A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about pre-departure

THE JOURNEY

or, "I Already Had Two Parents But Four is Nice Too I Guess?"

I think we can all agree that personal magnetism is a thing that exists. Some people just HAVE that shit. Some people make instant friends wherever they go. Well personally, that's just not good enough for me. I also make instant FAMILY MEMBERS. Yes, that's right -- I somehow managed to get myself adopted by a middle-aged Indian Moslem couple less than five hours into my first plane ride.

I'm not quite sure how it all began. All I know is that within a couple hours of our first speaking, the wife was micromanaging every aspect of my life. Among the wisdom she imparted to me was: marriage is good; I blew my chance to marry my first boyfriend because I obviously didn't try hard enough to force him to stay with me; people only have one perfect match which is like a red flower and white flower and together they make a pink flower (that is how genetics works); I most likely have missed my one and only chance at happiness and fulfillment; I should still get married anyway but not to a Japanese person because they would smell like fish and I would not like them; and finally, even though packaged hand sanitizer towels LOOK kind of like a giant packet of ketchup, they aren't. She also instructed me on how and whether to eat various food items provided by Turkish Airlines (notably, cheese and jam). I decided it was best to obey all orders without question (except the one about getting married ASAP).

Neither of the two seemed quite as enthusiastic about sleep as I did, which is how it happened that the husband ended up waking me for breakfast and then telling me the story of Jesus according to the Koran for an hour or two (which I was actually really interested in, but my eyeballs were currently feeling pan-seared and therefore not conducive to conveying fascination). Anyway, then the plane landed and it turned out we both had long stopovers in Istanbul. That's when the adoption became for serious. They watched the Turkish men like hawks to make sure nobody talked to me for too long, even the dude checking my passport at the security checkpoint. I had to accompany the wife to the restroom and hold her hand on the escalator. They saved me seats and insisted on buying me dinner. When I thanked them for anything they did the phraseology of the answer progressed from "you're as good as our daughter" to "you are our daughter!"

It's not that I particularly minded any of this. They were EXTREMELY nice people. It's just that my conflicting American-ness ("OMG KIDNAPPING SEX TRAFFICKING DRUG SMUGGLERS ARE OUT TO GET ME WHEREVER I GO") and southern-ness ("People are nice and I trust them, making friends with everybody and sharing personal information LOL!") were having a turf war inside my sleep-deprived, nerve-wracked traveler's mind. So yes, just to please my parents, essentially, once their flight had left I checked all of my belongings for hard drugs and missing objects. And guess what? Being someone's adopted airport-daughter does not mean you have to hold on to their heroin for them. Go nice people.

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Posted by Niadra 19:42 Archived in Turkey Tagged flight turkey istanbul trip journey pre-departure Comments (1)

What is the Sound of Procrastination Happening?

Here we see a feral Naia in her natural habitat (a haze of incense smoke and denial-ridden panic, attempting to foist her angry hedgehog on a friend and make painful clothing choices between efficiency and high Victorian style), two days away from a flight to Kyoto.

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Do you UNDERSTAND the magnitude of my hedgehog-foisting guilt? NO. You DON'T, because you're LAUGHING. Asshole.

Is my bag packed? Sort of. Am I confident that my choices of attire will serve the double (and mutually-exclusive) purpose of neither offending the monks nor convincing the youth of Japan that I am a doofus? Totally, and by "totally," I mean "no." Do I know all the basic Japanese phrases I probably should? SNORT. No, but I can say "isn't that boy cute?".... and I don't remember why I know that.

I am so set, you guys. A Japrocrastinator of the highest caliber.

WILL Naia get her shit together and listen to some Japanese language cassettes from 1991? WILL her pants be too sexy, causing her expulsion from the monastery? WILL she be unable to resist the urge to teach Zen novices to pole dance, causing her expulsion from ANOTHER monastery? WILL she decide to squat in the corner of a Shingon temple for the rest of her life because it is "just too pretty"? WILL she be sent home for molesting the architecture?

Stay tuned for adventures and shenanigans and sexy meditation pants. AND MORE.

Posted by Niadra 15:31 Archived in USA Tagged kyoto flight usa packing plane getting ready departure preparing pre-departure Comments (2)

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