As written in my physical diary:
26 Jun 2010
The flight layover to Chicago feels monotonous without a TV screen or radio station access plug equipped to my seat. What is a girl to do? I brought my summer reading books in my backpack, but I’ve already read through all of them! Asides from the occasional bodies of water, the ground below looks all the same: green, gold and beige fields in the Midwest. I remember that the trip took less time when I was flying with Continental earlier (SJ to Austin to DC, DC to Denver to SJ back), but at least with Southwestern it’s open-seating arrangements with “complementary snacks and beverages”. I slept soundly after I boarded the plane and found a window seat, but when I woke up an hour later the plane was yet to depart. Forty-five minutes later, we finally left the runway. Right now, I see something amazing the left of me. There is a thick fog of clouds that the plane is passing through; the view is creme fraiche, a sea of buttermilk surrounding the plane’s body. It is a nice change from the farmland body of Mother Terra.
Later that day…
Guess what? I am in Sandora’s* hometown, Chicago! Actually, I am writing in the plane leaving the city, because I had only an hour to spend before this flight. There was another participant from Chicago, and I wished that we took the same flight to DC, but there’s no sign of her here.
When we approaching the Midway airport, I began to see suburbia again! All the houses seemed to have swimming pools in their backyard, and I am remarkably jealous–I haven’t gone swimming this summer yet. The food court is spectacular, there are too many choices on where to eat, but I settled for the Italian option. I don’t regret it either! The food is great. I am enjoying a generous portion of penne alla primavera; I never thought vegetables and pasta could taste so great together! I was tempted to purchase a I <3 Chicago T-shirt and post on Sandora’s Facebook wall, but one, airport merchandise is overpriced and two, I have no Internet access. I was irritated during the last flight because the crew never announced what time we would land, but according to the staff on this flight, I have 1h25 until we hit DC. There are noticeably less people in this plane too, so I get a whole row to myself.
Outside my dorm room at George Mason University (GMU)…
Dulles is a pretty airport, it looks ten times better than the Reagan airport. My flight arrived on time, and I boarded this neat shuttle that took me to baggage claims. Shortly, however, I noticed that I did not have any contact information from the BFSIA organizers. I mistakenly added the fax line number as the phone number for their office, and wasn’t sure what to do, so I walked around. Ten minutes later, I had my bag and found the right people to talk to. I think their names were Brett, Lori and Lane. It’s nice meeting new people. There were two boys from Texas (Anil and Daniel) who arrived an hour before I did, and I already forgot who is from Austin and who is from Houston**. We waited another hour for Robert from Oregon, but it turned into an hour and a half. I am not sure what happened with his flight, but we were off to the vans.
On the way to GMU, I thought,”Wow. How bizzare, I’m in a van full of strangers at midnight; normally, that would be a dumb thing to do.” However, I think I’ll be alright. We received our our dorm keys, toiletry, sheets, swipe cards, water bottles, t-shirts and extra gear for “class” which starts later next week. I wish I opted for an earlier flight because most of the girls went to sleep two hours before I came to the dorms. When I came into my room, it was pitch-dark and my roommates were asleep. I was afraid to turn on the lights, fearing that I would wake them up, but I already did when I started unpacking. They looked really tired and resumed sleeping. I don’t know their names yet, but I should ask tomorrow. I left my pasta leftovers in my room, smells appetizing.
Other thoughts that day which weren’t written down, but I now remember:
First night in, and I was surprised to be paid. The allowance was for dinner, but I was content with my pasta dish that I still had from Chicago, so there’s extra cash in my pocket, yay!
*my super-funny, cool former chemistry teacher
** I remember now at least!
With much love, Kathy P.