about Antarctic�s permafrost since she was studying the Canadian permafrost up north. We got back at 4.30 fully awake but the moment I lied down, I was out in a couple of minutes.. New Year�s eve was actually fun. Yay!

1 comment:

Aureate said...

That was a really nice read. I really love to read what you write. You should get back to writing everyday as before. Keep the fun writing going along!! :-)