Friday, April 20, 2012

Who are these Americans and why are they so bloody happy!?

So let me just fill you in on the journey so far... we leave our house at around 11am on Wednesday morning for a 6 hour drive down to London Heathrow, from which we fly to Newark which takes bloody ages but I'm asleep for most of it (missed duty-free on the plane but thats okay we can get an adapter on the next one...of course we didn't so we couldn't plug anything in when we got there). US Customs ask me FOUR times where I'm going and why... I'm going to work in Majuro in the Marshall Islands...4 times. Either he didn't know where that was, or was perplexed as to why, who knows. I was geared up for a time in a customs cell though. Luckily it didn't happen.

So we get offloaded at Newark which means we are stuck in the airport for 12 hours as we can't check our luggage back in so we fill in a lot of time by ensuring all our bags are exactly within weight restrictions fuelled by Dunkin Donuts coffee - by gosh when I said put sugar in it I didn't mean that much. I broke the scales at Newark (walk away slowly so no-one notices!), and also stupidly repacked our toiletry bag into hand-luggage at which point everything basically got taken off us. I guess I could've shampooed some random on the flight - I am prone to a spot of hairdressing! I don't remember too much about Newark apart from the sky train thingy and travelling on that a lot. Oh and being practically unable to get around with the bike boxes cos for some reason Americans think its a good idea to build lifts directly behind massive pillars. And no-one smiled. Wired on about 4 massive cups of coffee and sleep deprived I smiled at around 400 passengers at 6-7am and got a handful back...(to be honest I do the same thing on the Tube in London cos it's funny watching people desperately avoid eye contact!)

The difference when we got to Hawaii though was amazing - I struck up a conversation with a woman at the airport and she was so warm and friendly. Really lovely - that's my impression of Pacific Islanders generally, and the contrast from Newark was immense. Hanging about outside the airport  before our morning flight I catch wind of a conversation. The bloke has a cockney accent. I think no! surely not... the first person I meet in the RMI can't be a Cockney...please I'm travelling to the other side of the world. Yep. Captain Ken. Not a superhero Captain but a fishing boat captain. I was slightly disappointed...

Then we spied all the Americans waiting to board the plane. There were loads of them. All young. All fresh-faced, wide-eyed and so bloody enthusiastic. And they all looked clean. Well in contrast to us who were on our 4th day of travelling, and we, in true Brit fashion, were grumpy! Luckily we weren't sat next to any of them; but then again a couple of them became my best friends on island a couple of weeks later but I wasn't to know that at the time. All I knew was I needed a shower and a new pair of knickers drastically...

(they were all World Teach volunteers if you were wondering:

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