I woke up on Wednesday, August 18th at 8 AM in New Jersey and stayed up through the night finally falling asleep on Thursday, August 19th at 11 PM in London (6:00 PM New Jersey time). This is the account of the 34-hour day.
The first several hours were not too eventful, consisting mostly of me pacing and worrying until about 3 PM at which point I started what I thought would be nice reading for the airport. Upon reading some of "Time's 57 Most Notorious Crimes", I decided that maybe the airport was not the best place for it. Finally at 5 PM, we packed my backpack, my laptop case, and my unnecessarily heavy suitcase into my dad's car. The drive to the airport consisting of my dad and I listening to the news, frequently making remarks about it, and otherwise not saying much. This type of behavior is very manly and I am proud to have behaved as such.
We arrived at the airport and while taking the suitcase out of the the trunk, I bet my dad that it weighed 80 lbs (the reason it was so heavy is because I suck at packing). We entered the airport and went to check in my bags. The abridged conversation went as follows:
Baggage Check Lady: "This bag weighs 80.5 lbs"
Me: "Yes! Nailed it."
Baggage Check Lady: "You can't exceed 70 lbs"
I had to remove at least 10.5 lbs really fast and to make a long story short... I did. With my now 69 lb bag gone, I went through security, who got SUPER pissed when put my shoes in the same bin as my laptop. I went to the gate, waited awhile, ate, and got on the plane. The plane ride was about 7 hours, during which time I watched Green Zone, Arsenic and Old Lace, and Shrek Forever After. Arsenic and Old Lace was the best by far. After we landed, we were taken to our flats by a freakin' party bus. To accent how drastic this was from what I am used to, I present to you the following:
|Lame, sexually conservative American transportation...|
|A F*ing Pimpmobile!|
Ten minutes after we got to out flats (by which point I had been up for 25 hours), we were forced to begin our endless orientation (which will continue into the next post), which included a 90 minute walking tour, lunch at Wagamama, and a brutal 2.5 hour sit-down orientation, where we learned all sorts of vital information that I don't remember because it was all forced upon me over 2.5 hours on more than a day of no sleep. Wagamama was cool except that I didn't understand a single thing on the menu.
We returned to our flats and I had about 24 seconds of admiring my room before I realized that I did not bring any toiletries. In addition, we needed food, so my flatmates and I went to the grocery store and bought a ton of food (I also got my toiletries). Among my toiletries, I needed body soap, and while Axe is not my preferred brand, it was the only one familiar to me. Thank goodness for Axe, now to get a nice scent- hey wait, what the f-? The only two flavors they had were, get this, "Dark Temptation" or "Africa". I wound up choosing Africa. Don't ask why.
|Pictured: My scent|
Then came the iffy part. My cashier had a HEAVY accent... a British and Indian accent to be precise, and I could not understand a single word that came out of his mouth. I swiped my credit card and transferred my bags from my hand cart thing to the shopping bag, and then he started saying "Cahrt!" Every time I tried to hand him the cart, he kept pushing it away and yelling "Cahrt!" This went on for 3 minutes. While 3 minutes seems like very little, I assure you 3 minutes is an eternity when you are losing an argument because you can't understand your opponent. It turns out he needed to see my card for the signature.
Finally, I returned to the flat, took a shower, brushed my teeth, reunited the pillow with my face, and I was asleep by 11 PM London time.
Thus concludes the grueling 34-hour day.